Fashion is the way I introduce myself to the world, every day, without saying anything.

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image by Ashley Caroline / dress Reem Acra from Kleinfeld / makeup Jennie Fresa / hair Jennifer Marcuson / flowers Jakkelyn Iris

Good morning from a snowed in NYC! Hope you enjoyed your snow day, if you had one. I wanted to chat on this weds-day about your wedding dress. One of the weightier decisions surrounding your big day, and one that receives a lot of hype (for good reason). Obviously, this is where my love of fashion and weddings collide, so I have a lot to say about the process. Here are some tips before you begin your big search.

1. Do your research – With any aspect of wedding planning, you’ll find that Pinterest is almost always step one. No exceptions for your wedding dress; you have to do your homework. I suggest starting with a secret wedding dress Pinterest board that only you have access to (so as to reserve judgement from opinionated friends, family + stylists), and spending some time pinning every dress you like, for whatever reason. Once you’ve pinned 30-40 dresses, look for a common theme. Undoubtedly, there is one. Make a note of that.

2. Set your appointment – You’re going to want to look for your wedding dress somewhere between 8-12 months out from your wedding. Quick note, if you’re having a short engagement, you may want to think about sample sales or department stores, where you won’t have to wait for the dress to be made. If you have the time, make an appointment at a bridal salon or designer show room. If you have no idea what kind of dress you want, head to a bridal salon with great inventory. They’ll carry a bunch of different styles by different designers, so you can really look around. If you love a particular designer, go to their showroom. For example, if you love Amsale, make an appointment at their bridal showroom so you can see the full collection. This is something I didn’t do, but wish I had done (regardless, I love my dress and experience picking it out and wouldn’t change a thing).

3. Try, try, try – I’ve heard of some boutiques only allowing you to try on a specific number of gowns before they tell you that they don’t have what they’re looking for. But if you aren’t happy with what your stylist pulls, ask to see more. Or refine your descriptors (long sleeved, lace, structured, champagne, etc) to help them see your vision. If what they have still isn’t right, move on from that particular shop. With that being said, and this is important, you do not have to go to 5 different places to find your wedding dress – it exists and can be easily found, but you have to do your research. A lot of Brides get obsessed with finding the “perfect” dress. Don’t go there, this isn’t a logical process, it’s an emotional one. Limit yourself to 3 trips to find your dress, and come prepared!

4. Do not skimp on alterations – Please, this is so important. Do not try and save money by taking your dress somewhere unfamiliar to be altered. It is not worth the potential money you will save. If your salon does alterations, go through them. If they don’t offer alterations, ask them who they recommend – this is way better than yelping or googling somewhere random. Trust me, you won’t regret it.

Here’s a post about finding my wedding dress.

Any questions, tips, or comments? I’m all ears!

If you’re on the search for a dress in the NYC area, here are my favorite salons:

Have a happy hump day!

xoxo,

aok

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