Wedding Day Shopping Tips with Bridal Stylist Julie Sabatino of The Stylish Bride

 That’s the most important question
New York City’s wedding fashion stylist Julie Sabatino {of The Stylish Bride fame} asks her brides. While shopping for her own dream gown as a bride-to-be, she yearned for someone to give her guidance and non-biased honesty. When she
discovered that person didn’t exist – she became her! We sat down with this fabulous
fashionista and got her hit list for finding the wedding gown that’s perfectly,
uniquely, brilliantly you.

Every woman wants to look their best on their
wedding day.  I have been helping brides
(and the important people in their lives) do just that for the last nine
years.  Along the way, I’ve learned a few
important things that can help you maintain your sanity, and actually have fun throughout
the dress shopping process.

Know Before you Go: Define the type of wedding you want before setting foot in a bridal salon. Location, time of day, and the formality of the event are some key factors that should influence the dress you ultimately choose. These details are all interrelated, and come together to create a wedding that is as unique as you are.  Odds are there will be several dresses that look great on you.  But is it the perfect dress for your occasion?  Knowing a few details beforehand will save you precious shopping time in the long-run.

Assemble the Team:  I realize this one is a bit controversial. If you’re afraid of offending your needy aunt Edna you may want to skip to Tip 3. Are you still with me?  If so, I recommend inviting only one or two other people to join you shopping. These should be people you can trust to offer an honest opinion without imposing their own personal style or hidden agenda. Otherwise, you run the risk of having so many conflicting opinions that the experience becomes more frustrating and stressful than necessary. Begin the search on your own if you’re not sure whom to invite.  You can always bring mothers, sisters, and best friends along when you have a clear idea of what you are looking for.

Come Prepared: Don’t be surprised when the store’s consultant hands you a “gently worn” undergarment
for trying on dresses.  If this sounds unappealing, then come prepared! I recommend all my clients bring along a bag with the following items:

  • Long- line corset (preferred) or strapless bra
  • Shoes with the approximate wedding day heel height
  • Small robe to throw on while you are waiting (the short silk ones transport easily).

These basic items are sure to make a long day of dress shopping more comfortable and less stressful.

Know your personal style: Over the years, I have found that even my most fashion-conscience brides struggle articulating
their personal style, yet this is a critical piece of information to consider before walking into a bridal salon.  There are plenty of personal style quizzes on the Web, if you are not sure where to begin.  I like this one from Fashion for Dummies.

Finding the perfect dress is
not easy. I have found that helping brides determine their personal style is a
big advantage.  For example, identifying that
deep down you are a romantic who loves wearing feminine clothing will make
choosing the lace gown over the duchess satin much easier.  On the other hand, if you enjoy being modern
and edgy, lace may not be true to your aesthetic no matter how stunning it looks.
When you allow who you are to be your
guide you are guaranteed to look your best.

I hope these tips are helpful,
and good luck shopping!