I'm so excited to introduce you to another lowcountry wedding vendor today. Christina Vicaro owns LowCountry Bride & Gown and has curated a gorgeous collection of wedding gowns. Every time I walk into the shop I just want to get married all over again (and you already know I hated wedding planning so this says a lot).
Christina has been married to her husband for 17years and they have 3 beautiful children, one of whom has autism. Prior to opening her wedding dress store in Bluffton, she was a social worker, and her career there helped foster her passion for helping people that she carries with her to her shop every day. LowCountry Bride & Gown was created out of a love of weddings and a desire to always be available for her family and care for her son's special needs. This business has allowed her to pursue both the career and the family she loves.
When I meet a bride for the first time, and say "Congratulations on your engagement!", I just love the way her face lights up with joy and excitement. If you've recently said "yes" to one of the most important questions of your life, you're probably starting to think about the many, many details of your upcoming wedding. Typically, one of the first things a new bride focuses on is her wedding gown, and how she dreams of looking on that very special day.
Below are some tips and guidelines for beginning the search and saying yes to the dress!
1) Browsing designers, styles and silhouettes is a great idea before shopping, however try to keep an open mind. As you begin trying on dresses, allow yourself to stay flexible. Many times a bride's initial thoughts on what they want turn out to be different than what really makes them shine. Don't be afraid to rely on your bridal consultant for suggestions on a gown that may be delightfully unexpected!
2) When searching for that perfect gown, keep in mind that bridal attire tends to run smaller in size than what you normally wear. The many different lines of gowns all have size charts that do not necessarily reflect department store sizes and they can vary a great deal from designer to designer. Try not to focus on the number, just make sure you are measured so the gown will fit as well as it can before alterations. It's usually not a good idea to order a gown smaller than when you try on, because even if you do lose weight, alterations are less costly for taking in a dress, as opposed to trying to make a "too small" gown fit.
3) Another important point is when to start looking, and when to actually order a gown. Again, designers vary, but it typically takes 3-6 months for a gown to arrive once it's been ordered. You want to allow plenty of time for any possible mistakes to be corrected and alterations to be completed. A good rule of thumb is to place your gown order at least 9 months from your wedding day. That's not to say you can't find a gown closer to you wedding day, but your choices will be a bit more limited and you won't have as much wiggle room for any unforeseen problems.
4) When arranging a bridal consult appointment, think seriously about who's opinions you value the most. Inviting too many people to attend the appointment can overwhelm you and make the shopping experience less than pleasurable. Usually 2 or 3 loved ones and/or friends is about right. Mom's, sisters and closest friends are typically the most cherished relationships and those are the ladies who should accompany you. Having an entire bridal party at a consult usually just confuses a bride and she will often feel much more indecisive. If you decide to shop on your own, that's ok too, sometimes a bride prefers to choose their gown with no input, relying solely on what makes them the happiest.
5) I'm often asked if a bride should cry when they find the right gown. My response is, not necessarily. Sometimes brides get emotional, maybe they cry, but often they can't stop smiling once they have "their" dress on. I say, if you feel beautiful and you wish you could wear the gown home, it's probably the right one for you.
Finally, remember to pause at times and really enjoy the whole dress shopping, wedding planning experience. Soon enough you will be saying "I do" and the day will be gone. Enjoy the journey as much as the day itself. And remember, the most important part of all this planning is the person you've fallen in love with and your future together!
Happy wedding planning!