We've got some good-as-gold insider information about your bridal salon appointment this morning. Amber Silva and Dawn Silva-Rigney, owners of Kinsley James Couture Bridal Salon are giving their best advice and 8 Tips on How to Survive a Bridal Salon Appointment.
1. Do your research
Come up with a general idea of what style you're into and the overall look you'd like to portray. Doing adequate research on different dress styles, designers, and materials is key to figuring out what type of dress you really want in the end. At the same time, it’s also very limiting to be stuck on one certain idea before even trying any dresses on. Some styles, silhouettes, and fits look different on different bodies. As with any big purchase, you want to come into the appointment with background knowledge - but make sure you start with an open mind before you dismiss anything. Oftentimes a bride leaves with a dress they would have never imagined they'd love!
2. Allow plenty of time before the wedding
Know your wedding date or a close estimate of when the big day is. It's important to give yourself plenty of time to find the right dress so your decision is never rushed. Our handmade dresses take about 5-7 months to make and about 2 months for alterations. We recommend starting the dress hunt 10 months to a year before your wedding date. We do offer an expedited process with a rush fee, but it's better to give yourself as much time as you need to find that perfect dress!
3. Watch your guest count
When planning your wedding dress shopping excursions, it's important to realize that whoever you invite can and will give their opinion at any point--wanted or not. Invite only those people whose opinions mean the most to you in your decision making, whether that may be your parents, a maid of honor, a sibling, etc. It's difficult to put a hard number on a guest count, but it always seems better to keep the count down to 1-3 guests for your initial wedding gown search. That way you don't get overwhelmed with tons of dresses, tons of guests, and tons of opinions. If you're someone who has many friends, invite them all back when you've narrowed your search down to 2 or 3 gowns. It’s easier to handle your emotional response to dress shopping after narrowing down your choices - and it allows your friends to be happy they’re a part of the decision too! That’s what we call a win-win!
4. Keep your options down
Don't overwhelm yourself by booking multiple appointments at different bridal salons all in one day. We promise it will drive you crazy and complicate the decision process even more! Do research, call the bridal shop ahead of time, and make sure you're visiting places that are a good fit for you. Visiting various places (especially all in one day) will only cloud your vision and make it more complicated to choose the one that "feels" right.
5. Know your budget
Whether yourself, a parent, or your fiancé is paying for your dress, make sure you have a gauge on what your budget will be for your wedding gown. Unlike other vendors that make up your wedding, bridal stores drastically vary in price. Some stores sell dresses right off the rack and some sell dresses that are handmade to your measurements in another country. Make sure you discuss this concept with someone close (or the someone that’s paying for it) and come up with a price range or a maximum budget you’re comfortable with spending on your dress. This step alone will help narrow down your search and keep you from wasting time at places that are too low or high for what you’re looking for.
6. Nude, nude, nude!
This may seem like a small detail compared to all the other tips, but time and time again, it makes a difference. Make sure to wear nude colored undergarments! Some materials are either a little thin or just plain see-through. Of course you can always add layers, but be prepared to try on some dresses that could reveal a little more than grandma would approve. Wearing nude colors is a lot less noticeable than your bright pink Victoria's Secret panties. It’s the little things that we notice around here that are easy to overlook when planning your dress shopping adventure!
7. Be open and don't over analyze!
Sometimes your stylist might suggest a small change to make the dress exactly what you are looking for. It may be hard to visualize, but remember that the stylists are the professionals and will not make suggestions they do not feel comfortable with. Small adjustments can make a big difference to make sure that dress fits and looks perfect. Also, try not to over analyze the dress. Dress shopping really is a gut feeling - trust that! If you absolutely love a dress that makes you feel special and like a bride, but maybe doesn't fit your venue, it's ok! There are no rules!
8. Feel like a bride
Always come with your hair and makeup semi-done. In order to find the right dress you have to FEEL that it's the right dress, and if your hair and makeup are out of sorts you may have a hard time visualizing the end result. Instead, wear a similar amount of makeup and style your hair how you imagine it looking on the big day--in a low bun, beachy waves, etc. Certainly, you don’t have to go out and pay for a blowout or anything, but the closer you look like a bride the more you’ll feel like a bride (in the right dress, of course)!
About Kinsley James Bridal Couture
Sisters-in-law Dawn and Amber, both well-versed in wedding coordination, saw a need for a couture bridal salon in the East Bay Area having recently both been brides themselves. After experiencing limited options available to them during their hunt for the perfect wedding dress, they knew what it was like to travel far and wide just to try on coveted fashion designer dresses. Kinsley James seized the opportunity to bring couture and style needs to the brides of the East Bay. By staying up to date with the latest in New York Bridal Fashion Week and having personal working relationships with designers, Kinsley James is able to provide customizable options, unique designers and designs always hand-selected for the bride in mind. They’re here to help with not just finding the ideal wedding dress, but are available for information on vendors, venues and etiquette.
Thank you for the insight Dawn and Amber, I wonder how many brides this year will be going after Meghan Markle's bridal look or reception look? Hopefully they will check in with us with updates about what's trending in this their salon!