For most soonly-weds, one of the most fun parts of planning their big day is wedding dress shopping! There is nothing quite like trying on a gown for the first time. It’s a moment that many people dream about their entire lives. But for others, dress shopping can be overwhelming, stressful, and nerve-wracking. Regardless of what type you are, here are our top ten tips to making sure your wedding dress shopping experience is a good one!
Go on a weekday.
Saturdays are by far the busiest day for bridal boutiques. Our suggestion? Bail on work and go on a weekday 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 boutiques 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.
We know a lot of sources will tell you to not let a lot of people tag along with you, but we’re on the fence. It’s a really special experience and some soonly-weds want to share it with their mom, their partner’s mom, their MOH, bridesmaids, grandmother, father, etc. We 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. But be sure to check the boutique’s policy first! Some are very strict about how many guests are welcome to accompany an engaged person.
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 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 boutiques 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. 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.
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. 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.
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.