1. It’s all about positive attitude
Take a deep breath, savour it, enjoy it and realise a wonderful new chapter is about to commence. There is no point in me not completely agreeing with you all that this can be overwhelming, there is a lot of work involved. Planning is like a full time second job and yes and many of the things that you are going to deal with are things that you have never needed to deal with before. A recent Roth survey showed us that for brides it’s all about finding your dream dress. Yes you have a lot to do, it can be overwhelming and yes if you take time to sit down, make lists and work with them throughout your wedding planning you will be miles ahead.
2. Start from the very beginning
Once your engagement is announced it is not unusual for friends, family or yourself to contribute to a large collection of “old school” style magazines. Of course becoming an expert overnight as to blogs, websites, chat rooms, designer links believe it or not will become second nature and they will become your companions between now and when you go down the aisle. Electronically we at Henry Roth have our “My Favourite” section which allows you to create your own album of beautiful gowns.(Click here to register.) For printed material and magazines cutting out and categorising in a binder styles that inspire you is a great start. Then with the help of a electronic tablet or iPad and your binder your library of looks will be combined and always at your fingertips.
It’s about money honey and the most important thing is to really carve out a budget so that you have a firm idea as to the items that need to be allocated for which is also weighed by what is more important to you. Very soon you will discover every bridal online portal, every bridal magazine, every bridal book has less or more complicated breakdown of items you will want to consider and budget towards. Be clear what your budget is by that I mean who said they are paying for what, who is contributing, the amount from each participant. Assumptions and thinking someone is contributing is quite different from being sure. You understand the dynamics of your family and you as a couple so make sure you are clear and realistic. Once you have your firm budget investigating online is certainly a way you can go. I can also tell you that personal interaction with your vendors makes for an amazing experience and that’s what brides have told me time and time again.
4. Instore or Online
The world is your oyster, there is nothing that can stand in the way of purchasing whatever your heart has fallen in love with. Availability can be through in store high customer service, low customer service, online, sample sale and it can be so much more than it ever was as far as choices and options are concerned. I advocate the in store experience for my brand because I believe in personal experience, the back up of customer service and the trying it on in store and in house alterations that I rely on to deliver the best ultimate results fitted to the bride on the day of her wedding. We’ve had too many brides who have contacted us after an online experience, having scrambled with a disappointing experience. Click here Rothtv and watch http://youtu.be/oEaTqDtrSHg – it says it all.
5. Let’s go shop for a frock – by appointment
If you are buying your gown in store then by appointment is absolutely the way to go even if the store does not operate necessarily as an appointment only destination. Appointments allow for structure, they allow for consultants to be appointed for your timeslot, they enable you to allocate your time between one location and the next and having that structure helps you to relax into a well organised thought through day that allows you to focus on the gowns, on the fantasy, on the experience and not worry about anything else.
6. Setting up your appointments for success
Please know these are just my thoughts, it helps to act as a guideline and here I go… It’s wonderful to turn your appointment into a party and have a group of people help you choose your gown but trust me it’s not necessarily doing you a favour. Keep it to a small, succinct, tight knit group that includes your mother, your best friend, or your sister. Realise if you have asked people to come and help and you honestly want their opinion they are going to honestly want to give it to you. Go with the mindset that at the end of the day, the ultimate decision is yours and despite deferring to ones you can trust the choice of gown doesn’t have to be a unanimous decision.
7. Lining up your dream dresses all in a row
Bridal gowns in store do have a fabulous lifestyle and sometimes get invited to photo shoots, may need a repair or go out for a dryclean. Don’t assume gowns you have shortlisted are definitely going to be instore. So when you make your appointment please make sure that you advise the store of gowns that you are loving and hoping to see. Although they can’t promise, it does give them notice and the opportunity to make sure that they have as many of these gowns as possible ready to go.
8. Expect the unexpected, go with an open mind
You may have a shortlist of styles and shapes and what I endorse is to try something you would never have considered. When you start with your appointment, trust me start with three dresses. If it’s the first time round, start with three different silhouettes ballgown, straight, a-line.
9. Don’t forget the dress plus
When factoring in your gown and the look and feel you want to command on the day remember you are factoring in the gown, the crinoline if it needs additional fullness, hair jewellery or hair piece if you chose to go that route, veil, short fingertip 3/4, chapel, cathedral, Jewellery which may be a necklace, earrings or bracelet, shoes and alterations. I’m not trying to overwhelm you, on the contrary it is good to know that there will be items additional to the gown that create your look and just being aware to factor in the gown plus the little bits and pieces.
10. How do I know it’s my dress and when do I know when to stop?
I believe that part of the whole wedding planning process, the whole wedding decision making process is definitely stressful and adds pressure but in a strange way it’s a gift. Undoubtedly being in a relationship and with in laws and your family, at times is like walking a tightrope. It’s the skill set of diplomacy and balance and resolve and confidence that gets built along the way and so you’ll know when it’s your dress you know how you feel no one should talk you into it or out of it. Additionally, once you have found the gown that’s it, it’s done and as they say when you found the groom, did you go shopping for more?
Good luck, good journeys, wonderful discoveries and on the day never forget to Rock your Frock.
Warmly, Henry Roth, Michelle Roth and the entire teams in Sydney and New York