It is a truth universally acknowledged that when a young woman embarks on the journey of holy matrimony she may be in want of a celebration that would meet her expectations. Despite an economic crisis, possible student loan-related debt, and the inability to purchase diamond tiaras at the drop of a hat, it is possible to achieve the dream wedding at a reasonable cost. One of the most importance steps of wedding planning is finding the perfect dress, or what some may call The Bridal Wear Hunt; and many an excited bride runs out as soon as possible to purchase 5+ bridal magazines at the whopping cost of sixty dollars…sometimes more. So! Here are a few realizations from from the experienced:
- The same advertisements and fashion designs can be found in multiple bridal magazines, leaving the readers wondering if they’re reading the same magazine twice or three times
- The dress styles vary little. For instance, most of the January/February magazines contain strapless dresses
- Bridal magazines are readily available for a fraction of the cost at any used bookstore that sells magazines and (gasp!) free at any public library.
Here are a few tips gathered from an eclectic collection of retired brides:
- When searching for the perfect gown, don’t run out and buy five different bridal magazines for the same season. Yes, you might learn a few tips and gain some insight on the proper etiquette of dealing with future in-laws, accepting gifts, and seating guests. But, most of this is stuff you can figure out on your own or by talking to friends and trusted family members. Your best resource is a friend who has been through it all.
- Use the library to browse through magazines for free. You might not be able to check out the latest editions, so find a comfortable seat and start browsing. Once you find a particular style, only buy that magazine. And if you really want to be frugal, sometimes used bookstores might sell the magazine for cheaper.
- Remember, that while magazines are helpful, you don’t see all the angles. This also applies to looking up dresses online. Make sure that you can see the dress in an actual before making a purchase.
- Don’t rely on a particular season. Many bridal shops carry styles from previous seasons for less. Just because January didn’t carry anything that you like, that’s no reason to wait for March or May. Instead, look back to November or September. The point of finding the perfect dress is to look for what pleases you, not the fashion industry.
- Look online, but with caution. Keep in mind that viewing dresses online is tricky since the intricate beadwork, fine lace pattern, or delicate stitching is difficult to see on a screen. But a few bridal wear businesses acknowledge this and are starting to accommodate to the consumer’s needs.
- Finally, when the search starts to get stressful, take a mental break and relax. There’s nothing riskier than a frazzled bride purchasing her wedding dress. Looking back on photos, you want to be sure you made the perfect choice for a perfect day!