Wedding series pt. 3 - Finding my Wedding Dress!

 All photos are by Levana Melamed in Pittsburgh, PA.

All photos are by Levana Melamed in Pittsburgh, PA.

Hello beautiful people! Today I'm back with my third post in my wedding series, which is all about finding my wedding dress.  I really don't think that the dress-shopping process needs to be stressful at all - it's a moment you should make sure you enjoy, and I promise there is something perfect out there for you. I'll give you the scoop on my experience as well as some tips below!

In true form, I actually ended up finding my dress completely unexpectedly.  I went shopping with a good friend because we wanted something to do on a day off.  After grabbing burgers and fries for lunch (perfect pre-shopping fuel), we went to VOWS Bridal Outlet in the greater Boston Area.  There were SO many options given that its an outlet, so we ended up just picking a bunch off of the rack and trying them all on.  As it turns out, my friend picked out the dress that was "the one!" I tried it on, and I felt comfortable and like myself and that's how I knew.  And on that meant-to-be day, I ended up ordering that dress and checking a big task off my wedding list! This success was preceded by a couple of other not-so-great shopping trips, so I wanted to share some tips I picked up while finding my wedding dress.

Here are some wedding dress shopping tips:

Have an open mind. This one is my top tip because of course, what I *thought* I would like for my wedding dress was totally different than the dress I ended up with.  So, when you start your shopping - try on a TON of dresses! Try different silhouettes, fabrics, embellishments, designers - everything! You honestly won't know until you try what the most flattering or "you" dress there might be out there.

Go by yourself (at least once). I went wedding dress shopping by myself once in the early stages, and I really recommend doing that.  It is slightly overwhelming and you might feel a smidge uncomfortable, but it helped me to really tune into what kind of dress *I* wanted, without any other opinions.  Sure it's a little awkward at times (you have to get into those dresses all by yourself!) but ultimately I found it much calmer to hone in on exactly what I liked about different designers and styles.  This way, I was more prepared for my next shopping trips!

Color is important: I personally do not look good in "true" white, and I didn't realize this until I started shopping.  It ultimately was more flattering for me to try off-white, champagne colored dresses as opposed to bright white.  Be open minded to trying different kinds of whites - you'd be surprised how different they can look with your skin tone!

Go to a couple different shops before deciding. Just as it's important to try on a lot of different styles, I think it's also important to try a couple of different shops.  Overall, I think I (casually) tried four different stores - from outlets to fancy designer shops (fancy definitely wasn't for me!) I got more insight into what I ultimately wanted. I would highly recommend going to an outlet-type store (like VOWS!) if you are in the market for a wedding dress, because you can find really good deals on much-more expensive dresses. 

 All photos are by Levana Melamed in Pittsburgh, PA.

All photos are by Levana Melamed in Pittsburgh, PA.

You might not cry. I didn't have an overwhelming feeling of *THIS IS THE ONE* and I also didn't cry (like I always see on Say Yes to the Dress).  I just felt like - this is the best one I've tried on, it's comfortable, and it feels like *me*.  So if you don't have that overwhelming moment - that's ok! And it still might be your wedding dress! Don't put that additional kind of pressure on yourself :). 

Find a great seamstress: While my dress was from an outlet, I did spend some extra money on tailoring which I think was so worth it.  My dress fit fine off of the rack, but a year later, it was time for a couple of alterations (specifically in the shoulders which kept falling down!) I found Anahit because she was recommended by the outlet where I purchased my dress, and she was amazing and also a HOOT.  She was super direct and honest, which I personally appreciated, and did multiple fittings to make sure that everything was perfect for the big day.  I felt like spending a little extra on those alterations made the dress perfect for me.

 All photos are by Levana Melamed in Pittsburgh, PA.

All photos are by Levana Melamed in Pittsburgh, PA.

There you have it - my shopping tips! Remember it's not a life or death situation - you WILL find your dress and feel beautiful no matter what on your wedding day.  And your new husband will be astounded whatever you are wearing :)

Sending love!

Meghan