Guest Blog — Adrienne-the-Intern’s Five Tips for Bridal Gown Shopping Based on Professional Experience

By Adrienne, Intern at Weddings in Vieques

Happy 4th of July Readers!

We have two fabulous interns this summer.  Adrienne Held is from University of Nebraska – Lincoln, and she did more prep work for this internship than any applicant we’ve ever had.  Check out her awesome blog below and heed her experienced advice!!!


Adrienne-weddings-in-vieques-internI started working as an intern for Weddings in Vieques about three weeks ago. A year and a half ago when I first spotted the posting for this internship, I knew that I could not pass up an opportunity to work as an intern for a wedding planning company, especially in Vieques, Puerto Rico. I made the decision to call Sandy Malone directly. I wanted to get my name in front of her for their internship program, and to receive more information. It ended up being one of the best decisions I have ever made. After an hour-long conversation with Sandy, I decided that I REALLY wanted an internship with Weddings in Vieques! I hadn’t even met Sandy or started working for her, but I had already fallen in love with the company.

I became absolutely obsessed. I started following their Twitter, Facebook, and scoping the website. In January, I decided I needed some hands on experience with brides before I dove into a wedding planning internship. I found a job as a bridal consultant at a small bridal gown boutique in Lincoln, Nebraska. As a bridal consultant, it was my job to find the perfect dress for each client’s wedding. I only worked there for a few short months, but in that time, I learned some very important tips I’d like to share brides who are about to begin dress shopping.

1)    Never judge a dress on the hanger. One of my first days of work was a Saturday, and I fell in love with the very first bride I was assigned to help find her dream dress. We went through various dresses throughout the store, but I avoided one dress I absolutely hated by a designer I usually liked. After about an hour of trying on dresses but finding nothing jaw-dropping, my boss selected the dress I absolutely hated from the rack for my bride. I cringed when I saw the gown creep through the dressing room. My bride tried it on next, and to my surprise, the dress looked absolutely amazing on her! After a few months of working there I came to realize no matter how ugly or gorgeous you believe a gown to be when you see it on a hangar or mannequin, it looks completely different on every single girl.

2)    Start shopping for your gown as soon as you know your wedding date. Most dresses take four to six months to ship. More expensive dresses can take up to 10 months. Sandy always advises destination brides to lie to shops about their wedding date by at least a month and she’s probably right.  After the dress is shipped, you have to worry about having enough time for alterations and selecting shoes, jewelry, veil/headpiece, and any other accessories that you are going to want to wear with your dress. I encountered a lot of disappointed brides who hadn’t left enough time to order their dream dresses. Start thinking ahead. Avoid shopping in January and February as those month are traditionally a total zoo in bridal shops.

3)    Never take too many people along to help you dress shop. Let it be a surprise at the wedding.  More opinions will only make it more difficult for you to make a final decision. I’ve seen girls give up and go home when their personal peanut gallery was too critical.  It is always nice to have a second opinion from your mom or your best friend, but that’s all you need. Also, a larger group makes it harder for the experts to assist you.

4)    Don’t try on any dresses over your budget. It’s not worth the despair and agony if you can’t afford what you fall in love with on your shopping trip.

5)    Wedding gowns are not normal sizes. Most designer makes gowns two sizes smaller than a true dress size runs. Don’t be frightened when you have to try on dresses two sizes larger than your normal size. It happens with most brides and it is completely normal. Don’t buy something that doesn’t fit with the intention of losing weight – weddings are stressful and a hard time to diet. Order the dress size that fits when you try it on. It’s never a problem when the dress is too big and needs to be taken in. It does become a problem when the dress is too small and the bride doesn’t have a wedding gown for her big day.

Go with your gut. This is your special day to shine. If you find a dress that you absolutely love, go with it. You can listen to opinions from your best friend and your mother, but when it comes down to it, it should be your final decision. The dress should be the one that makes you feel beautiful and confident. That is the most important thing I can tell you.

Wish me luck at the wedding tomorrow – lots to do to send this bride down the aisle at 12 noon.  But I LOVE her wedding gown.


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