Bridal Dress Shopping Tips from our In-House Dress Expert, Courtney
Are you a bride-to-be on the hunt to find your dream dress? Well, it would be foolish of me to start this thing off without a big congratulations! So…. CONGRATS!
If I was with you right now, I would say, “show me the ring!” and ask about your love story- but since I’m here and you’re there, well, I’ll just imagine how beautiful both the ring and the love story are. As a past bridal consultant and a current wedding planner, my goal has always been for brides to FULLY enjoy this time in their lives. For years, I’ve been so fortunate to be able to help brides feel a little less stressed and a little more joyful about making decisions during this season.
Decisions, decisions. There are so many along the way! And I get it. You don’t want to make the “wrong choice” and you certainly don’t want to let your Aunt Sue down.
But here’s a free tip- you can’t (and won’t) make everyone happy.
Because attempting to make everyone around you happy requires you giving up some of your happiness.
And this is not the season for that honey.
So, I digress. Here’s the content you really came for!
5 Things to Know BEFORE Shopping for a Wedding Dress
- Do your research- but not too much.Let me explain. It’s good to go on Pinterest and gain a better understanding of the dress
styles you may be gravitating towards, but don’t overload your brain with dress content.
It can become very overwhelming to see all the different styles of wedding gowns- especially because, most of the time, you don’t even know the prices of these gowns or how they will actually look on you. Instead of using your online search as a tool to find “the one,” use it has a guide to help you find a style.
Here are a few things to note when dress searching online. Telling your bridal consultant these details at the beginning of your appointment will give her a good starting point:
- Details/lack of details
- Train length
- Do not cling to your wedding dress Pinterest board.
Be able to let those ideas go if you start trying on gowns in person and you do not love them as much as you did online. Because 9 times out of 10, this will be the case. As a bridal consultant, I saw this shift in style happen time and time again. For some brides, going the opposite direction of the original vision they had in their head is a tough pill to swallow. But if you go into your dress appointments with more of an open mind, I promise you will enjoy witnessing the shift to what you actually ended up saying YES to!
- Book multiple appointments but don’t feel like you have to attend all of them.
It’s okay to cancel your appointments. I repeat. It’s okay to cancel your appointments.
It’s normal to book multiple bridal appointments. You never know when you’ll find “the one.” But don’t be the FOMO bride. You know… the one who can’t stop shopping even after she finds the perfect dress because she just has to see all her options. News flash: There are endless options. There’s not just one single dress out there that could work for your wedding day- there are TONS! The more you look, the more you will find! So, if you’re someone who struggles to make decisions, you’re just adding more options into the mix and the decision becomes much harder. When you find a dress you absolutely love and it checks all your boxes- STOP. Soak in the moment and be okay with cancelling you next appointment(s). It’s worth avoiding confusion and option-overload.
Side note: Bridal stores are not shocked when brides call saying they have found their dress and need to cancel. In fact, they’re typically prepared for this situation with a waitlist filled with brides who haven’t found their dress yet and need an appointment. So not only will you do yourself a favor by avoiding more options, you’re also opening a spot for another bride to possibly find her gown too- so everyone wins!
- There’s not a wrong choice. There’s only a choice.
Something else to expect when going dress shopping is being torn. It’s normal to fall in love with more than one dress. Dresses are made to be beautiful so chances are, you won’t hate all the dresses you try on except for one. (Wouldn’t that make the decision a whole like easier though?) Like I said earlier, the more you look, the more you’ll find. So, when you get down to those final two, try them on again. Spend time in each one and see which one fits your venue and vibe better. Think about which one is more comfortable and/or more flattering. Think about which one you would be more excited to show your fiancé! And if you’re still torn? Well then, there’s not a wrong choice! There’s just a choice that has to be made. It’s a tough one but one you will feel better about making than dwelling on.
- Be confident in your final decision and stop looking.
Once you say yes and pop the bubbly (even if it takes you 8 stores to find the perfect dress) be confident in your decision. Don’t research the latest wedding dress trends, avoid booking any other appointment, and lastly, delete the photos of other dress contenders you may have been considering. Focus on your dress and your dress alone. Think about it with your bridesmaid dresses, next to your fiancé, at your beautiful venue, with your stunning flowers. You will find yourself continuing to fall more in love with your dress while you wait for it to arrive. Trust me, this is a decision you don’t want to second guess so it’s important to be smart about the dress content you choose to look at after you find the one! At the bridal store, we used to say, “Finding your dress is like finding your person. When you know, you know. And when you find them, you stop looking!” Makes sense, huh?
Made it to the end? Well, consider yourself READY to find your perfect wedding dress. Good luck in your search and congrats in advance. Just know I’m rooting for you from my side of the screen!