Lace wedding dress shopping is supposed to be fun. The temptation is to gather a group of your friends and family and to spend a lovely day ‘oohing’ and ‘ahhing’ and quaffing champagne together. But the reality is slightly different. Very few lace wedding dress shops actually offer champagne (sorry to disappoint you), and do you really want 5 different opinions? Are you sure you want to be zipped in to a lace wedding dress that puts a big smile on your face, only to be told ‘No!’ or ‘I don’t like that lace wedding dress’, as you step out of the changing room? We would always advise doing the initial round of lace wedding dress shops either on your own or with one person who you trust implicitly.
Knowing the place and time of your wedding will help focus your lace wedding dress search. Will you be having a daytime ceremony on the beach? You can rule out ball gowns with long trains and dramatic embellishments. Exchanging vows in a candlelit cathedral? Avoid short slip dresses or anything that looks like it could be worn to a cocktail party. Most fabrics are suitable year-round, but some, like linen and organdy, are more appropriate for warm weather, while lace wedding dress is best left for winter.
Figure out how much you want to spend, and tell the wedding dress salesperson before she starts bringing out lace wedding dresses. That way you won’t lose your heart to a lace wedding dress you can’t afford. Typically, a wedding ensemble, including veil, undergarments, and any other accessories, accounts for 10 percent to 15 percent of the total wedding cost. Factor in extras, such as alterations—which can add a few hundred or a few thousand dollars depending on how involved they are—and shipping fees. Once the wedding dress arrives, it may require professional pressing or steaming, which can tack on a hundred dollars or more.