Bells are ringing here at ideeli as we kick off our Ready, Set, Wed! sales, filled with designer bridal gowns, wedding-worthy gifts, and more. We know buying a wedding dress is no ordinary shopping trip, so we enlisted the expertise of Anja Winikka, the online editor of weddings at The Knot. Get her unparalleled perspective on everything from dress-buying to wedding etiquette now!
Q: What are your tips for buying a bridal gown online?
A. Try on as many wedding dresses as you can. Bridal-gown sizes run differently―and vary from designer to designer―so you’ll want to know your size before getting serious in your search. If you see a dress online, try to find a local store that carries it and go try it on. You’ll not only want to make sure it fits, but also that it looks the same in person. And, finally, know the return policy (especially if you don’t try it on beforehand).
Q: When should a bride start looking for a wedding dress?
A. Start looking at least 9 months in advance. If you’re ordering a custom-made dress, buy it 6-8 months before your wedding date; if you’re buying it online, buy it 4-5 months ahead of time. Either way, you’ll still want to leave time for alterations.
Q: There are some simply gorgeous dresses out there - what are you favorite trends for 2012?
A. Illusion necklines are sophisticated and a nice departure from the strapless gown. It adds coverage, but it’s still very sexy. Also, changing into a short party dress is big right now―I love pretty blushes or body-con lavenders. Try a wardrobe change after the cake cutting. It’s a “wow” for guests!
Q: The veil―splurge or save?
A. Save! It usually comes off right after the ceremony. Why spend money on something you’ll wear for such a short period of time?
Q: We always hope that every bride’s big day is going to be perfect, but just in case, what should be included in a bride’s emergency kit?
A. A sewing kit, lots of safety pins, double-sided tape, stain remover, pain relievers, bandages, breath freshener, bobby pins, clear elastics, deodorant, hair spray, and lip gloss. Static remover is a great addition, as are extra earring backs and clear nail polish. In larger kits, some brides even bring portable steamers!
Q: What are you favorite looks for flower girls and ring bearers?
A. Let kids look like kids! There’s no need to put little boys in tuxes when something like seersucker suits and boat shoes are so cute for summer beach weddings. For flower girls, patterned frocks are super cute and easy to find. I’m obsessed with Kate Moss’s wedding and her flower children―like a mix-and-match style for flower girls and ring bearers. It’s best to have them match the aesthetic of the whole event.
Q: Bridesmaids and groomsmen have to deal with a lot - at least the good ones do - what should we think about when it comes to giving them gifts?
A. Try to keep individual personalities in mind. Get something that reminds you of them, like a French press for the coffee lover or a gift certificate to a hot restaurant for the foodie. Steer clear of the same cookie-cutter gift for everyone, like matching necklaces. That’s like saying to your bridesmaids, “I want you to wear this, so I’m gifting it to you.” Get more personal than that!
Q: If you’re having a destination wedding, do you have to pay for the guests’ flights and accommodations?
A. No. It’s a great gesture if you have unlimited funds, but most people don’t. However, hosts should pay for all wedding-related activities, including the rehearsal dinner, wedding reception, and Sunday brunch.
Q: Although we’d love to just have you on speed dial for any wedding question or emergency, is there some way we can have all of you knowledge at our fingertips (without, you know, stalking you)?
A. Brides live by our checklist on The Knot. It includes every single last thing to do, and you can customize it specifically to your wedding.
Feeling the love? Shop our Ready, Set, Wed! sales now!