Sequin dresses hanging in a window

How to Buy A Wedding Dress: Part 3 – After Saying YES to the Dress

Welcome to part 3 of our 3 part blog Series

You said “Yes to the Dress”. Now What?

If you haven’t already read Part 1 and Part 2, please do so.

Part 1: Before you buy – We will go over tips for setting your budget, researching what looks best on your body type, looking through styles and listing your “dress wants”, and what to expect when dipping your toe in the water.

Part 2: Trying on dresses – We will review who should join you, where to go try them on, how to handle it, and tips to ensure the dress works for you. We will also cover how to accessorize, and other fun stuff!

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Tip #1: Consider buying a second dress

Couple on a dock

Photo by Christina Dianne Photography

Before you fall over, know that this is not another wedding dress! We are talking about a cute, $99 party dress that you can change into after your First Dances…and we have a few reasons why. First off, if you’re getting married in the summertime or the tropics, your dress is a little heavy or you plan on dancing for three hours straight (read: just too hot!), you will want to consider something lighter. Also, if you love your dress but it’s restricting or difficult to dance in, something knee length or with less layers would be more comfortable. Bringing a fun party dress that you can let loose in will give you the option “just in case”. Lastly, you will want to change into something else for the after-party without having to go back to the hotel to change. This way you can go with the rest of your guests without skipping a beat, or keeping them waiting. Even if you don’t end up using it for the night of, it can still make a beautiful option for your honeymoon brunch.

Tip #2: Take care of your feet

Foot Jewelry

Foot Jewelry

Make sure your feet are covered (literally) for everything you’ll be doing that day. Consider where you are having your ceremony and reception. If you are getting married on Isla Mujeres then you will most likely be in the soft white sand beach for your ceremony and cocktail hour but on the tile floor for your reception. If you dream of getting married barefoot in the sand, don’t go too bare –  buy some cute foot jewelry like these. Also, don’t forget to buy shoes you’ll wear to travel to the venue, dance in, and weat for the after-party. If you choose very high heels or other dress shoes for your ceremony, just know they might get uncomfortable by the end of the night and you’ll want to bring a cute but comfortable back-up. You do not want to end up bar-hopping barefoot because your shoes are killing you! Also, whatever you buy, break them in well before your wedding day by wearing them for a few hours at a time, or walking around with thick athletic socks to help stretch them out a bit. Blisters are no fun at any time much less your wedding day.

Check out Amazon’s offerings of “Beautiful Foot Jewelry” & These

Tip #3: Buy your wedding day accessories

Wedding Dress Belt

Wedding Dress Belt

If you are shopping in a store for jewelry and other accessories, bring the photo of your dress (front and back) with you to make sure you are matching the style & complementing the color of your dress.  When shopping for undergarments, be mindful of what may show in the back, or if there is a texture that would be visible in the front. In general, we recommend you buy Jewelry (such as a necklace, earrings, foot jewelry, or hair jewelry), and other dress accessories, such as your veil, belt, and undergarments. Don’t forget an “emergency kit” with adhesive bra/sports tape and/or fashion tape, along with safety pins, and bandages in case something rubs!

We love these accessories you can get on Amazon:  Wedding Dress Belt, Hair Jewelry, Body Tape



Tip #4: First & Final Fittings: What to Expect

Bride with moms

Photo by Lacey Seymour Photography

Your first fitting with the seamstress should be at least 3 months before your wedding and your Final Fitting at least 3 weeks before your wedding. Most experts say 6 weeks and 2 weeks, respectively, but if you are having a destination wedding, then you will need more time due to flights and possible international requirements that you stay in the country for a few days before the wedding. For each fitting, bring all of your undergarments, jewelry, veil/hair piece and shoes to ensure everything fits together nicely. You will have time to exchange that strapless bra if the back is too low or switch out your Spanx, but you need to know ASAP if that is an extra “to-do” on your list. Make sure to take photos at your fittings. Your hair stylist and wedding coordinator want those photos, as well, to make sure everything is in its place as planned! And again, don’t come to the appointment hungry. Bring your ‘Dress Tribe’ and try to keep it stress-free.

Tip #5: Storing your dress

Make sure you have that dress in your closet at least 2 weeks before your flight leaves. Knowing it’s in your possession is one less thing you have to worry about. Don’t store it in the attic or basement – it needs to be in a well ventilated area (and preferably away from the kitchen!). A bedroom closet is fine or even your parent’s/friends’ closet if you don’t want your partner to peek.

This is a great Travel Garment Bag

Tip #6: How to Pack it

The two main options are to pack it in your carry-on or to leave it in a garment bag and carry it through the airport. NEVER check it as baggage – seriously, this is not even an option! The last thing you need is a lost wedding dress from misplaced luggage by the airline. I will add that by carrying your dress through the airport in a garment bag, you might get added perks from the airline or restaurants. And, a nice cherry on top is the well wishes from strangers congratulating you on such a big life event. On the flip side, if attention makes you uncomfortable, you might want to pack it in a carry-on so onlookers don’t see it.

Tortuga Blog Post

During your fitting, you can ask the bridal salon if they offer packing service if you provide the carry-on case, as well. Check out these tips on packing your dress.

Check out this Wedding Dress Packing Cube

Tip #7: Steam it (if possible)

Make sure to ask about dress care from the bridal salon. Some fabrics cannot be steamed or would better handle a flat iron. If steaming is ok, a bathroom full of hot steam might work just fine. There is a hand-held steamer here on Isla Mujeres available to rent if needed. But if you are not sure if your “Ready Room” will have a steamer than bring one with you. Always put a tee-shirt or thin sock over the head of the steamer to protect delicate fabric from water spots. Also, steam from the inside/undersides of the layers, back to front. Make sure to steam or iron out your dress a couple days before your wedding so it has time to dry out and relax. Also, don’t forget to steam your veil, if needed.

We like this travel steamer

Tip #8: Hanging it at your destination

Sequin dresses hanging in a windowWhen you check into your room, go straight to the closet and hang it up right away. Make sure to use the loops from inside the dress, instead of the sleeves or straps themselves, so you don’t stretch the fabric or sleeve seams. Try to keep it in an air conditioned room with low humidity and check to make sure it didn’t wrinkle or bunch up. If it needs to be steamed out, do that a few days before the wedding (see Tip #7). You don’t want to be spending time steaming your dress on the wedding day. Again, you can store it in a parent’s or friend’s hotel room if you want to keep it away from prying eyes.

Tip #9: Taking it home

Lesbian Couple

Photo by Del Sol Photography

Delegating a friend or family member to bring your dress home for you would be best if you are planning to travel a bit more after the wedding. You can get it dry-cleaned when you get home, but always ensure you take it to a cleaner that specializes in wedding dress care.

Bonus Tip: Reselling your Dress

There are lots of websites that help you sell your dress after your wedding dress if you didn’t want to keep it as an heirloom. Here are a few we heard great things about:


Nearly Newlywed

Still White

Pre-Owned Wedding

Comments Welcomed – Are you a newly wed with advice for newly engaged brides? Do you have any tips and tricks about buying and caring for a wedding dress? We would love to hear how past brides have saved money, things they would recommend, and advice about What Not To Do! Any lessons learned are great for sharing.

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