The Mindful Bride, Wedding Planner Tips from  Finding the Dress

As a wedding planner if there’s one part of the wedding planning process that most women think about years before they get engaged, it’s selecting the dress.  Finding and purchasing a wedding gown is typically a very emotional experience for a bride, but, like all other elements of planning a wedding, practical decision-making should be a part of wedding dress shopping.  Adrienne Smith of understands this first hand; providing tips for brides about to venture out for the perfect dress.

More than likely, a bride-to-be has thumbed through the pages of bridal magazines, thus having some ideas of what type of dress she wants for her big day.  Most brides are inevitably surprised when some of the styles that they think they like don’t actually meet their expectations at a bridal boutique.  Not to worry, there are styles that flatter every bride.  But, before a bride heads out to the boutiques, she should really know her basic criteria in order to have a productive shopping experience.  Some of these basics include:  price range, designers, and style.

Larger boutiques, such as Kleinfeld’s in Manhattan or Bridal & Formal in Cincinnati, will assign a consultant to each bride who will ask all these questions upon arrival.  Price range is the first question brides will be asked, so make sure you have a response to this question since most brides have a budget and wedding gown prices can vary significantly.  Be aware that typically a sales consultant will select dresses for a bride that are at the upper end of her price range, some of which will be slightly beyond the high end.  They do this because if a bride falls in love with a dress that is minimally to moderately beyond her price limits, she will more than likely make the purchase.  So be prepared for these clever sales tactics and when to be firm with financial limitations.

Online research prior to shopping boutiques is recommended in order to learn designers of interest and costs.  Designer Watters is an excellent example of gorgeous and trendy dresses with lots of price variety.  Watters has two lines:  Watters & Watters, their upscale, sophisticated line averaging $1,000-2,000, and Wtoo, the “price charming” trendy line averaging $500-1,200.  Both lines are offer beautiful modern wedding gowns, where no bride can go wrong. 

A factor that some brides may overlook is whether a particular dress style suits the venue atmosphere.  Especially since more brides are having their ceremonies in more unique settings, such as museums, modern urban settings, old mansions, or an outdoor garden, brides want to ensure that their dress style doesn’t conflict with the venue style.   A modern setting, such as an art museum or renovated warehouse, would call for a modern, sleek look (such as designer Amy Kuschel or J. Crew); whereas a more romantic & classic style (such as Priscilla of Boston or Mon Cheri ) would suit an old mansion or hotel, or garden setting. 

And don’t forget about the accessories.  When looking to shop smart for accessories, stay away from bridal boutique accessories that are often over-priced for the quality.  If a bridal consultant outfits a bride with desirable accessories, usually the same look can be found at department stores, such as Macy’s, Dillard’s, or JC Penney.  Websites such as and offers a variety of bridal jewelry and accessories for the stylish, modern bride.

Whatever style desired or price limitations, the dream dress is out there for every bride.  Research and patients are crucial for successful wedding dress shopping, and all brides need to remember to enjoy every moment of the experience, even if it takes time to find the perfect dress.