You have looked at dozens of bridal magazines and hundreds of dresses and finally, you've found a couple that they really like. Now what? Head off to a bridal shop with pictures of the dresses you are interested in buying. There are a few questions you need to ask before looking at your first dress. Find out, do you have to make an appointment to try on dresses? Does the store carry dresses that fit your budget? Can they order the dress you found in a magazine? Will they allow you to browse the whole collection or are you limited to what they choose to show you? Once these questions have been answered and you have found a dress that you really like, there are more questions to be asked. Can this neckline be altered to a scoop neck instead of a vee? Can the dress be held for 24 hours while I give it some thought? Then go home and relax, go back in 24 hours and see if you still love it. If so then put down the deposit.
If on the other hand you don't like a dress, but your mom or friend loves it, again wait 24 hours and then go back for another look. If you still hate it don't buy it. It is your wedding and you won't be happy if you don't feel beautiful. After you have chosen the dress, the seamstress will measure your bust, waist hips and waist to floor length, and then will let you know what alterations will be needed. Just about every dress needs some alterations. You will need to go in for fittings at least two or three times.
If alterations are needed, what is the cost? Ask for a written estimate for the alterations. If a shop won't give you an estimate, run don't walk to another shop. Also, ask if you buy the bridesmaids dresses there, will they give you free or discounted alterations. Also, find out if you can get a rush on the dress if necessary. You will also want to know if the dress is in stock or does it have to be ordered? Can you borrow your dress for a formal portrait and then bring it back for a final pressing? Pay with a credit card, that way you can dispute the charges if a problem arises.
Next, you have to choose the headpiece and veil to go with your dress. The type of veil you depends on the style of your dress. Veils come in several styles and lengths. You wouldn't want a Cathedral veil if you are wearing a simple street length dress. By the same token, you won't want a shoulder length, fly away wispy veil if you are wearing a formal gown with a long train.
When the wedding is over, what do you do with that beautiful expensive dress? Ask the bridal shop or wedding consultant, for the name of a reliable gown preservationist. The preservationist will clean the gown, then wrap it in acid-free tissue paper, or white cotton muslin and then place it in an acid-free box. You can expect to pay between 200 and 400 dollars for this service. Be wary of someone who asks you to sign a disclaimer, saying they are not responsible for damage done to the dress during cleaning. Only place your dress in the hands of a preservationist who will give you a written guarantee.
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