Updated: Feb 12, 2021
Your wedding dress. If you're anything like me, you've been dreaming of this gown your entire life—ever since you were old enough to play dress up in your big sisters clothes. In your head, you know exactly what you want but shopping can be, let's face it, overwhelming.
What color do I buy? Who do I bring with me? What if I don't find anything I like? WHERE DO I EVEN START?!
Don't worry, we've got you!
Top Tips When Dress Shopping:
Make an Appointment
Or have your mother or MOH make a few for you. This way, you know the shop has availably, you can plan your shopping day out accordingly and you're sure to try on dresses at the places you want to try on that day. TIP: Try to make the appointment early in the morning, that way the shop isn't already running behind by the time you get to your appointment!
Prepare for your Appointment with your BUDGET and research what STYLE of dresses you like
This makes life A LOT easier. It's overwhelming to have every option available to you, so start by staying on budget and potentially eliminate styles, fabric right from the get-go. Come to the appointment knowing if you are interested in trying on lace gowns, or not interested in a mermaid style. But also come to the appointment with an open mind! Your bridal consultant may surprise you with a few options you weren't expecting to like, remember they do this for a living.
Wedding Dresses can take up to 6 months to arrive! Start shopping a minimum of 8 months prior!
See tip #1.
Hydrate! Trying on dresses can be exhausting!
Yes! We're serious! Go ahead and take your water bottle with you. You can thank us later!
Plan a lunch with your entourage afterward (keep your lunch light if you plan to go back and try on more dresses)--but you will be hungry!
Enjoy yourself! This is a time to celebrate, but don't go for heavy large meals if you are going to keep trying on dresses after the meal. You want to feel your BEST!
Keep your entourage small, the more opinions the more you can get confused
We suggest just two or three people for actual shopping. But if you want the other bridesmaids, your grandmother, any other special ladies to see the dress later, bring them back for the fitting so they still feel special seeing the dress prior to the big day!
Stay true to what you want! If you know you don’t want a veil, don’t let them talk you into it! Sure try it on to make sure, but don’t feel pressured!
This day is about what YOU want! Don't want a veil, don't get talked into one? Want a Cinderella ballgown, do it! Opinions are great and trying out different things to see if you like it is a great idea, but at the end of the day, this is about what YOU want!
Be comfortable in your undergarments
If you don't want your mom or your bridal consultant to see your thong, don't wear one. If you are modest, bring a strapless bra. Someone is going to have to help you into dresses at some point, so be comfortable in what you are wearing under the dresses!
Alterations are almost needed 99% of the time. You may be a size 6 every day, but expect to go up a few sizes in wedding gowns. Why it is just how it is with designer gowns. It is better to be a size too big and have alterations, than a size too small.
Alterations are almost never included in the price of the gown. Ask the bridal shop if they can provide alterations and if they have a standard range in cost. Be prepared for a large range, because without knowing the dress you will end up with, it is hard for them to give you a price!
When you go to Target you look at a top and then you pick your size. That is exactly what you will do dress shopping (kinda). These dresses are hundreds and thousands of dollars each before mark up, so most shops only carry one sample size. Do not expect to fit in every dress. Some dresses will be too small while others will be too large. Bridal shops can assist by clipping you into a dress to give you an idea. If a dress is too small, it will be very hard unfortunately for you to get an idea of what it would look like on, unless you can envision it!
Most dresses will need some clipping or arranging for you to see what they may look like. Some dresses will have a variety of color options that they come in too. Once you pick "the one" your consultant will help you determine the color options (fingers crossed it's the sample one!) and measurements will be taken to determine your size. These are custom dresses, but remember, the largest measurement (whether that be your hips or bust) is where your size will land. Again, they can take in material, but they can't add (much), without alternating the gown. Don't' focus so much on the size number, as much as the proper fit!
There you have it! A few tips to help make your wedding dress shopping experience as dreamy as possible!