10 Wedding Dress Shopping Tips

For most brides, one of the funnest parts of planning that big day is wedding dress shopping!  There is nothing quite like trying on a gown for the first time.  It's a moment that most girls dream about their entire lives.  But for others, dress shopping can be overwhelming, stressful, and nerve-wracking.  Regardless of what type of bride you are, here are my top ten tips to making sure your wedding dress shopping experience is a good one!

Ten Wedding Dress Shopping Tips from Burgh BridesGo on a weekday.

Saturdays are by far the busiest day for bridal salons.  And if you're like me, you don't do well in crowds.  My suggestion?  Bail on work if you can.  The stores will be quieter, you'll receive more attention, and you won't feel overwhelmed by all of the other weekend shoppers.

Make an appointment.

Some salons require an appointment; others strongly suggest it.  Before just showing up, make sure you do a little Googling.  If a store requires or suggests an appointment, make sure you comply.  It will only help to ensure that a consultant is ready and able to help you find the dress of your dreams upon your arrival.

Bring no more than two people.  Or bring more than that.  It's entirely up to you.

I know a lot of sources will tell you to not let a lot of people tag along with you.  I'm on the fence with this one.  It's a really special experience and some brides want to share it with their mom, his mom, their MOH, bridesmaids, grandmother, father, etc.  I say as long as you won't be swayed by a crowd's opinion and can choose a dress based on the your likes and yours alone, then bring however many people you want.

Don't eat a big meal before trying on dresses.

Nothing makes you feel worse about yourself than trying on designer dresses after stuffing your face.  And bridal sizes are skewed to begin with.  I love eating as much as the next person but I also know that I don't feel my best after a big meal.  Save the binge eating for after dress shopping!

Do your hair and makeup.

You don't need to go all out with a professionally-done face and coif, but try not to roll out of bed either.  Fixing your everyday hair and makeup is just enough but it will give you a better idea of what you'll look like on your wedding day.  After all, if you look the part, you play the part, right?

Know what you want to spend.

This will be one of the first questions bridal consultants will ask you.  Having a budget in mind will give them a starting point as they suggest dresses for you.  But more importantly, it will prevent them from putting you in a dress that you inevitably fall in love with but ultimately can't afford.

Do your research…

Have an idea of what you're looking for.  Again, this will give the consultants a jumping off point.  They'll be better able to help you if you know what shape or style of dress you're looking for.  Of course, bringing in pictures from magazines and social media is a big help too!

But be open minded.

Go into dress shopping with some ideas in mind but be willing to expand your horizons a little bit.  You never know what a dress is going to look like until you try it on and “the one” may be completely different than what you originally envisioned.  Allow the consultant to make suggestions and be willing to try one all sorts of styles, fabrics, and shapes.  You may find that your initial idea was spot on and that's ok too!

Don't expect the sample dresses to fit.

Ugh.  This can be really tough.  Most salons only stock one size of a particular style, and bridal sizing is SO FAR from real life sizing that it's kind of a joke.  I can't explain why but that's just how it is.  You're going to have to use your imagination a bit when trying on dresses.  The consultants will help you envision what that gown, when sized correctly, will look like on you.  But try not to be discouraged if the sample dresses don't fit you like a glove.

Be honest.

If you don't like something, say so.  You aren't going to hurt anyone's feelings.  Promise!  The consultant won't be offended if you aren't into a certain dress or just downright think it's ugly.  They will ask you lots of questions and they are looking for you to be truthful with them.  It's better to be straight forward than to be talked into buying a dress you don't really love.

BONUS TIP: Know that you may not cry.

Despite what the movies teach you, you may not shed tears when you finally find the dress of your dreams.  And that's totally ok!  It doesn't mean that it isn't the dress for you.  It just means you feel different emotions in that moment.  Either way, don't base your selection on whether or not you cried.  If you wait for the dress that brings you to tears, you may be waiting for forever.

What do you think?  Any other tips for wedding dress shopping?  What did you wish you knew before going into it?  Comment below!



    • says

      right?! i know some stores are pretty strict about this kind of thing, but i understand why some brides like to share this experience. personally, i only wanted two people there – my mom and my sister. after i chose a dress, THEN i went back with my whole clan. i didn’t want to be confused by a bunch of opinions! but whatever works for the individual bride!

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