Step Objective

Everyone wants to dress to impress on their wedding day. Research different styles and places to find the look that fits you.

STEP OVERVIEW

The Dress

Not to make you nervous but you're about to buy the most expensive, stared-at, photographed piece of clothing you'll ever wear. Your dress is the wedding's true centerpiece. Start shopping 9 to 12 months before and take these tips with you.

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ATTIRE CHECKLIST

Schedule bridal salon appointments

It's time to try on those styles you've been saving to your board! So grab your mom or best friend and make appointments at several stores. Figure at least two hours per store. Find nearby salons using our bridal salon search.

Buy your wedding dress

Give yourself plenty of time to order the dress and to have alterations and fitting appointments. When you buy it, you'll also want to schedule time for your first dress fitting.

Choose bridesmaid dresses

Once you have a good idea as to how you want them to look, take one or all of your bridesmaids dress shopping. Then make your pick and tell your friends!

Buy or rent menswear

This is the time to secure accessories like bow-ties, tux shirts and cummerbunds, too (if you need them).

QUESTIONS TO ASK BRIDAL SALONS

We don’t know about you, but we don’t know anything about bridal salons. If you’re like us, or just want to be even more informed than you already are, here are some great questions for you to ask and get you started.

x.

What dress sizes are available?

What sizes are available to try on? Most stores have samples in size 8 or 10.

x.

How do you sample dresses?

Can you look through the dresses yourself, or does the salesperson bring them out? Many stores will let you look through samples to get an idea of what you like; then the salesperson brings you gowns to try on based on your preferences.

x.

What if you like a dress that the store doesn't carry?

If you like a dress that the store doesn’t carry, will they order a sample for you to try on? You may then be obligated to buy the dress. Find out if the store is able to borrow a sample from the manufacturer.

x.

How long will my dress take to come in after ordering?

How long does it generally take for a dress to come in after it’s been ordered? It usually takes 3 to 4 months.

x.

What are the prices for alterations?

Can you get a written alteration estimate when you order your dress? It’s difficult to tell exactly what you will need to be altered until the dress comes in, but ask for a basic price list. Alterations should be a flat fee, or even included.

TOP WEDDING DRESS TIPS

The most important outfit at your wedding, and possibly your life, make sure you know what you’re doing with these helpful tips.

1.

Match your formality

If you’re having a traditional ceremony with a formal reception, opt for classic, timeless gown style (like an A-line or ball gown with a square neckline). Getting married outdoors in an afternoon garden ceremony? Consider a strapless sheath made of a light material.

2.

Size it up

Bridal sizes run small, and each wedding dress manufacturer actually has its own sizing chart. A good salon will know how each designer’s dresses are supposed to fit. Also, every dress needs alterations.

3.

Research your religion

Many churches and synagogues consider bare shoulders disrespectful. Ask your officiant, and buy a wrap or a bolero jacket if you’re wearing a strapless.

4.

Look around

Don’t buy the first dress you try on, even if you love it. Give yourself options and the time to think. Because gowns are custom-made, one you’ve ordered, there’s no turning back. Expect strict (or nonexistent) cancellation and refund policies.

5.

Stick to authorized stores

If you buy a gown from a shop not authorized to sell that designer’s line, there’s no guarantee that your dress is going to arrive on time, if at all. If you’re unsure whether a shop is authorized, call the manufacturer.

6.

Keep an open mind and trust your bridal salon consultant

Sometime’s gorgeous gowns don’t look as stunning on the hanger. Try various silhouettes; you never know what’s going to flatter you. Experiences bridal salon consultants can literally size you up the minute you walk in the door and know what dresses will show off your assets. So have some faith in them!

7.

Shop during off hours

Take time off during the week, day or evening, to shop-you’ll get more of the salespeople’s time and attention. At most salons, you’ll need an appointment.

8.

Don't travel with an entourage

One to three fellow shoppers is sufficient. Too many opinions will overwhelm you.

9.

Size up the matter

If you are a voluptuous bride, find a salon that carries samples in a size to suit you (many do these days.) There are also designers who specialize in styles for larger sizes. Call ahead to find out.

10.

Try a trunk show

If you find a designer you like, visit during these in-store events featuring a specific designer and the entire line. You’ll get an opportunity to see and/or purchase every dress in the line, not just the styles that stores chose to sell that season. And you may also get to chat with the designer and find out the story behind the making of your wedding dress!

TOP BRIDESMAID DRESS TIPS

You can shop for your bridesmaid dresses as soon as you’ve decided on your dress. Keep in mind that it will take a few months to coordinate sizes, for the dresses to come in, and for alterations.

1.

Remember comfort is key

Even if you fall in love with the prefect pair of fuchsia four-inch stilettos to match the ribbon trim on the dress, don’t subject your girls to the torture. If you’re choosing the shoes for them, comfort should be the top priority.

2.

Be open to variety

Your bridesmaids don’t have to look like clones. Consider choosing a designer and color, and letting them each make their own choice from the line.

3.

Color coodinate

If you’re dead set on matching maids, it’s a good idea to order all the dresses at the same store so they’ll be created from the same batch of fabric. (Same goes for shoes.)

4.

Chip in if you can

While it’s not required, we think it’s nice to pay for part-if not all-of the dress, particularly if your taste is extravagant. If that’s too much, buy their shoes (if you want them to match) and jewelry to coordinate.

5.

Find the right feel

Take your time and decide how you want the bridesmaid dresses to compliment your wedding gown. Find a style that evokes the same feel as your dress but doesn’t seem too similar- you don’ wnat your bridesmaids looking like an exact match.

6.

Choose wearable colors

A bridal party in, say, black is your best (and, frankly,easiest) option for an evening affair. Nobody can complain about the color-and who can’t use another black dress? All-white (or ivory) bridal parties can also look stunning. (No on can upstage the bride, so don’t even consider that a possibility with this route.)

7.

Try not to just fill their closets

Be kind – don’t ask your friends to buy a dress they absolutely wouldn’t be caught dead in ever again. Think about how they might wear their dresses afterward. Dark dresses like navy, green, and black look great on almost everyone and can be worn to formal events later.

8.

Let the season be your guide

Rich, saturated colors such as deep plum and chocolate work well in the fall and winter months, while lighter shades such as celadon and blush are perfect for spring and summer.

9.

Tone down prints

If opting for prints instead of solids, keep the rest of the look simple. Think monochromatic bows paired with sweet and simple hairstyles and jewelry.

10.

Decide on a dress

Once you’ve found your favorites, finalize the dress with your bridal party. Email photos to the group for their opinions. And don;t feel you have to bring everyone to the store with you. Your girls will appreciate that you want their input, but might be happy to skip the chaos of cramming into a small shop.

TOP FORMALWEAR TIPS

Time, place, and formality are the driving forces behind the wedding suit. From there, it’s all about adding your personality. First, figure out whether you want to rent or buy your formal wear, then use these tips to put it all together.

1.

Stand out in style

The groom should have a slightly different look than the groomsmen. Consider a different color of vest or cummerbund, a different tie or shirt style or color, or a slightly different jacket style.

2.

Get comfortable

To make sure your formal-wear fits correctly, check the following. (1) with your arms at your side the jacket hem is not longer than the tips of your fingers; (2) your shirt just peeks out from the jacket sleeves; (3) the jacket sleeves hit the tops of your hands; (4) your pants touch the heels of your shoes and have a small fold in front over the shoes; (5) you can squat without splitting seams; and (6) you can comfortably lift your arms to just below shoulder height.

3.

Match it

If you and your bride are determined to match the men’s accessories (vest, ties) to the bridesmaids dresses, bring a fabric swatch when you go to the formal store or ties shopping.

4.

Order all at once

Rent all the groomsmen’s tuxedos from the same store. Ask the shop for measurement cards to send to out-of-towners. Make sure they have time to visit the formalwear store a day or so before the wedding for a final fitting.

5.

Pay their way

Groomsmen pay their own rentals, but it’s good idea to place one big order and get paid back. Don’t rely on everyone to make his own arrangements – it may not happen.

Browse Wedding Styles

As they say, when it comes to weddings, “it’s all in the details.” Your color palette, the setting, the season, and the style you choose all work in harmony to create a celebration that is truly yours.

Browse Styles

Shop Attire near Rochester, MN

Find a attire shop you like? Add them to your wishlist

Dream Day Bridals by Marcia

634 Bridge Street West, Owatonna, MN, United States
Every Dream Day Bridals by Marcia bride receives the Peace of Mind that's fostered from a relationship with an honest, caring bridal consultant.

Maggie Sottero Designs

Mestads Bridal and Formal Wear, 6th Street Northwest, Rochester, MN, United States
For five generations, the Sottero family has created designs that capture the imagination and inspire beauty among brides around the world.

Allure Bridals

Mestads Bridal and Formal Wear, 6th Street Northwest, Rochester, MN, United States
Allure Bridals has grown into an award-winning bridal manufacturer from a background of 12 years as a retail store.

Step Objective

Everyone wants to dress to impress on their wedding day. Research different styles and places to find the look that fits you.

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