Finding a dream wedding gown is one of the first things a bride thinks of from the moment she gets engaged. From the different fabrics, to the different hem-lines, to the budget, the wedding dress is the centerpiece of the wedding.
Planning a wedding is stressful, so making time for a bridal appointment to find a dress should be a fun and laid-back atmosphere.
“When someone is coming in for their very first bridal appointment, they should have fun, and play dress-up,” said Brittany Kirkpatrick, a formal bridal consultant. “Some brides come in knowing exactly what they’re looking for, and some have no idea. Even if they know what they want, it’s OK to try on multiple dresses. You’d be surprised at how many come in knowing exactly what style they’re looking for, and leave with a totally different style, all because they were willing to try on something different.”
There can be a lot of pressure that comes with finding a wedding dress, but local dress shops and bridal consultants are there to help find that perfect dress. Carol’s dress shop in Elkin has several different dresses to choose from — from black tie, to casual, and everything in-between.
“If a bride has a dress in mind that we don’t have in store, I try to find a dress that would fit the bride’s figure,” said Teresa Pruitt, a volunteer at Carol’s. “Sometimes that works, sometimes it doesn’t. A lot of times we are able to find a dress that they love.”
The theme of the wedding also plays a part in the detail of a wedding dress. For a rustic-type wedding, most brides choose lace, while for a beach wedding, brides will lean towards a mermaid dress or lighter fabrics. With things like Pinterest, TV shows dedicated to finding wedding dresses, and bridal shows, finding a wedding dress style is easier than ever. But with the unlimited options also comes a few downsides.
“Sometimes Pinterest and bridal shows can be an asset, as it can give a bride multiple ideas of what they like,” Kirkpatrick said. “Of course sometimes Pinterest and bridal shows focus more on the higher couture end of the bridal scene — so remember what your budget is.”
Another thing to think about before the appointment is knowing whom to bring to the appointment. All of that depends on how many opinions the bride wants to hear. Most brides stick with a smaller entourage, while there are the occasional brides who bring in the whole family.
“The entourage size doesn’t matter. Big families are great sometimes, and it’s just according to the bride,” said Pruitt. “Sometimes the bride prefers no one to come in, and sometimes they want a lot of people with them.”
Part of having an entourage is hearing their opinions — which can be good and bad. If an entourage doesn’t like the dress the bride loves, that’s when the bridal consultants will step in and smooth things over.
“Sometimes you have to remind the group that they are there for the bride,” said Kirkpatrick. “When you can sense that the bride is feeling overwhelmed, and the direction of the appointment has changed, sometimes pulling the bride aside and talking with her about what they are feeling can help. Reminding the bride that their day is about them, and not everyone else, can go a long way.”
Planning a wedding can be stressful, but having bridal consultants who help with the dress can take a bit of the stress away. Having an open mind when going into the appointment, and having fun is the best piece of advice any consultant can give a bride and her entourage. Just as it takes time to find the perfect person to marry, it also takes time to find the right dress.
The bridal dresses at Carol’s are listed at discounted prices — up to 75-percent off. Carol’s carries mother-of-the-bride dresses, bridesmaids’ dresses, and flower girl dresses. Along with dresses, the store carries a variety of wedding memorabilia — from register books, shoes, jewelry, and more. To make an appointment, stop by the store on Wednesdays or Fridays, or call 336-366-0286. Carol’s is located at 118 E. Main St., Elkin.