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Wedding questions?


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Old 3rd January 2018, 10:22 AM   #61
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Most photographers will want an interview (either in-person or via Skype) before committing to anything, so pay attention to how you interact during the interview and if you feel comfortable. Our wedding photographer was actually a war photographer who did weddings as a hobby, and he stood out because he was the only one who didn't make me feel pressured or overwhelmed at the thought of all the pictures to take. We loved his portfolio and had a great natural rapport, so the choice was easy.

I know you don't want to hear this, but unless you're buying a used dress (like PreOwnedWeddingDresses, which is excellent), you should get a jump on it. Most wedding dresses take at least 6 months to get from the order to your hands, and alterations can take 3 months or more. I put down a deposit on an inexpensive Allure wedding dress in January, it was ready for trying on in mid-July, I immediately took it to a private shop for alterations because I wanted to save money/go faster, and it was ready by the end of September.
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Old 3rd January 2018, 2:18 PM   #62
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lana-banana View Post
Most photographers will want an interview (either in-person or via Skype) before committing to anything, so pay attention to how you interact during the interview and if you feel comfortable. Our wedding photographer was actually a war photographer who did weddings as a hobby, and he stood out because he was the only one who didn't make me feel pressured or overwhelmed at the thought of all the pictures to take. We loved his portfolio and had a great natural rapport, so the choice was easy.

I know you don't want to hear this, but unless you're buying a used dress (like PreOwnedWeddingDresses, which is excellent), you should get a jump on it. Most wedding dresses take at least 6 months to get from the order to your hands, and alterations can take 3 months or more. I put down a deposit on an inexpensive Allure wedding dress in January, it was ready for trying on in mid-July, I immediately took it to a private shop for alterations because I wanted to save money/go faster, and it was ready by the end of September.
Oh nooooooo. Really, 6 months?? Why does it even take that long?? Did you have it made from scratch? And if you did, why the need for alterations after that?
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Old 4th January 2018, 11:15 AM   #63
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Wedding dress stores are not like conventional dress shops (unless you're at a consignment or outlet shop). You can't go there and just take a dress off the rack. Instead, all gowns are available as "sample sizes". An attendant will use clothespins and clips to give you an idea of how it will fit you. When you find a dress you like, they evaluate your size---which can vary significantly among designers---and then they place the order.

Even after you get your dress, it will need at least one round of alterations and may need as many as three. You will have to try on the finished dress in your shoes. You will need the train modified. You may need the bodice fitted. I was spectacularly lucky in that the only alterations I needed were hemming, because my dress fit like a dream. If you buy a strapless dress (I didn't) you will probably need the bodice fitted too.

Again, this was for a $1500 (before alterations, the national average) gown from Allure, one of the biggest designers. I did nothing fancy or unique. If you go the couture route like my friend it will be closer to 10 months or a year. I honestly wanted to get something pre-owned but none of the ones I liked were in my size. You may have more luck with outlets and consignment if you are a more standard size.

Check TheKnot and similar sites focused on wedding vendors in your area. Don't ever feel pressured to do more or spend more than you want, but don't expect to waltz in and grab your fantasy dress off the rack. It's a process.
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Old 4th January 2018, 11:22 AM   #64
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Oh nooooooo. Really, 6 months?? Why does it even take that long?? Did you have it made from scratch? And if you did, why the need for alterations after that?
Some take even longer but it is possible to buy "off the rack" from a sample sale . . . think the Klienfeld's blow out a/k/a the "Running of the Brides" it's crazy. I got a cash & carry dress at another store. It was the try on sample. It needed a new zipper & I had to have it cleaned before the wedding but I got it 90% off. Even with the extra cleaning, the new zipper & the alterations I still saved $2,000.

You need alterations because it's a custom fitted garment & your weight will fluctuate leading up to the wedding. Buy the size you are when you order. Don't count on losing weight. You can take a dress in but you can't let it out.
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Old 4th January 2018, 12:22 PM   #65
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You can also buy a white evening gown or cocktail dress off the rack at a regular store to avoid having to deal with the huge delay and fanfare involved with buying a "wedding dress." You can often find beautiful designer gowns on sale on sites like Bluefly, The Outnet, or even your standard department stores.

With regard to the photographer or celebrant, you might ask whoever you are dealing with at the venue if there is anyone they would recommend. It's to your benefit to hire someone who is familiar with the venue, especially for the photographer. If you are staying at a local hotel who has a wedding planner or concierge, they may also have recommendations, just to give you a place to start.
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Old 4th January 2018, 12:53 PM   #66
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The other thing about why cash & carry doesn't work for most is that in bridal there may only be 1 dress in that style in the store. Unlike regular stores where they have the dress in every size from 0 to 22W, in bridal they have 1 in the store which is a bridal size 8- 10; that's more like regular size 6. The sizing & how high your # will be has a tendency to make brides even nuttier, as if you're not under enough stress. If you don't have an "off the rack body" you will not be able to do a cash & carry dress. There are some other plus sized norms but they are more rare.

If you can manage to go bridal shopping on a weekday during the work day, you will be much less stressed. I tried going once on a Saturday. It was too crazy for me. Having the store all to myself was so much better.
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Old 4th January 2018, 1:43 PM   #67
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Thanks ladies! Y'all are lifesavers.

Part of the reason I've been procrastinating has been how complicated the whole process seems to be. Every time I try to read an article from theknot or whatever about wedding dresses, it gives me a mini panic attack because I just feel averse to spending so much time, effort and money on a garment, lol. It's possible that I may indeed just go with a white evening gown as clia suggested, but in my culture and age range and not having been married before, it's extremely uncommon to ditch the traditional wedding gown, so I'm still not sure if I want to do that.

My hope is that I'll find a low-key outlet store that magically carries a wedding gown that I'll look good in. I know, I know... completely realistic, right?

I will definitely order in my current size.
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Old 5th January 2018, 3:24 PM   #68
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Also... wedding websites. Do guests ever actually look at them? I think I might enjoy making one, but if nobody's interested in visiting it, it probably won't be worth the effort, haha.
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Old 5th January 2018, 9:00 PM   #69
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Remember, wedding dress sizes aren't analogous to street sizes. Prepare to try each one on. I am a 0 street size and was between a 4 and 8 in wedding dresses. There's no way to know until you put it on.

Although the boutique I visited was busy, it was by no means frantic or anything even approaching the wedding madhouse stuff you see in movies. I don't think that happens except on weekends or massive sales. Even as a very self-conscious person I enjoyed it and felt pretty.

People will use your wedding website, especially since it's a destination wedding. Include as much information as possible about the location, things to do in the area, local childcare arrangements, and so on. (We highlighted hiking trails, breweries, museums, monuments, etc.) Be sure to include a link to your registry too!
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Old 6th January 2018, 6:03 AM   #70
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Remember, wedding dress sizes aren't analogous to street sizes. Prepare to try each one on. I am a 0 street size and was between a 4 and 8 in wedding dresses. There's no way to know until you put it on.

Although the boutique I visited was busy, it was by no means frantic or anything even approaching the wedding madhouse stuff you see in movies. I don't think that happens except on weekends or massive sales. Even as a very self-conscious person I enjoyed it and felt pretty.

People will use your wedding website, especially since it's a destination wedding. Include as much information as possible about the location, things to do in the area, local childcare arrangements, and so on. (We highlighted hiking trails, breweries, museums, monuments, etc.) Be sure to include a link to your registry too!
Thanks so much, lana. You've been a huge help. I'll be trying to start dress shopping in the next week or two, it seems some of them need appointments. I don't think I'm willing to pay more than $1000 for a dress though - should I tell them that in the appointment form so that we don't need to waste time if a particular shop doesn't have anything in my budget? None of their sites have prices so it's hard to guess. I will definitely go on a weekday since I work flexible hours.

Do wedding dress shops usually sell veils too? Is it usually advisable to shop for a veil at the same time so I can get advice on what matches the dress?

We're also thinking of doing a pre-wedding photoshoot a few days before the wedding, in a location near the wedding venue. I'm hoping that I can get my hair and makeup trial before the photoshoot (and use the results for the photoshoot!), then get the dress cleaned the next day and ready to pick up on the following day. Would that be unrealistic?

Thanks again, haha! I'm still finding my way around wth this whole wedding thing.
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Old 6th January 2018, 6:42 AM   #71
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Edit: Sorry, just realized that pre wedding photography might not be common in western cultures, haha. This is what I'm talking about (well not really, we're wanting something a lot more low key than what's mentioned in the article, but that's the general gist of it): http://www.slrlounge.com/pre-wedding-photo-session/
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Old 6th January 2018, 10:31 AM   #72
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Yes, absolutely mention your budget beforehand. Do you know what brands have the most styles you like? I know shops like David's Bridal have many dress styles under 1k but lines like Maggie Sottero, Essense of Australia, Allure and Mori Lee generally start at 1200 and most are in the 1500-2000 range. It might help to find the SKU of each dress you like and look it up on a site like PreOwnedWeddingDresses to determine what the original sales price was.

Pre-wedding photography is neither common nor uncommon, I think. I know people of all income levels who have arranged shoots like that; the engagement shoot I talked about earlieray be what most people do, but I also had friends get a photographer to follow them around for a day pre-wedding. You shouldn't have too much of an issue finding what you want. After all, the photographer wants your money!
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Old 6th January 2018, 12:09 PM   #73
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Wedding dresses are ghastly expensive. Stay away from the cheap made in China on line stores. I have never heard of that working out.

Do mention budget in your appointment. If you try on an expensive dress in a glorious fabric when you try on the cheaper stuff most people will be disappointed. My goal was also to spend less than $1,000 on the dress but I did try on some more expensive stuff. Personally for me, the price made the expensive dress ugly. I got as close to the "ahhh it's my dress moment" in a $6,000 gown but when the clerk told me the price I laughed saying that was more then my 1st car.

Other places to look for cheaper dresses include e-bay, craigslist, thrift stores & consignment shops. Every goodwill I know has a small collection of bridal gowns. I keeping saying I should donate mine. I don't have the sentimentality & we don't have kids so no need for Christening gown or hope that my daughter would some day wear it. I'd like to think it could make another bride happy without breaking the bank.

David's Bridal used to have a $99 sale but understand they lure you in with that & try to suck you into the expensive dresses.

I also tried on white prom dresses in department stores; I was just too old for those cuts / shapes. In my 20s I probably would have bought one.

Try to remember that the Knot is advertiser driven.
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Old 6th January 2018, 3:32 PM   #74
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Thanks guys, will mention budget up front then.

Quote:
Originally Posted by lana-banana View Post
Pre-wedding photography is neither common nor uncommon, I think. I know people of all income levels who have arranged shoots like that; the engagement shoot I talked about earlieray be what most people do, but I also had friends get a photographer to follow them around for a day pre-wedding. You shouldn't have too much of an issue finding what you want. After all, the photographer wants your money!
Yeah, I agree, I'm sure we can find a photographer who wants some extra business. My question was more of:

- Will the hair and makeup trials usually culminate in a somewhat usable look so I can kill 2 birds with one stone and just do the photos after the trials?
- Is it realistic to expect a dry cleaner to be able to clean the gown after it's used for the pre wedding photograph and have it ready for the wedding 2-3 days later? Otherwise I might need to use a different dress for those.
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Old 18th May 2018, 1:45 PM   #75
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Oh, man, how time has flown!! We are completely in over our heads with preparation at this stage, lol. We've done so much, but it feels like there is barely enough time left for everything we have left to do.

I can't believe I ever thought less than a year was more than enough time for planning a wedding! If anyone here is getting engaged for their first time in the future, don't be like me. Set your wedding date for at least a year later!
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