One of the things I enjoy most about the bridal and event planning industry is the amount of fashion and flair that goes into every step of the process! In the spirit of the bridal shopping season - I want to go a little off the beaten path from my normal posts and provide some tips for the fashion side of the "I Do" house!

Coming from someone who drools at the thought of rolling around a store dripping with lace and chiffon - it is so easy to get caught up in the whirlwind romantic idea of picking out the perfect dress that sometimes the rational planning side of the process falls away. One of the biggest tidbits of advice I can provide is to give yourself and your bridesmaids ample time to purchase the dress! This is so so important.

If you have any questions about when the latest recommended time is for you to purchase a gown - call your local bridal shop and let them know when your wedding is. However, keep in mind that dress lead times really can vary per designer and dress availability - so it is important to recognize that this may not be a uniform time frame for all of the dresses. Designer gowns that are cut to order can sometimes take up to 20 weeks in certain stores to ship in if there is not one in store that is already in your size/in the condition you are happy with. If there is a dress that you have found in your initial searches online, call into the store and have them check the average delivery time for you so that you can book an appointment in enough time to get sized for the dress and place the order.

The same holds for bridesmaids dresses. Once you have picked out your wedding gown, it is always helpful to move quickly into finding the bridesmaids dresses. When it comes to bridesmaids dresses, the tricky part is that this dress is typically for multiple girls versus just one. Not every dress fits every girl the same way so it is always smart to give them as much time as possible to book an appointment to try on the dress before purchasing. This ensures they have the right size and leeway for any alterations that may need to be made before the wedding.

I can think of nothing more fun than road-tripping with all of my best girls out of town to hit up a bridal salon on a whim! But, it is always best to have a block of time set aside just for you. It is true that some bridal salons welcome walk-in appointments but the trouble with walk-ins is that you never know how busy they might be when you arrive. It is always best to call in advance before rallying the troops to make sure you have an appointment and aren't putting yourself into a situation that could potentially lead to disappointment. One thing to keep in mind is that, although every store wants to assist you to their best ability, pre-booked appointments have to be honored and sometimes they do not have the bandwidth to take walk-ins.

To those of you who are now sporting a lovely bit of sparkle on your "I Do" finger, I hope these short but sweet tips will help you curb any unsuspected surprises during the dress buying process so that you can focus on the most important part - popping some bubbly and enjoying yourself!

Have fun!!

Love Always, Heather