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Top Tips To:

Maximize Your Wedding Dress Shopping Experience 

Tip #1 - Start Shopping Early

We are really lucky to have some pretty incredible bridal boutiques here in Ottawa, Ontario and surrounding areas. The shop owners pride themselves on keeping up with current bridal trends so you are sure to find what you are looking for. Make a list of the boutiques you'd like to visit. 

Here are some quick links to some of our faves:


During your gown shopping appointment you’ll be trying on dress samples that will be clamped to fit your figure.  Once you select the winning dress your bridal stylist will take your measurements before ordering your custom-made gown.  These special-order dresses average a lead time of five months, not including any necessary alterations you may choose to make after the gown arrives. To be on the cautious side, add in some additional time as a safety net. 

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Tip #2 - Consider Your Budget

In the grand scheme of wedding planning, ask yourself how important your dress is to you.  If it ranks very high on your list of priorities, allocate a larger portion of your overall wedding budget to your dress.  If a loved one is helping to pay for your gown, talk about and agree on a budget you’re both comfortable with well before your bridal appointment. Be sure to share this number with your bridal consultant too!  Many bridal boutiques offer general pricing information on their website so do a little research beforehand to determine whether or not the shop is a good fit for your taste and your budget.  As difficult as it can be, avoid trying on gowns that are beyond your budget.  Falling in love with something that’s priced well outside of your financial comfort zone can feel extremely uncomfortable and discouraging.

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Tip #3 - Maximize Your Bridal Appointment Time

Most bridal appointments run between 60 and 90 minutes long, and those minutes fly by! If you’re standing in front of the mirror and you’re just not feeling the gown, move on to the next one.  This is not a situation that can be forced, and what they say is true: you’ll know your gown when you see it!  Don’t waste time in a gown you’re feeling just ‘ehhh’ about — that time will be better spent after you find your gown and you begin thinking about veils and accessories.  On that subject, don’t bother to try veils, belts, and jewelry with dresses you’re just not into.  Save those for only the top contenders.

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Tip #4 - Choose Your Entourage Wisely

You may feel tempted (or pressured) to invite your mom, sister, future mother-in-law, grandmother, aunt, and all six of your bridesmaids.  Take a pause before you extend all those invitations. That’s a lot of people with a lot of differing tastes and opinions.  Bring one to three people who will be most supportive of you and your tastes.  Ultimately, you want to invite friends and family who will encourage you to choose the gown you love the most and feel the best in, not the one they prefer.  Don’t feel coerced by convention or protocol to choose who comes with you.  

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Tip #5 - Go With The Gown That Makes Your Heart Happy

Have you fallen in love with a glitzy, glamorous gown, but your wedding style is more rustic?  Two words: who cares?!  Choose the dress that makes you feel all kinds of giddy and special.  If it doesn’t go with your theme or colors, don’t sweat it!  You can change them to fit your gown if you feel strongly about everything matching.  (Another reason to start dress shopping early.)  If not, remember: YOU are the bride! It’s A-OK (encouraged, in fact) to stand out!

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