Planning a wedding can be both exciting and overwhelming, especially when it comes to choosing the perfect dress for your special day. With countless styles, fabrics, and designers to consider, it’s natural to have a myriad of wedding dress questions swirling in your mind. Whether you’re envisioning a fairytale ball gown or a sleek, modern silhouette, finding the ideal wedding dress involves navigating through a maze of options. We hope to ease your mind by answering some common wedding dress questions below.

Q. How far in advance should I start shopping for my wedding dress?

A. With Covid causing significant delays throughout all aspects of dress making, it is vital to begin shopping at least one year in advance of the wedding day. This allows you the opportunity to see all options from an array of designers; plus, gives time to order, have the dress made, and then shipped to you. A year lead time has become common for a lot of gown designers, so it’s best to give yourself as much time as possible to avoid any stressful situations or additional expenses such as rush fees.

It’s also important to shop when you’re ready to buy. There’s nothing worse than shopping with the intention to “look,” find a gown you love, and then not being able to commit. This happens often and can be frustrating to experience. 

If you’re looking at a quick engagement, then focus on finding a store that sell dresses off-the-rack, allowing you to purchase and take home the gown on the same day. Not all bridal stores have off-the-rack options and inventory is constantly changing, so you may have to compromise a little with what you’re looking for. 

Q. What is the average cost of a wedding dress in Kansas City?

A. Brides on average are spending between $1,800 – $2,000 for a special-order bridal gown in KC. While there are dress options that fall above and below that range, you should plan for around this estimate.

Q. How do I determine the right size for my wedding dress?

A. It’s important to understand that bridal gown sizing makes zero sense, every designer has their own size chart, and brides are typically 1-3 sizes larger than their regular clothing size. Your stylist will take measurements at your appointment and help determine what dress size will be best to order. Don’t focus on the number. Focus on how you look and feel!

Q. What styles of dresses are most popular right now?

A. Get ready, because there are several gowns that are topping the list as modern, eye-catching, and trending. 

  1. Gowns that can be adjusted to give you a “second look” vibe without purchasing a different dress. Think of it as adding an overskirt or removable sleeves.
  2.  Timeless gowns with classic silhouettes that can be accessorized with a beautiful sash or heirloom jewelry.
  3. Juliet or balloon sleeves are also all the rage.
  4.  Lastly, keep an eye out for unique color and floral patterns that redefine the bridal look!

Q. What factors should I consider when choosing a wedding dress silhouette?

A. It’s important to remember you can rock ANY silhouette you feel confident in no matter your body shape, but here are some tricks to keep in mind to help in your search. Gowns with v-necklines and no seam at the waist can elongate your frame and make you appear taller. If you have a straight figure, try on gowns with a full skirt to give a curvier illusion. If you have a larger bust, incorporate straps and make sure the bodice of your gown has plenty of structure.

Q. What is the typical timeline for ordering and receiving a custom-made wedding dress?

A. On average, 8-10 months has become the regular standard for the delivery of a custom gown from the moment you place the order to the time it arrives back at the store. That’s why it’s so important to start shopping at least a year in advance. You’ll also want to give yourself at least 8 weeks for alterations.

Q. What are the key alterations that can be made to customize a wedding dress?

A. Typical gown alterations include bust and waist work, hem, and adding a bustle if there is a train. Some gowns can also be customized to fit your personal style by adding straps, sleeves, or raising/lowering a neckline. It’s important to communicate with your stylist what type of customizations you’re wanting to do to your gown at your purchasing appointment. Some designers allow those customizations in manufacturing, while others will be done once the dress arrives with a seamstress. When customizing a gown, you’ll want more money in your budget to accommodate the changes you want to make. In Kansas City the average alterations, without any major changes to the wedding gown, range from $300-$500.

Q. What should I consider when selecting a wedding dress that suits the overall wedding theme or venue?

A. We are going to go ahead and assume this is a trick question. Because the most important thing to remember when selecting your wedding dress is finding something that makes you feel beautiful and happy. Don’t let anything else dictate what dress you choose. Not your venue. Not the opinions of your guests. Not your theme. Your dress will look beautiful no matter where you’re getting married when you feel confident in it.

Q. Who do I take with me to go dress shopping?

That’s an easy one – those that you know will support and make you feel good throughout the process. Leave the critics at home. Leave the negative Nancys at home. Finding your dress is a very special moment and you want your memories to be filled with love and support.

Q. What should I keep in mind when shopping for a wedding dress as a plus-size bride?

A. Make sure to always check with bridal stores before you visit to ensure that they have samples sizes in store to accommodate you. The average in-store samples range from 8-14 which is really a size 6-12 in regular clothes. If you’re a street size of 16+, this means you’ll be trying on gowns sizes of 18-20+. You don’t want to set yourself up for disappointment or feel uncomfortable if the store you visit doesn’t carry your size. Also, make sure to ask if the designers the store carries can order plus sizes. Some designers stop at a certain size and may not offer custom sizing. And lastly, ask if there are any upcharges for plus size gowns, as some designers and stores will charge more money. While most stores will work that into the pricing of the gown you don’t want to be caught off guard!

Q. What is the process for preserving and storing my wedding dress after the wedding?

A. Gown preservation is so important after the wedding is over! Your gown is going to get DIRTY, so having it professionally cleaned will make a world of difference. A lot of bridal stores will partner with gown preservation companies and offer this service for you, sometimes even at a discounted fee. Make sure you ask your stylist when shopping if this is an option. If not, call your local dry cleaner and request information specific to wedding dress preservation.

Enjoying “Wedding Dress Questions” and ready to start finding vendors for your wedding? Check out our collection of Kansas City Wedding Vendors.