Some traditions never go out of style and dressing up for your wedding is one of them.
"This is about fun. It's about love. It's about like, all that good stuff. So, let's bring those vibes when we go shopping, right?" Owner of Lovely Bride Chicago Heather Eschrich said. "We have so many brides that are on really long lead times coming in two years in advance. And then we have brides that are getting married this summer and they have like two months to find a dress."
As 2022 – and beyond – fill up with wedding dates, the search is on for big day looks.
"You could shop forever for your dress," Eschrich said. "I mean, there's 1000's of wedding dresses out there, right?"
She's helping brides navigate that search.
"Stress about all the other wedding stuff that you're probably stressed about. Don't stress about your dress," Eschrich continued.
While the final dress selection varies from bride to bride, she says there are some fun trends making waves this year.
"We're definitely seeing a lot of slits, a lot of square necks," Eschrich said. "We also have a lot of things that we're keeping in stock. Like some jumpsuits and things like that, especially because we have brides that are doing like courthouse weddings right now a lot."
But even though bridal shops are stocking up on options for every bride, Eschrich says the sooner you start shopping, the better off you'll be.
"A lot of our dresses come from overseas. COVID really impacted that. So, brides are planning a little bit more these days," she continued. "We recommend that usually coming in nine to 12 months ahead of time and erring towards the side of caution and really going a little closer to that 12 months."
According to wedding planning site, The Knot, the average cost of a wedding dress in 2021 was $1,800, compared to $1,600 in 2019. Meanwhile, brides magazine reports it costs about $350 to rent a groom's tuxedo and between $500 and $1,000 to buy one.
Regardless of whether you are shopping for your dream dress a year out or just three months, stylists cannot stress enough the importance of doing a bit of research ahead of time and also making sure to come with an open mind.
"Oftentimes, what you end up loving is going to be totally different from what you thought you're going to love and that's fine," Eschrich said. "But having an idea when you come in is really really helpful."
She says that mentality will help you feel secure in saying "yes" to the dress.
"When they have that moment, and it feels right, and the tears start to flow and they pop the veil on, you really want to be able to say 'yes' in that moment,"Eschrich said.
Which will help in getting the dress to alterations much quicker.
"I knew what I wanted, and I saw it and I was like, 'This is it,'" bride Tameika Hopkins said. "I do have to get that altered. So that is something that I have to take into account when I am planning in regards to COVID. Like this might take them three months."
"You don't want to worry about where your dress is one month before your wedding," Eschrich said. "You want to be in tailoring. You want to be doing your alterations and be like, 'Yeah, there's that tiny little thing that they have to change and that's it.'"
Because at the end of the day, it's all about feeling special on your big day.
"It was amazing. I like immediately walked out and i had like this, like gut feeling and it felt like just right," bride Maddie Wilson said. "I didn't think I was going to have that bridal moment that people talk about, but I definitely did."