July 7, 2018

Wedding Gown Shopping Tips

Hello beautiful brides!

I hope y’all are enjoying the engaged life! One of my favorite things in life is helping you sweet brides marry the love of your life, obviously! That’s why I do what I do. I absolutely love to see the reaction on your face when you tell me your engagement story and even we book the perfect florist! But one of the most special days of your wedding planning journey is choosing your wedding gown. I want to give you a few tips on wedding dress shopping because I totally understand how making all of these decisions can easily become overwhelming. So today I want to chat with you about when and where to shop for your perfect bridal gown!

First things first, set a budget for your wedding gown and definitely keep in mind if you want to add a veil, accessories and alterations. I suggest you spend about 10% of your overall wedding budget on your wedding gown, veil, accessories and alterations. When most brides go shopping for a wedding gown, they will have their overall “Attire Budget”. For example, if your overall attire budget is $2,000 then your gown should be around $1,500 so you have room in your budget for your extra accessories. 

Next, start researching wedding gown designers and their prices. Pinterest is a FUN website, however if you only “shop” on Pinterest you could be a little disappointed when going to bridal boutiques near you. Most of the dresses pinned on Pinterest are incredible and usually have a pretty high price tag! If you have a high budget for a dress, that’s awesome! Definitely find the store that will best suite you. After finding the designers you like within your budget, locate the boutique that carries the designer you like.

After researching bridal shops near you that will have what you like for your budget, check to if the store works by appointments only so you can be prepared to schedule that ahead of time. When you decide to make an appointment, be sure not to bring TOO many people to your appointment. I know you love all of your family and bridesmaids, but they will think you are just as beautiful in what YOU feel comfortable and confident in. Sometimes too many opinions and people can be overwhelming and you may not enjoy this process as much. Remember this day is about you and your fiancé, so don’t let an overwhelming crowd take the joy out of your shopping experience. 

When you’re at your appointment, keep an open mind. It’s great you’ve done your research so you have a little direction but still stay open to other styles and details. Your wedding dress is completely different than ANY other dress you’ve ever worn in your life so definitely try on a few different styles until you find the right fit. When you’re shopping make sure you say how you feel in the dress. You have to wear it ALL DAY. So you definitely need to be comfortable and confident throughout your entire wedding day. 

If you want to shop at multiple bridal shops, I suggest you only make appointments for no more than 2 shops a day. If you try on too many dresses it starts to get confusing for most brides. Be sure to have a clear mind when going to a new shop. I personally suggest that a bride should shop at 1-2 stores before saying yes to the dress! And don’t be shocked if you find it on the first day! 

You can get exhausted from trying on so many and end up just choosing one to be done with the process, which is not ideal! Once you try on THE DRESS, you will know. You will be able to see yourself getting married to your fiancé and sometimes you may get emotional. After finding THE DRESS, be prepared to purchase. Most bridal shops require a deposit to get your dress ordered, which can take 5-7 months, so be prepared to place that order.

In Birmingham, we have a lot of bridal shops who all carry different designers which is AWESOME! That way, you wont go to 2 shops and find much of the same style. This is why it is important to do the research before making your appointment to see which designers are your style. 

When do you start shopping?! 

A standard bridal gown shipping process takes between 5-7 month to be created and shipped to your bridal store. Most designers make them as they are ordered, so they don’t always keep dresses in their warehouse. Crazy isn’t it?! So, keep in mind you want to start shopping at least 9-12 months before your wedding. That way you have plenty of time for the dress to be shipped to your store as well as time for your alterations. Next up, you can look at bridesmaids dresses! Most shops who carry both bridal gowns and bridesmaids, offer great discounts if you purchase them both at the same store! So be sure to ask about that! Bridesmaids dresses typically take 4-5 months to be shipped to the store as well. So, start researching those after you find your dream gown!

Check out my go-to places in the Birmingham area below! 

For a larger selection, Bella’s Bridal & Formal, is a great place to shop. This is the largest bridal store in the state of Alabama, which is such a cool experience! They have dresses for every style and every size! 

For a more unique experience check out Heidi Elnora, where you can do some designing, Birmingham’s wedding gown designer has her own shop where she can create a custom gown for you!  

For a Boho wedding gown, your go-to Birmingham shop is Village Bridal. This shop has the flowy whimsical style gowns that are absolutely breathtaking. 

For a luxury experience, with a little higher price point, you may love Ivory & White in Mountain Brook. Their dresses are amazing, nobody would ever get confused if you are the most beautiful bride! 

Thank you ladies for reading this helpful blog! If you need for your upcoming wedding I would love to help! Contact me today for a free consultation! 



| Wedding Vendors |

First Photo – Photography: Love Behind The Lens | Wedding Gown Designer: Heidi Elnora | Bride: Meredith Cash

Second Photo – Photography: Sydney Butler Photography | Wedding Gown Designer: Randy Fenoli | Wedding Gown Shop: Bella’s Bridal | Bride: Christen Baker

Third Photo – Photography: Katie & Cindy Photo | Wedding Gown Designer: Essense of Australia | Wedding gown shop: Bella’s Bridal| Model: Jade Carroll

Fourth Photo – Photography: AL Weddings | Wedding Gown Designer: Allure Bridals | Wedding Gown Shop: Bella’s Bridal | Bride: Amy McMohan

Fifth Photo – Photography: AL Weddings | Wedding Gown Designer: Essense Of Australia | Wedding Gown Shop: Bella’s Bridal | Bride: Elizabeth Kilgore

hello loves!

Welcome to the KP blog! My name is Kendal and I’m so happy you’re here. It’s been my dream for quite some time to own a wedding planning company and now the time has finally arrived! I am certain that this will be the best journey in life and I’m so excited to finally show you what we’ve been working on for the past few months! Take a look around, love. I can’t wait to meet you!

1 Comment

  1. Toby Ryan

    I didn’t know that you should start shopping for wedding dresses at least 9 months before your wedding so that there is enough time to make alterations. My sister is planning on getting married next year and needs to find someone that can adjust her wedding dress since she lost weight after purchasing it last month. Maybe she should consider hiring a professional to make alterations before her wedding.


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


How To Create a Stress Free Wedding Guest List

How To Create a Stress Free Wedding Guest List

Hey ladies! We  know in the midst of all of the planning and festivities, there is always several tasks that need to be dealt with before the big day. One of the most stressful and off-putting tasks is the dreaded guest list that leaves you with questions like, “Who...

How To Plan For Rain

How To Plan For Rain

Hi friends!! Today I wanted to chat with you about something we actually don’t ever want to talk about, but really need to, which is how to plan for your wedding day rain plan. Here in Alabama you really never know what’s going to happen. If you chose an all outdoor...

see the pretty squares


© 2018-  Kendal Perry

Site & Branding By AL Creative

© 2018-  Kendal Perry

Site & Branding By AL Creative

Kendal perry is a birmingham, alabama

based wedding planner focused on

giving the wedding of you dreams