We’ve all seen an episode or two of Bridezillas. And if you haven’t, grab yourself a glass of wine and dive in to the show that highlights the worst of brides-to-be.This post may contain affiliate links*
The person who’s on the front lines, feeling the full force of bridal emotion, is the wedding consultant. Ever wonder what that job’s like? Well, here’s your chance to find out. Read on for a look into the real life experience of a David’s Bridal wedding consultant.
Meet Crystal, David’s Bridal wedding consultant
Let me introduce Crystal Jeffers. At the time of this interview, Jeffers had been a wedding consultant at David’s Bridal in Clearwater, Fla. for 10 years. She’s dressed thousands of ladies — so she’s seen it all. She was also gracious enough to spend time chatting about those potentially awkward moments when clients ask “how does this look on me?“, the effect her career has had on her fitness, plus the tips and fashion observations every bride needs to know.
Straight from the bridal consultant’s mouth
There are eight things every bridal consultant wants you to know. Read on to find out what they are.
1. The job is physical
Being a bridal style consultant is not an easy job. Sure, there’s the emotional side of things, which can be unpredictable, challenging, awkward, and also incredibly rewarding.
But Jeffers wants you to know she’s also physically working hard for you. Seriously, wedding consultants may be putting Kayla Itsines to shame.
2. Bridal consultants love the gig
Jeffers makes this clear: Her job is nothing like Bridezillas. She doesn’t cringe at the list of appointments on her schedule or swallow her dignity as brides bark orders.
Quite the opposite, she loves the chance to be a part of someone’s big day. She loves the exhilarating roller coaster of emotions that (hopefully) ends with the bride finding her dream dress.
3. Bridal consultants have tact
I asked Jeffers if she has to field questions like, “Does this dress make my butt look big?”
Turns out, the answer is yes. So husbands and partners, you’re not the only ones managing these no-win questions. Wedding consultants frequently watch brides-to-be primping and posing in dresses that are, shall we say, ill-fitting.
The good bridal consultants won’t straight up say, “Sweetie, it’s not working for you.” Nor will they roll with it and encourage the bride to buy something that doesn’t flatter.
Jeffers says she looks to the bride’s expression and the expressions of family and friends to choose the best communication approach. Usually, she ends up questioning the bride on her likes and dislikes of that particular gown. Together they decide on the features that work, which helps Jeffers choose another, better to pull from the rack.
4. Gown shopping is a process, not a task
Getting a dress can be overwhelming, especially if you’re a task-focused person. So many choices, so little time. Such pressure to check off the gown box and move on to the next thing.
Jeffers warns against that mindset. She encourages brides to relax and get ready to have a good time. Enjoy the process, laugh about how a dress fits or the potential wardrobe malfunctions. Be open to styles you never thought you’d wear. That’s how you find the dress of your dreams.
5. Preshop for the best results
Jeffers recommends “window shopping” online to get a sense of what you like and don’t like. Ideally, you’d visit the store’s website first and list all the dresses that interest you. You can shop other online bridal shops too, but take care to limit your search to gowns in your price range.
Bring in screenshots or links to your appointment. They’ll help the consultant choose gowns that are in your wheelhouse. Know, too, that your consultant will bring you pieces that don’t fit your mold. One of those dresses could prompt and “a-ha” moment.
Trust me on this one, because it happened to me. I had my mind set on a simple, modern, straight-silhouette dress. More of a formal white dress vs. a traditional wedding gown. I tried on many of these until I found one I liked. The thing is, the color of that piece was bright white and I wanted a softer pearl-ish color.
So my consultant went to the back and brought out a full, formal wedding gown in a softer white. She thought I should test out the color to ensure that’s what I wanted. Guess what? That was the dress I bought. Nothing like what I had asked for. But it was so, so beautiful. Twenty-some years later, I still love that dress.
6. Don’t wait for a definitive sign
Jeffers says there’s danger in waiting for the clouds to part and the angels to sing before settling on a dress. Prolonging the search can be confusing. You may start doubting what you want, go in a different direction, and then end up back where you started with respect to your preferences.
Bottom line? Follow your heart. You’ll know when you’ve found the right one, and you don’t need to justify it to anyone else.
7. Buck the trends
Necklines, silhouettes, and embellishments go in and out of style. Case in point: Pam Beesly’s wedding gown was hot at one point, but now brides can’t quite remember what it looked like. Veils and headpieces, shoes, jewelry, etc. also step in and out of the limelight.
Don’t make decisions based on what’s trending. Your wedding day is YOUR DAY, not anyone else’s. If you love a ballgown but mermaids are trending, so what? Chances are, by the time your day rolls around, mermaids will be out and ballgowns will be back in.
As for accessories, lean on your consultant for ideas and guidance. They’re experts at choosing headpieces, shoes, and more. Let them doll you up with the dress and the accoutrements. That’s the best way to learn what accessories you like.
7. Opt for wearable bridesmaid dresses
Jeffers’ last bit of advice involves the bridesmaid dresses. Ten years ago, bridesmaid dresses had a very bad rep. It was well-deserved, honestly. Poofy shoulders, pleats, and chiffon — stuff no one wears outside of a wedding — were common style elements.
Jeffers recommends ditching old-school bridesmaid dresses for modern, wearable gowns.
Fortunately, bridesmaid dress styles have evolved — so choosing pretty gowns for your bridal party is vastly easier than it used to be. Amen to that.
Finding the perfect bridal gown
At the end of the day, your bridal consultant is there to guide you to gown of your dreams. Meet her halfway by keeping an open mind and leaning on her expertise. And don’t make her mad. Because she’s probably way stronger than she looks.