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Shopping

for Your Dream Dress T H E U LT I M AT E G U I D E

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REAL BRIDES SHARE THEIR STORIES

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THE BOUTIQUE EXPERIENCE

W D ha IN tD G oe D s R it E al SS lM I ea NT n? E L

FIND YOUR BRIDAL STYLE


Bridal Directory 04 BEFORE YOU START SHOPPING 06 GATHERING YOUR INITIAL INSPIRATION 08 FIND YOUR STYLE 12 HEADING TO YOUR RETAILER—THE BIG PICTURE 16 WEDDING DRESS INTEL 18 BUDGET BREAKDOWN 20 STYLE GUIDE 26 THE BOUTIQUE EXPERIENCE 28 REAL BRIDE EXPERIENCES 30 FITTINGS AND ALTERATIONS 33 MORE RESOURCES


CONGRATULATIONS! YOU’RE ENGAGED!

You’ve announced the big news, made preliminary plans, and chosen a venue— now it’s time to start shopping for your dream wedding dress. With all the fabulous styles available to modern brides, finding “the one” can be as carefree or extravagant as you like. We at Maggie Sottero Designs want you to have the best possible experience, so we’ve compiled everything you need to know to shop for your dream dress, from initial inspiration to the final touches. Happy shopping! ~Maggie Sottero


Before You Start Shopping Choose a store based on budget, sizing, and personal aesthetic. (Certain retailers carry extensive selections of budget-friendly or plussize styles!) Store Events are a great way to browse new gown styles in a fun, celebratory atmosphere. Plus, many retailers offer discounts on things like alterations and accessories during the event!

STORE LOCATOR

FIND STORE EVENTS


REACHING OUT TO RETAILERS & ASKING THE RIGHT QUESTIONS What are your payment options? What price ranges do you carry? Do I need to make an appointment? How many people can come with me? Do you carry Maggie Sottero Designs? How does your alterations process work? What customizations do you offer? Do you have gowns for short wear dates?

BOOK APPOINTMENT

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Gathering Your

Initial Inspiration We live in a beautiful time—the era of Pinterest! Modern brides have virtually unlimited access to beautiful wedding inspiration, from charming DIY projects to over-the-top customizations. Creating your “ultimate personal statement” at the right price point has never been easier! Before you head to your AUTHORIZED RETAILER, gather some initial inspiration from the web, including wedding planning sites like THE KNOT and STYLE ME PRETTY, and social media platforms like PINTEREST and INSTAGRAM. A preliminary vision of your big day (not to mention a booked venue!) streamlines your shopping experience and prevents buyer’s remorse down the line.

Some gown galleries and features to get you started:

MAGGIE SOTTERO EMERALD COLLECTION

SOTTTERO AND MIDGLEY KHLOE COLLECTION

REBECCA INGRAM JUNIPER COLLECTION

PLUS-SIZE WEDDING DRESSES

2017 WEDDING DRESS TRENDS

FLATTERING DRESSES FOR YOUR FRAME


While yes, it is important to have an idea of which silhouettes and styles you like, we encourage you to keep an open mind when shopping for “the one.� You might be pleasantly surprised at the gown that best suits your body type, personality, and wedding vision!

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Find Your Style How do you envision TAKE THE QUIZ

THE CLASSIC BRIDE You’ve got the perfect ring-selfie manicure, and your wedding dress will never go out of style. Cheers to the enduring charm of a classic wedding!


your bridal look and overall wedding?

THE BOHO BRIDE You envision a breezy, art-inspired reception with local cuisine and rustic decor. You’ve never met a dreamcatcher you didn’t like.

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GLAMOROUS BRIDE You’ve got that indescribable star quality, and diamonds are your (second) best friend. Your wedding will be an expression of all things dramatic, fashionable, and charismatic.

THE VINTAGE BRIDE You love geometric embellishments, Gatsby-era glamour, and Old Hollywood opulence. You see yourself walking down the aisle in a slinky, shimmering gown and a cascading bouquet.

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THE BEACHY BRIDE Forget stilettos when you can run your bare toes through warm tropical sand! When it comes to a dreamy expression of love, your wedding is all about the destination, not the bling.

STATEMENT BRIDE You’ve got a taste for the avant-garde, and you’re looking to rock an unforgettable wedding dress. It’s your big day, so say “I do” with a statement!

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Heading to Your Retailer THE BIG PICTURE

DESIGNATE A TIMELINE

REMEMBER YOUR VENUE

Start shopping about a year before your wedding to ensure you have plenty of time for delivery and alterations. If your wear date is approaching fast, remember to ask about expedited shipping!

Your venue choice can greatly influence the style and price range of your wedding dress.

STICK TO YOUR BUDGET


DRESS TO (SORT OF) IMPRESS Wear something comfortable, but embrace your personal style. You'll feel more confident if you dress up just a little—freshen up your makeup, treat yourself to a manicure, and bring a pair of heels. (And don't forget to eat a snack and stay hydrated!)

Listen to your instincts, but keep an open mind! Your dream dress might be a silhouette or style you never considered.

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Brides Beware COUNTERFEIT GOWNS If a wedding dress deal seems too good to be true, tread carefully! We recommend you make such an important purchase through an AUTHORIZED RETAILER only, rather than online or through consignment. Be aware of GENERAL PRICE RANGES for a specific designer, and ensure you know exactly what will be included in your final bill. Beware of counterfeit products! Web auctions, e-commerce sites, and other unauthorized locations will claim to sell “genuine� designer dresses, but are frequently the cause of great disappointment and regret. Seek out legitimate channels with reliable reviews and certification to ensure your purchase is secure.

Maggie Sottero Original

Counterfeit

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Wedding Dress Intel — What does it all mean? “Off-the-Rack”

These gowns are sold as is directly off a retailer’s rack or floor. Your choice is limited to the sizes, colorways, and variations available, but you can walk out of the store with the gown the same day.

“Made-to-Order”

This refers to the manufacturing process following a gown order. Once you place an order with your Authorized Retailer, a wedding gown is made and shipped to you over a four- to six-month time frame.

“New Seasons” In the U.S., gown

collections debut in the spring and fall, which allows retailers to place sample orders and promote incoming inventory a season before the gowns arrive in stores. New collections on a designer’s website aren’t immediately available in a store, so if you fall in love with a style, be sure to speak with an Authorized Retailer about its availability.

“Wear Date”

Your Wedding date! This is the day your gown needs to be ready by.

“Sample”

Retailers purchase samples, typically in a size 10-14 (or a plus-size style) to be displayed in their stores. If you choose to purchase a gown after trying on a sample, your retailer will place an order with the designer, and your made-to-order gown will arrive on the designated delivery date. Some retailers choose to sell their samples to make room for new inventory, which enable brides to purchase gowns that have been tried on before at discounted prices.

“Store Events”

Retailers regularly hold special events, runways, and trunk shows to promote new or popular styles. Brides can peruse inventory in a fun celebratory atmosphere, and often take advantage of discounts on accessories, alterations, and other services.

“Sister Style”

Several of our top gowns come with “sister styles”—variations that feature different sleeve lengths, necklines, embellishments, and train lengths. Talk to your retailer about finding the perfect style for your big day!


Check out our EVENTS page for happenings in your area! 17


How much should you spend on your wedding dress? Know exactly who is contributing what amount to your dress budget. Choose a corset-back style to cut costs on alterations. Shop sooner rather than later to avoid unplanned fees on rush delivery or last minute alterations. (But not too soon! Your dress choice can shift drastically with a venue or a wedding-date change.) Shop sample sales. Choose a simple gown. Accessorize with costume jewelry and borrowed items. Research affordable wedding-dress designers. Don’t be pressured to go over budget.

WEDDING DRESS BUDGET Budget — Dress & Alterations 10K or less..................$600 - 800 $10k - $15k.............$700 - 1100 $15k - $20k............$1000 - 1600 $20k - $25k................$1200 - 2000

Don’t forget to account for alterations and accessories! Length adjustments, headpieces, and veils can add up.

$25k - $30k......................$1500 - 2300 $30k - $40k..............................$1800 - 2800 $40k - $50k..........................................$2400 - 3200 Please note these are general price ranges. Whether to splurge or save on a wedding dress is ultimately up to the bride-to-be and her unique budget!


Don’t try on out-of-budget dresses “just for fun,” because it usually won’t end up being fun for anyone.

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Style Guide SILHOUETTES 1

Can you identify the 5 silhouettes without using the answers below?

The most universally flattering!

2

3

4

5

1) A-Line 2) Sheath 3) Ballgown 4) Tea-length 5) Fit & Flare or Mermaid

Ideal for showing off your curves!


1

2

FABRICS / EMBELLISHMENTS Lace

Chiffon

Satin

Organza

3

4

5

6 Tulle

Mikado

Silk

Jersey

1. Illusion details 2. Swarovski crystals 3. 3D florals 4. Pearls 5. Ruching 6. Pleating

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Style Guide (cont.) NECKLINES 1

2

4

5

6

7

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1) V-Neckline 2) Illusion 3) Sweetheart 4) Strapless 5) Scoop 6) Jewel 7) V-Neck

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SEPARATES / ACCESSORIES 2

1

3

4 4

6

5

7 8

1) Beaded belts 2) Overskirts 3) Capes 4) Bodysuits 5) Jackets 6) Skirts 7) Bodices 8) Veils 9) Cap sleeves

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Style Guide (cont.) VARIATIONS ON A THEME Who doesn't love options? Check out our top-selling sister styles, featuring varying sleeve lengths, embellishments, and coverage.

(L) Hudson Marie (R) Hudson

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(L) Melanie (R) Melanie Marie

(L) Melrose (R) Melrose Lynette

(L) Bianca (R) Bianca Marie

BROWSE GOWNS


The Boutique Experience ETIQUETTE Limit Your Entourage Be on Time Communicate Your Budget Stay Cool Under Pressure Respect the Samples Silence Your Cell Phone Let the Consultants Do Their Job Keep an Open Mind Don't Abuse the Designated Appointment Time

Don't forget to bring shoes that match the heel height you plan on wearing.


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Real Bride Experiences

How did

Browse more Maggie and Midgley weddings on our blog! REAL WEDDINGS

Kylie in ALEXIS by Rebecca Ingram “Alexis was the third dress I tried on, and it just felt right when I wore it—my bridal party could tell from the big smile I had on my face. I loved the delicate lace detailing and the back. It was unique, matched my style and personality, and made me feel pretty and confident. Third time’s a charm!” PC: Lightheart Films & Photography


you know when you found “the dress”? Sarah in MATTEA by Sottero and Midgley “It was my third attempt to find a dress and my mom and sister Emma travelled with me to Sydney on a spontaneous trip. The main reason was to see a dress at a trunk show, but my cousin Katherine also gave me the details of another store, so we stopped in before my appointment. At first I thought there wouldn’t be anything for me, but the shop assistant immediately said, ‘I have the dress for you!’ and brought out Mattea. I instantly fell in love with the flawless fit and how it was so simple and timeless—it was unmistakably the one!” PC: Figtree Wedding Photography

Cami in PHYLLIS by Maggie Sottero “‘The dress’ was the fourth dress I ever tried on and almost instantly I knew it was ‘the one.’ I grew up watching the 1965 Rodger and Hammerstein’s version of Cinderella, and I remember distinctly walking out of my dressing room, looking in the mirror, and feeling like her, Cinderella! I wanted to mimic that feeling on my wedding day, not to mention allude to the special tie the movie had to my childhood and specifically with my mother.” PC: The High Pines Photography


Fittings / Alterations HOW MANY FITTINGS SHOULD I PLAN FOR?

The number of fitting appointments varies depending on your seamstress and requests for customizations. On average, plan on about three fittings.

WHAT SHOULD I EXPECT?

On your first fitting, don't expect your dress to fit perfectly. Over the course of your two or three fittings (or more, depending on the situation), don't expect the look and feel of your dress to stay exactly the same. It's important to adjust to each new development—such as weight fluctuation, human error, and requested customizations—with an open mind and positive attitude.

WHAT SHOULD I WEAR?

Bring heels with the height you'll be wearing for the actual wedding day. Wear supportive undergarments, such as shapewear, that match the silhouette and lines of your dress so your seamstress can adjust everything as accurately as possible.

WHO SHOULD I BRING?

Don't bring your entire wedding party, as too many opinions can be overwhelming once you've chosen your dress. A close friend and trusted family member will do just fine.

WHERE SHOULD I GET ALTERATIONS?

Your Authorized Retailer likely offers in-house alterations, or they can recommend a professional service.

HOW MUCH DO ALTERATIONS COST?

This depends on your gown, body type, and customizations. Some alterations are minimal, while others can cost more than the dress itself. Be sure to speak with your seamstress and Authorized Retailer to understand the total cost.

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More Resources UNDERGARMENT GUIDE ACCESSORIES FOR YOUR VINTAGE-INSPIRED WEDDING DRESS GORGEOUS VEILS PICK YOUR PETTICOAT THE ULTIMATE MAID OF HONOR SURVIVAL GUIDE

Maggie Sottero Designs @maggiesotterodesigns Maggie Sottero Designs @maggiesottero Maggie Sottero Designs

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REAL BRIDE PHOTOGRAPHY

Daniel Usenko Photography...........................................................................................................cover / back cover / p.13, 15, 19, 27, 31, 32 Mallory Renee Photography.........................................................................................................................................................................p.4, 7, 11, 17 Caroline Lima Photography...............................................................................................................................................................................................p.8 Peterson Design and Photography................................................................................................................................p.10, 14, 16, 21-25, 28, 32 Kailey Rae Photography......................................................................................................................................................................................p.8, 28 Artesie Studios..............................................................................................................................................................................................................p.6, 13 KaLee Renee Photography............................................................................................................................................................................................p.26 Abby Grace Photography................................................................................................................................................................................p.27, 28, 32 Christine Chang Photography.................................................................................................................................................................................p.9, 28 Figtree Wedding Photography....................................................................................................................................................................................p.29 The High Pines Photography.......................................................................................................................................................................................p.29 Lightheart Films & Photography.................................................................................................................................................................................p.28 Sheryll-Lynne Photography...................................................................................................................................................................................p.10, 11

Maggie Sottero Designs Bridal Buying Guide