We have been doing this for 4 years now, so its safe to say we have encountered all types of brides and some very interesting scenarios. When it comes to wedding dress shopping though, there are 3 recurring mistakes that we have seen in the Ghanaian market.
1. Shopping Late
I once had someone send me a WhatsApp message, "My sister is getting married on Saturday and she needs a gown." Let me venture to say, shopping for your wedding gown 5 days before the wedding is a bad idea. Planning your wedding is a stressful event and waiting till the very last minute to buy your dress means you will be limited to whatever is in stock and at whatever price point. At the end of the day, you will probably end up walking away with an 'okay' dress that you don't love. To be safe, you should start gown shopping 6 to 9 months before your wedding, to allow for time to really shop around and fall in love with a dress. Additionally, if the dress needs to be ordered, you want to also enough time for that.
2. Not setting a Budget/Not disclosing your Budget
Every one has a price they are willing to pay. It doesn't matter who you are; you have a cut-off point of how much you are willing to spend on a dress. Not disclosing the price-point you are comfortable with is a waste of everyone's time. There are thousands of wedding gowns to choose from, so providing a price-range makes your gown shopping more efficient. If GHC 1500 is your max, say so, that way you shop within that price range. Many brides feel if they disclose their budget, the shop will modify the price of the dress to fit the budget or sell them a cheaper gown at that price point. Trust me, if the shop is a legitimate business, it would not be a sustainable business model for them to adjust prices in that way. Also, if a shop sells the same gown to 5 brides at all different prices, word will get around and eventually, they will not be in business. There are scores of beautiful gowns in every price range so don't be afraid to share that information with your bridal store so they can help you find a gown you love within your budget.
3. Not doing Alterations
I hear this all the times from my brides, I don't want a seamstress to mess up my already-made gown. I totally understand the fear. A reputable bridal shop should have a qualified, experienced seamstress on staff to make alterations. If they don't have that, you probably shouldn't be shopping with them. Alterations are necessary to make sure your gown fits you like a glove. Gowns come in standard sizes, so it is rare that you will find something that fits every proportion of your body perfectly. The gown may be too long, or may fit your hips but not your bust. Alterations ensure that the gown is altered to fit your body perfectly. I have seen so many brides with ill-fitted gowns and it's a shame really. You should look perfect on the most important day of your life, Don't you think?