Say Yes to the Dress: What Every Bride Should Know Before Wedding Dress Shopping

Are you currently planning your dream Vermont wedding? Then it’s time to think about one of the most magical parts of your journey to the altar: wedding dress shopping! (Cue a happy dance!) Whether you’ve been dreaming about your perfect gown since you were a child or you’re diving into this part of the planning without a clear vision, shopping for your wedding dress is a unique experience that should be cherished and enjoyed.

Thankfully, with our tips and expert advice from the renowned bridal boutique, Veilmonté in South Burlington, Vermont, this blog post is here to ensure that your dress shopping adventure is everything you’ve ever dreamed of and more. We sat down with Veilmonté’s owner, Marina Smith to learn everything we could about wedding dress shopping and today we’re sharing her secrets!

For every bride-to-be looking forward to their fairytale moment, keep reading; this guide to wedding dress shopping was created especially for you.

Things to Know Before You Go

How far in advance should you start looking at dresses?

Each bridal boutique is going to be different. It’s recommended to start wedding dress shopping in Vermont at least 9 to 12 months before your wedding day. This timeframe allows ample time for browsing different styles, trying on dresses, making a decision, and accommodating any necessary alterations. Wedding dresses can take anywhere from 4 to 8 months to be made and shipped (ours take 4 months to create!), and alterations can take an additional 2 to 3 months. Starting early helps ensure that you have enough time to find the dress of your dreams without feeling rushed or facing limited options due to time constraints.

Can I walk-in or should I make an appointment with bridal boutiques? 

For most bridal boutiques, it is highly recommended or even required that you make an appointment before visiting. Bridal appointments ensure that you receive personalized attention from a bridal consultant who can assist you in finding the perfect dress, and it also ensures that fitting rooms and adequate space are available for you and your party. While some boutiques may accommodate walk-ins if they have availability, scheduling an appointment guarantees your spot and often leads to a more fulfilling (and less stressful!) experience. Always check the boutique’s policy online or call ahead to confirm their requirements. At Veilmonté we operate by private appointments only, giving you our undivided and personalized attention.

Is there anything brides should bring to their appointment?

Yes, there are several items brides should consider bringing to their bridal appointment to ensure they get the most accurate feel for how their dress will look on the big day!

  1. Undergarments: Bring a strapless bra or any specific undergarment you plan to wear on your wedding day. (Note: At Veilmonté all of our dresses are padded so in that case, a specific bra is not as necessary) Some brides choose to bring shapewear to see how it complements the dresses they try on. It’s important to bring these to see how the dress fits with the undergarments and to ensure there are no visible lines or bulges- and that you ultimately feel comfortable!
  2. Shoes: If you’ve already chosen your wedding shoes, bring them to see how they look with the dress and to get an idea of the dress length alterations needed. If you haven’t chosen shoes yet, bring a pair with a heel height similar to what you plan to wear so you can get an accurate idea of how the dress will flow. We also have a wide selection to choose from!
  3. Accessories or Hair Clips: While not essential, bringing along any jewelry, headpieces, or veils you plan to wear can help you visualize the complete look, the look of a blushing bride! Veilmonté has a wide selection of beautiful accessories, veils, jewelry and even shoes in store for brides to try on.

What To Expect During Your Bridal Appointment

In your experience, what helps you and your team select dresses during an appointment?

In my experience, having an open mind is absolutely key for a bride-to-be selecting dresses during her appointment! It allows for flexibility and openness to trying styles that you might not have initially considered but could turn out to be the perfect fit. I know many other bridal shops would agree.

We also welcome and encourage bringing along any visual inspirations, such as a picture of a favorite design from a previous appointment, pictures from the internet, or a curated Pinterest board. Visual references can greatly enhance our understanding of what brides are looking for and help tailor the appointment to their preferences.

For Veilmonté specifically, our brides benefit greatly from the wishlist feature we offer. Once an appointment is booked, our brides can submit their wishlist with designs from our website, which gives us a good starting point for their appointment.

We also prioritize getting to know our brides and their tastes by interviewing them before we start trying on dresses. This conversation, based on their descriptions and preferences, allows us to assist in picking styles from our racks that may appeal to them. To incorporate their vision into the process, we allow our brides to pick their first 3 dresses on their own from our collection – and it’s always so fun to see what they select! 

What tips can you offer for a first-time wedding dress shopper?

Aside from the information listed above, I have 3 additional tips for brides:

  1. Book your appointment after booking your venue and figuring out your wedding style or aesthetic. This will help you have a better image in your mind about how you want to look during the big day!
  2. Do not feel like we are bothered by how many styles you are trying on – this is why we do what we do! We want you to try on as many styles as possible so we can make sure you are choosing THE ONE.
  3. Listen to your inner voice when deciding on the dress selection. “The one” is a feeling and only you as the bride can truly sense it. It’s great to gather feedback from your friends and family, but at the end of the day it is your dress and you need to be the one who is head-over-heels in love with it!

You Found The Dress! Now What?

What steps should a bride take next after choosing their dress?

First, let’s pop that champagne, do a dance and shed some happy tears. Finding the perfect dress is so exciting. As you await your special day, the next steps are as follows: making sure you book your alterations (if you dress them) and storing your dress properly.

At Veilmonté, we provide a high-quality waterproof garment bag to all of our brides and a plastic bag if needed (in the case if the bride will travel with it). We advise our brides to hang it high so it doesn’t get wrinkled at the bottom. We steam all the dresses before brides come to pick them up and we advise them to get a portable steamer and lightly steam it the night before the wedding using distilled water and let it dry overnight. 

I also recommend unfollowing any bridal accounts related to wedding dresses after finding your perfect dress. They are a great resource before finding your dress, but after? They can sometimes leave brides second guessing themselves or doubting their selection! You do not need the extra and unecessary stress.

How far in advance of your wedding date should alterations be started and/or completed?

The specific timing can vary based on the complexity of the alterations needed and the schedule of your tailor or seamstress, so it’s wise to consult with them as early in your planning process as possible! 

It’s generally recommended to start the alterations for your wedding dress about 2 to 4 months before your wedding date. This timeline allows for enough time to have all the necessary fittings and adjustments made without rushing. Ideally, the final fitting should be scheduled about 2 weeks before your wedding. This close to the wedding, your body is not likely to change much, ensuring your dress will fit perfectly on your special day. 

Again, this is just a generic timeline and we recommend talking to the seamstress you’re hoping to work with. Most boutiques will have a list of trusted and skilled seamstresses they recommend.

About Veilmonté Bridal Showroom

Veilmonté, conveniently located off Route 7 in South Burlington, offers a truly exceptional experience for brides-to-be wedding dress shopping in Vermont. Owner Marina Smith guides all brides through the entire process and dedicates her time and expertise to helping them find the dress of their dreams – as well as other goodies, such as accessories, shoes, jewelry and bridesmaid dresses.

Unlike other bridal shops in the area, Veilmonté’s showroom is unique in that they make their own dresses at their factory, which is owned by Marina’s Aunt, in Moldova. The design team is extremely detail-oriented, utilizing high-quality fabric and materials, innovative sewing techniques and technologies, and a deep passion for beauty and perfection in every wedding dress they create!

Veilmonté’s commitment to excellence and personalized service ensures that every bride who walks through their doors will leave feeling confident, beautiful, and ready to say ‘I do’ in the dress of their dreams.

Book Your Appointment at Veilmonté Bridal Showroom

Veilmonté’s showroom operates by private appointments only, allowing the bride and her party to have the entire space to themselves while shopping for the most important dress of their lives. Learn more about Veilmonté and book your appointment by clicking here.

A Curated Collection of Stunning Wedding Gown Inspiration

Before going wedding dress shopping in Vermont, take a look at some of our personal favorite Veilmonté bridal looks from past Vermont brides:

Your Next Read:

While we’re talking about style, let’s not forget suits! Check out A Guide to Mens Formal Wear: Looking Dapper on Your Wedding Day.

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