The Simple Guide to Wedding Dress Shopping

Are you ready to start your wedding dress shopping? It is an integral part of the wedding planning process after all. The style of the dress is one thing, but there is much more to consider when you are looking for your perfect wedding gown. Here are a few things to keep in mind as you start your search in finding that special gown for your wedding day:

  • Do your research. Peruse through Pinterest, check out bridal magazines and find out what type of styles you like before you start your wedding dress shopping. You will notice the types of dresses you are gravitating towards by doing your preliminary research. Think about what types of silhouettes you like as well, as there are many options to choose from - A-line, Ball gown, Mermaid, Trumpet, Fit and Flare, just to name a few! 
  • Start your search early. Give yourself the time to look for what you like without feeling rushed. Wedding dress shopping is one of the fun parts of the wedding planning process and you want to enjoy it. Wedding dresses could take 9-12 months to order, depending on the designer and the style you choose. You do not want to get into a situation where you fall in love with a dress and find that it is not possible to receive it in time for your special day. Make sure you build in the appropriate amount of time for your wedding dress shopping!
  • Know your budget. The first thing that bridal retailers will ask you is “what is your budget?,” so you will want to know what you are willing to spend before making the trek to the bridal salons. Be realistic about your budget. Do not expect to find a new designer gown for $1500. You may get lucky at a sample sale, but this generally is not the norm. Also, keep in mind that your dress may need to be altered, which should also be factored into your budget. At a minimum, most brides require the hem to be altered
  • Book an appointment when you are ready for wedding dress shopping: Although some retailers allow drop-ins, most will see you by appointment only. Select the retailers you would like to visit and call in advance to schedule some time to try on a variety of gowns. This way, you will have the salesperson’s undivided attention for an hour and a half and you will not feel rushed.      
  • Try to limit your travel companions: The more the merrier does not necessarily apply to wedding dress shopping. Limiting the number of people you take dress shopping with you will only make things simpler for you. An entourage usually causes more confusion and too many differing opinions. Limit your bridal crew to one or two individuals that you trust, people who will tell you the truth about what looks good and who will not add unnecessary stress to the situation. The last thing you want when you are wedding dress shopping is a Debbie Downer or a cranky pants. Your wedding dress shopping experience should be a fun one, not a stressful one.
  • Be open-minded: Although you may have a specific style in mind, make sure you try at least one of each silhouette to see how it looks on you. You may be pleasantly surprised. A style that you never would have considered may look amazing on you. Sometimes the salesperson will also suggest some options that you may not have considered but would suit your specific body type. Be open to different styles, you never know what might happen.
  • Make sure you order the right size: When you order a wedding dress, it is best not to order a size too small in anticipation of weight loss. A wedding dress can be altered to be smaller but very difficult, if not impossible, to make it bigger. You cannot add fabric to a dress, but you can definitely take it in, depending on the design and the seam allowance.

These are just some quick tips for you as you get ready for wedding dress shopping. Finding that perfect dress will take some time, so make sure you build in the time that you need, take a limited group of supportive friends/family with you on your visit and know your budget before you start! Starting your search early will also help ensure you get the dress you want! Most of all, have some fun with it, it is definitely an enjoyable experience looking at the different designs and options for you big day. Tell us about your wedding dress shopping experiences! We would love to hear from you!

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