10 Must-Know Tips Before Wedding Dress Shopping

Shopping for a wedding dress is a very exciting time but it can also be stressful. That’s why we put together a list of 10 things that we want you to know before you shop for a dress.

  1. Make an appointment. We do our best to accommodate walk-ins if space and staffing allows. An appointment ensures that a room will be available and that you have someone trained and knowledgeable to help you. Most shops will require an appointment so call a couple weeks in advance so you can have your pick of day and time. Explore the different appointment styles and timeframes on our Appointment Page.
  2. Limit your entourage. It’s great to have some trusted opinions, but if you have too many voices chiming in, you risk not choosing a gown you actually like. Plus most bridal boutiques will have limited seating so choose who you want to share the day with wisely. If you fear that someone may feel left out, invite that person to the alterations appointment that way they can see you in the dress too. If you’re curious how to navigate choosing who to bring, read the blog we wrote about who to bring!
  3. Do your homework yet have an open mind. Showing your stylist your Pinterest board is a great way to start the appointment. Your stylist is going to want to know what sparks your interest. With that said, be open to different styles suggested by the stylist. Being in this business for almost a decade, I can’t tell you how many times a bride will show me pictures of what she thinks she wants, to end up falling in love with and buying something totally different. That picture inspiration is a good starting point but a good stylist will listen to your feedback and bring you dresses that you might have overlooked or said “no” to initially. If you’re not sure where to start, take a peak at our Instagram.
  4. Hair and makeup go a long way. On the day you try on dresses, get yourself ready with whatever hair and makeup you do to look nice. I don’t know about you, but when I look nice, I feel good too.
  5. Bridal sizing sucks. Wedding gowns fit small so don’t be alarmed if you have to size up. Myself, I’m 3 different sizes in wedding gowns! It depends on your body shape, the designer, silhouette, fabric, what undergarments you’re wearing and so many other factors. Give yourself a break and don’t worry about what the tag says.
  6. Limit the amount of stores your go to in one day. Some brides want to make sure they see alllll the dresses before coming to an educated and thoughtful decision to buy THE ONE. My advice, pick two places (and only two places) to hit up in one day. If you don’t find the one on that first day, make appointments for different shops on a different day. I have seen the state of a bride on her third or even her fourth appointment in one day and she is tired, confused, and can’t remember what she even likes anymore (We call this “white out”).
  7. You will most likely NEED alterations. When you try a dress on from straight off the rack, there is a good chance that it won’t fit right and the length will be too long. That’s perfectly normal, in fact if you don’t need any alterations you got super lucky. A good stylist should navigate you through the alterations process, talk about pricing and answer all your questions.
  8. Please let me help you. I know it’s awkward to let some random stranger help you dress yourself but trust me, it’s a way easier with a pro in your dressing room. We know how the dresses fit, where all the snaps, buttons, and hook and eyes are. We have put thousands of women in dresses and it’s pretty much engraved in our muscle memory by now. It’s also our responsibility to keep the dressing room clear and help put dresses back on the rack after you try them. This time with you also gives us the opportunity to get to know you and your vison for the wedding.
  9. Manage your apt time wisely. Most boutiques will have bridal appointments scheduled back to back. If you only have a set amount of time with your stylist make sure you are staying on the right track. For example, after trying on different styles, you discover that you don’t like ball gowns, and someone from your entourage wants you to try on a ball gown, should you really try it on? We want to give your family and friends the opportunity to try on their picks for you so have them partner with the stylist so we can make the most of your time.
  10. You may not cry and that’s ok! The show “Say yes to the dress” has given people the idea that you are going to have this big “ah ha” moment when you find THE ONE. As if the heavens will open and harps will start playing your wedding song. I have heard people say “you’ll just know when you found the one” …. But what if you don’t have that big “ah ha” moment? Some women don’t and that’s perfectly ok. As long as you love your dress and can see yourself getting married in it, that’s all that matters.

 

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