How to Say Yes to Your Dress

By Caryn’s Bridal’s Formals, and Tuxedos

You found your soulmate, said “YES!”, and you’ve set the date. Now it’s time to find that special dress that’ll take everyone’s breath away. So where do you start? Most brides enthusiastically take to the internet and gather up bridal magazines (like Richmond Weddings™!) to check out new trends and discover what styles they love, but what’s the protocol for going to a bridal salon? Here are some of our best tips to take with you on your shopping journey so you can navigate through the world of bridal like a pro!

Set your budget.
To quote Martha Stewart, “Shopping without a cutoff point is like driving without a gas gauge,” and it’s a rare bride that can actually shop without concern for the cost of her gown. The budget should be roughly 10% of your total budget, so let that number be a starting point. You can increase or cut back depending on how important the dress is to you.

Make an appointment.
Salons ask that you have an appointment to ensure that you have a dedicated consultant who can help pick out gowns, offer guidance, and get you in and out of the dresses, which is not an easy task alone! If you are a walk-in, most salons do all they can to accommodate you, but there may be a long wait if the staff is busy assisting other customers.

RW TIP: With COVID-19 restrictions, bridal salons are operating as appointment-only. Research their website and social media to see current restrictions and appointment policy.

Choosing your entourage.
This is one of your most important shopping trips, and you’re going to want trusted counsel there. You’ve heard the saying about too many cooks in the kitchen? This applies to bridal shopping as well. Too many opinions can lead to confusion and heartbreak, so it’s best to limit your party to two to four of your closest family and/or friends.

Bring pictures.
Now that you’ve likely gotten lost in the wistful wedding wonderland that is Pinterest, save the gowns you love and share them with your consultant. Even if a shop doesn’t have a specific dress, they almost always have a very similar style you can try on.

What should you wear to your appointment?
A loose, comfy outfit and as few layers as possible (weather permitting) are key. You’ll want to wear nude-for-you undies and a strapless bra, and spend a little extra time doing your hair and makeup. This will give you a confidence boost and help the consultant understand your personal style better.

RW TIP: Try not to wear too much makeup at your appointment. The last thing you want is your face to transfer to a pretty white dress! This will help you feel comfortable getting the dresses on and off, and you won’t have to worry about potential makeup mishaps.

Be on time.
Appointments are usually only an hour and a half long, and your consultant will likely be working with another bride after you. It’s ok if you’re running a little late (we’ve all been there), but be aware that this can cut into the appointment time. If you are concerned with making a decision too hastily or feel like you need more time, no worries! Ask your consultant about making a second appointment to come back and try on your favorite gowns with fresh eyes.

Relax and have fun!
Take a deep breath and dive in! Remember: this whole experience is a celebration of your love story. The world is going to melt away when you and the love of your life lock eyes at the end of that aisle, so don’t sweat the small things. Bring a bottle of champagne and have a smile at the ready, you’re getting married!

For over 30 years, Caryn’s has provided the perfect blend of selection and personal service to help ensure your bridal or special occasion shopping is an enjoyable experience. Schedule your appointment today visiting their website: or calling 434-392-5111.