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Planning Your Daughter’s Wedding: The Wedding Dress

Photo taken by the Bride while shopping at De Ma Fille.
“Mom, look at this wedding dress!,” Sabryna beamed as the sales associate handed over a beautiful intricately jeweled gown with a mermaid bodice and long train.
“Whoa”, I gasped, “that is gorgeous!” as I excitedly sat down next to a cat walk which led to a huge 360 degree mirror. Above was a stunning chandelier, setting the tone for any bride-to-be’s transformation into wedding bliss.
S walked out, down the raised path to the mirrors, and literally took my breath away with her every step. “Mom, this is the one, isn’t this perfect? I absolutely LOVE this dress!”
Emotion overcame me and I could not hold back the tears any longer, through sobs of joy I exclaimed,
“I love it! I am so happy for you! You look absolutely gorgeous in that gown!”
Fast forward to the following morning… 
“Mom, I’m not sure I want that wedding dress now, you know, I’m just thinking that it is too flashy and really doesn’t capture the vibe I want for my wedding.”
And so began {or shall I say continued} our search for the perfect wedding dress.
Sabryna’s Dreamy Bridal’s. Photography by Jennefer Wilson.
Be Aware of Timing. It takes up to six months to get the dress of choice made and shipped back to the store. Sometimes a fee can be paid to have it rushed, but if the Bride thinks she has time to wait around, she probably does not. Remember that she has to schedule a Bridal shoot too. This photography shoot can’t happen until after the dress is here and altered. {Come on, let’s get this done!}


Know Your Budget. This is the most important thing you’ll need going in. Remember to include an estimate of the veil, shoes, jewelry, and alterations in this figure. Let the Bride own the budget and decide for herself how much can be spent on the dress. Dad and MOB set up S a “Wedding Bank Account” where all of the money was put for the wedding. She had the debit card and all of the decisions were then in her hands. This way we alleviated any arguing about money. It also held her accountable for anything spent. She knew, going in, exactly what she could or could not afford.


Search styles on social media or Bridal Magazines. Brides of North Texas is a perfect point of reference and spotlights the latest trends in weddings.

Visit at least Three Bridal Shops. Pop your head in and see selection and service. I’m not saying to make an appointment at all three boutiques, but at least look at styles and prices. This will give peace of mind that you haven’t left any stone unturned on the quest for the perfect wedding dress. We did try dresses on at three different locations and I will attest that it was worth every minute.


Set up a Dress Appointment. You will need to have an appointment made with the Bridal Boutique to try on gowns. Depending on the place, this could take a few weeks to a few months advance notice. Besides, the Bride may want her best friends with her, so this extra time can ensure that everyone can arrange to meet together.


Only try on Gowns for the Budgeted Amount. I guarantee your daughter will love the gown more that is over budget. Don’t even go there. Tell the sales attendant not to pull anything over a certain cap.

Be Supportive and Positive. Remember this is the Bride’s wedding and not yours. This means that she gets to choose her gown and you get to be supportive and positive. Don’t say negative things when she is trying on gowns. If something doesn’t look right she will know it, most likely it does not need to be said by you or anyone else. If she asks your opinion on something then be honest but don’t be brutal. Kindness goes a long way. Think about how to say something that might sound negative before you say it, or better yet, just hold your tongue. Don’t give any ammunition for Bridezilla to rear her ugly head {we all know she’s ready to attack at any given moment}.

Sleep on it. Once the decision is made then see if they will hold the gown of choice for 24 hours. Most places will do this for you. It is always good to sleep on any choice, especially one with the price tag of a wedding gown.

Be Patient. In each shop that we visited S fell in love with one gown, then she would back out the next day. It soon became a joke and we still have fun laughing about it. Remember that all of this indecision is normal. Usually this is the first time for her to try on wedding gowns and she will be going though a refiners fire which changes and molds her views and opinions until she makes that final and perfect choice. It’s better this way, to make sure that on her special day that she is 100% happy.

Don’t forget the Veil. Yes, there is still more to buy. {Darn why do veils even exist? haha.} 

Don’t forget Alterations. You probably haven’t thought about this, but alterations are extremely expensive. And they are extremely important. Having someone who is not a professional cut the bottom of your lace gown off and do it wrong would be devastating. We purchased our gown out of town so had a professional alter the dress closer to us. She was amazing and the dress ultimately fit like a glove.

Money Saving Tips:

Rent a Wedding Gown. I know, your daughter wants that $20,000 designer gown of her dreams. But the reality is that she will only wear it once. Search the Internet for rentals! Its the perfect way to make her special day exactly what she envisions.
Buy a Discounted Gown. Boutiques often have a rack of discounted dresses that were displays or used to try on. Most likely these just need a good steam cleaning and maybe a few minor alterations to look brand new. I’ve seen these as much as 75% off.
Find your gown on the Internet. After your daughter has chosen her gown, look up the brand name and model number on the Internet. See where you may purchase it for less. Bring that amount into your local boutique and see if they will match the price.
Trunk Shows. Ask your local boutiques if they will be having trunk shows. Usually they happen twice a year. This is when a designer puts their entire line on sale. This is how we ultimately saved on the purchase of S’s dress.
Layaway. Put down a deposit and then pay monthly until your dress arrives for pick up.
The search for S’s perfect gown took several weeks. The brides indecision ultimately led to the BEST decision. We finally found the gown and veil of her dreams at De Ma Fille in Fort Worth, Texas. Raquel, the boutique owner, was so kind and wonderful to work with. She made the purchase such a beautiful and positive experience. When the day came that Sabryna’s dad escorted her down the aisle it wasn’t just me who was crying, Brady {the Groom}, got us all choked up with his demonstration of the  beautiful love these two share. To hear more of our story follow the links below.
Read other articles in this series:
Planning Your Daughters Wedding: “Where to Begin”.
Planning Your Daughter’s Wedding: The Details
Planning Your Daughter’s Wedding: The Bridal Party
Planning Your Daughter’s Wedding: The Wedding Dress
Planning Your Daughter’s Wedding: Picking A Venue
Planning Your Daughter’s Wedding: Preventing Bridezilla
Planning Your Daughter’s Wedding: The Wedding Cake
Visit the Bride’s website here.
Florals by R Love Floral.
Stunning photography by Jennefer Wilson.

We purchased our gown at De Ma Fille.


This is the fourth segment of  several articles offering advice for planning your daughter’s wedding. I hope my experiences can help alleviate any stress you may have and give you some insightful tips on creating a beautiful event for your daughter. Join me as I take you through my journey.

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