I'm Jessica, the owner of Under the Sun Photography, most days you can catch me chasing my lil son on our family's homestead and fixing up a meal that'll stick to more than your bones., along with baby goats by my side. I love everything about my rural South Texas, our heritage and way of life makes it one of the best places to live, raise a family, and practice photography. Sit back, grab a cup of coffee and feel free to scroll through my blog. Mi casa es su casa. 

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7 Key Tips Before Saying, “Yes, to the Dress!” featuring Olivia Grace Bridal

Wedding Tips

Key tips to know before bridal dress shoppiong at Olivia Grace Bridal San Antonio, TX Weddings by Under the Sun Photography

You have all likely seen the hit TV show on TLC, “Say Yes to the Dress” the scenes where Laurie and her colleagues bring out the most beautiful star gowns to brides to try on to see if is “the one” for their big day.

Often times than not, we have seen bridal experiences go from one end of the spectrum of happy tears to sad tears of frustration. Unfortunately, this doesn’t just happen in the TLC world, it’s been something we have all likely witnessed, seen or heard. And today we are here to bring a screeching hault to sad tears and replace them with joy and memorable bridal experiences. How can we do this? By bringing you 7 key tips before beginning your bridal dress shopping experience.

One leading Bridal store in San Antonio has taken this mission personally! If you haven’t walked into the bridal salon at Olivia Grace Bridal, sister you are completely missing out!

Key tips to know before bridal dress shoppiong at Olivia Grace Bridal San Antonio, TX Weddings by Under the Sun Photography

When meeting with bridal consultant, Bianca at Olivia Grace, one thing we both agreed on is the importance of allowing yourself to create your own bridal experience that not only leads you to finding your dream gown but also joy … and honey, those sweet celebratory clings of champagne glasses.

So how can we do this? Well, sister you’re in luck! Pull up a chair and a fresh cup of coffee, or if it’s after 5 pour yourself a glass of wine and let’s dive in to the 7 key tips to before saying, “Yes to the Dress!”

Key tips to know before bridal dress shoppiong at Olivia Grace Bridal San Antonio, TX Weddings by Under the Sun Photography
Sarah is one of the many sweetest consultants at Olivia Grace Bridal

Tip #1 Think Outside the Box … or your Pinterest Board

From the moment you got engaged you have turned to Pinterest to find inspiration to your dream bridal gown. You have seen one dress that has blown you away in pictures, but REMEMBER to be open to other gowns.

But, Why?

You may be surprised to know, that not only are all dresses are created equal. You may envision yourself in a poofy ball gown, but also be open to try on a fitted gown as well, irregardless of your size.

“We have seen brides come in with a vision of one type of gown, try it on and not love it as much as thought she would. Many are actually surprised at how confident they feel in something that’s more fitted.”

Bianca, Bridal Consultant Olivia Grace Bridal

So be open to different gowns and try them on, if anything it will help with the process of elimination to find the gown of your dreams!

Key tips to know before bridal dress shoppiong at Olivia Grace Bridal San Antonio, TX Weddings by Under the Sun Photography

Tip #2 Budget

There are different aspects when speaking of your wedding dress budget that you need to know, the cost of the gown, the cost of alterations, the cost of accessories.

Knowing your budget is key for your bridal consultant to know what dresses to pull.

“By knowing your budget, we can further assist our brides and make sure she truly stays within her price point. For instance, when a bride has a $2,000 budget, we let them know that all gowns require alterations. Therefore, if she wants to stay within $2,000 for everything, we’ll begin looking around the $1,500 price range. As alterations can cost anywhere from $400-$600, and are necessity for every wedding dress.

Bianca, Bridal Consultant of Olivia Grace Bridal
Key tips to know before bridal dress shoppiong at Olivia Grace Bridal San Antonio, TX Weddings by Under the Sun Photography

Tip #3 Alterations

Since we are on the topic of alterations let’s elaborate on this shall we?

I have personally seen and heard from brides first hand how alterations were what either made their gown or ruined it.

Alterations are essential.

As God didn’t make two bodies the same, wedding dresses (while ordered to your measurements) don’t always fit our bodies perfectly. It’s important that the dress is made to be custom to you, and proper alterations is how we do just that!

This can also be the difference in comfort and mobility. From being able to move freely throughout the day to busting a move on the dance floor. It’s important to have a dress that is made for you.

The key to a great gown is alterations! One thing we have seen unfortunately, is brides who come to our store that had to buy their second wedding gown due to poor alterations. It hurts to see brides ache as they had already said, “yes” to their dream dress. To only to have to replace their dream gown due to the fault of a non qualified seamstress.

We cannot encourage brides enough to have alterations done by a professional seamstress with experience in wedding dress alterations. Not all seamstresses are properly trained to alter wedding gowns.

Bianca, Bridal Consultant of Olivia Grace Bridal
Key tips to know before bridal dress shoppiong at Olivia Grace Bridal San Antonio, TX Weddings by Under the Sun Photography

Tip #4 Sizing up for your Gown

Okay girls, your pants size or your traditional dress size is not your bridal gown size. Why is this?

Let me help break it down for you as it is a little tricky to follow. 

Bridal Sizing Breakdown:

  1.  Your bridal stylist will take 3 measurements of your body: bust, waist and hips. 
  2. Each measurement has a size:
    • Bust=If it measures at 36 inches, sizing will be around a 10 (each designers measurements are different, and your stylist will match it up according to the designer you choose)
    • Waist=29 inches which is a size 12
    • Hips=40 inches which is a size 10

Your gown has to be ordered in the size 12 to accommodate for your biggest size, to make sure there is enough material to fit your biggest size.  Gowns can always be taken in, but can’t be let out to your biggest size. 

3. Alterations: Since the bust measured to a 10 but a 12 was ordered, we have to now take in the dress to fit.  This is where alterations come in, and why it is so important! 


“We have seen is brides that are typically a size 4 have to size up to a size 10 or 12 due to their hips or bust. We encourage brides to not focus on the sizing because the gown is being upsized to fit all areas, but will be downsized in alterations to fit to your figure.”

Bianca, Bridal Consultant Olivia Grace Bridal
Key tips to know before bridal dress shoppiong at Olivia Grace Bridal San Antonio, TX Weddings by Under the Sun Photography

Tip #5 Limit your Entourage

It’s exciting to go on the bridal gown adventure, you picture in your mind is a fun trip to the bridal salon filled with family and close friends and even an amazing lunch at your favorite Deli afterwards.

While this a great mentality, multiple members to your entourage = multiple opinions.

Think about limiting your bridal gown shopping entourage–having a large group leads to multiple opinions and can confuse or limit a bride for getting the dress they truly loved.

For example, if you have 8 members in your group, that’s 8 opinions per gown you try on, 8 people you seek approval from, and 8 people who may not love exactly what you love.

Limiting your group size to something more intimate can really make the biggest difference in the world, and you can always include your big group at your dress pick up appointment!

Bianca, Bridal Consultant Olivia Grace Bridal

Tip #6 Trust your Stylist

Bridal consultants are aware of the gowns in their store more than anyone. Giving them your trust to find your gown will be more productive than trying to see everything they have in store. Be open with your stylist, tell her your style show her your inspiration board for your wedding but also back to Tip #1 be open to try on multiple styles as you never know how a gown will look like on you.

Key tips to know before bridal dress shoppiong at Olivia Grace Bridal San Antonio, TX Weddings by Under the Sun Photography

Tip #7 Don’t limit yourself because you’re a Plus Size

Don’t feel you have to settle for a gown just because of your size. Plus Size Bridal gowns is actually a specialty Olivia Grace Bridal has experience in! When touring the bridal salon there was an entire section of the boutique filled with gowns from size 16 up to size 22 with ordering available up to size 40.

Key tips to know before bridal dress shoppiong at Olivia Grace Bridal San Antonio, TX Weddings by Under the Sun Photography

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