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    This article originally appeared in the Spring/Summer 2016 issue of Louisville Bride. To subscribe to Louisville Magazine, please click here.

    Lauren Montgomery is the owner of the Couture Closet Bridal Boutique in downtown La Grange, Kentucky, at 123 E. Main Street. She has some tips and tricks for Louisville Brides shopping for the perfect wedding dress! 

    Is there an ideal time before the wedding that a bride should start dress shopping? 

    “We recommend to start shopping around a year out from your wedding date.  That way, if you find something you love, then you have something huge checked off the wedding to-do list.  However, if you are having a hard time finding something, then you still have a few months to browse. We tell our ladies the bubble to buy your gown is nine months to a year out. This will put you in great shape to start alterations at the appropriate time.” 

    If a bride wants to bring friends and family members along when shopping, is there a number of people you would suggest? How many opinions is too many? 

    “The bride knows which of her family and friends are opinionated or not and she knows herself and how she reacts to people’s opinions.  So it’s not necessarily the number of people that join you, but rather who is supportive and listens to you. Opinions can be tough to handle, but in the end, if everyone is respectful, then it is fine to have a larger group. However, if you want a good number,  we find two to three people work best.”

    How can these friends and family members be helpful during the dress-shopping process? Or not helpful?  

    “Friends and family can be extremely helpful, and they can be on the complete opposite end of the spectrum too. To be helpful is to listen to the bride. To share opinions lightly. Never push for a specific dress, unless she asks, as it needs to be the bride’s decision. Don’t go hating on a dress that you can tell she loves. All the negative words and opinions voiced out loud can never be erased.” 

    How much shopping time should someone plan on when they go into a store?

    “We allow 90 minutes for a bridal appointment. We do everything by appointment here, so we have to stick to our 90-minute schedule, however, we have noticed over the years that it seems to be the perfect amount of time to shop, decide and purchase a wedding gown.” 

    What kinds of shoes, underwear, bras or accessories, if any, should brides bring?

    “Brides do not have to bring anything; however, a strapless bra works great, and if you plan to wear Spanx, then bring those too. Brides will be with a sales associate in the dressing room so they should be mindful of that. If they are super-modest they should wear something that covers them up a bit more, but honestly, we have seen it all, so undies are a must and a bra is nice but not entirely necessary.” 

    Are there any other dress-shopping preparedness tips you have?

    “Just be open-minded.  It’s great to come in with ideas, but we encourage you to not have your heart sold and set on a specific dress style. Sometimes brides do not look good in what they have envisioned, and it takes a long time to accept that the old idea might not work anymore.” 

    What would you say the average number of dresses brides try on is?

    “At our store, eight to nine dresses. Sometimes that is all a bride ever tries on. Some brides will go to two or maybe three shops and try some on there too, so we would say around 20 gowns total for the average bride.”

    Images: Couture Closet's Website.

    This article originally appeared in the Spring/Summer 2016 issue of Louisville Bride. To subscribe to Louisville Magazine, please click here.

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