With Kleinfeld Bridal announcing plans to set up shop in Toronto, Ont., this spring, Canadian brides-to-be are anxiously awaiting their very own “Say Yes to the Dress” moment made famous by the popular New York-based wedding gown reality show.
And if you’ve ever watched so much as a segment of the hit show, you know that selecting a wedding gown isn’t always a smooth and joyous affair. The pressure of friends and family and compulsion to find “the” dress has left more than a few brides in tears on the dressing room floor.
On top of being a major emotional choice, a wedding dress is also a major purchase – most women pay between $1,500 and $2,000 for their gown! And just like you wouldn’t buy a new appliance without doing your research, it’s important to be prepared before you start jumping into dresses.
Yahoo Canada Shine spoke with Lidia Salvador, the manager of Toronto, Ont.-based bridal studio Jealous Bridesmaids. Here, she shares her tips and tricks for picking the perfect wedding dress.
When should brides start the hunt for their wedding dress?
It is never too early to start looking for a dress! On average, it takes about six months from time of order for a gown to arrive in the store, plus another one to two months for alterations – so for most brides, I’d recommend starting eight to nine months before the big day.
Should a bride walk into a dress appointment knowing exactly what she wants, or is it better to have a blank canvas?
It’s best to have a general idea of what you like and don't like, while also keeping an open mind. Break down the structural elements of a dress you like (such as whether it’s strapless or has sleeves or is more fitted versus a ballgown style) – that helps to refine your search but still keeps things somewhat general so you’re not completely eliminating almost everything.
How can brides save money on their dress?
If you do your research into designers and fabrics, you’ll find that some dresses tend to retail at a lower price-point while still looking as good as the more costly gowns. For example, chiffon and satin are less expensive than lace. To save on hemming, look for designers that make petite or tall dresses that suit your size – that way you won’t have to pay extra to have the dress made shorter or longer.
What trends are you seeing in wedding gowns right now?
Lately we’ve been seeing a resurgence of classic and vintage champagnes as well as blushes and pinks (yes, pink!). Every now and again we get a bride who wants black, but that's still a rarity. Most brides aren't keen on white because it is so stark and does not tend to blend well with its surroundings. A bit of colour in a gown, even if very subtle, can add to a theme of a wedding or bring out the personality of a bride.
What’s the No. 1 thing that surprises women when they start wedding dress shopping?
Most women are surprised by what they find themselves drawn to once they actually put a dress on. I cannot tell you how many times a bride has tried on a "just for fun" dress and surprised herself at how much she loved it. If you have the slightest inkling towards trying something on, just go for it, because you never know.
Lidia Salvador is the manager of Jealous Bridesmaids Bridal Studio in Toronto, Ont.