Your Most Important Fashion Decision Made Easy

By: Sarah Ramsey

Every bride says that dress shopping for your special day is when the wedding experience starts to feel real. Planning and coming up with ideas for the wedding feels like a dream, but stepping out of the dressing room and physically seeing yourself in a wedding dress is truly a wow moment.

Your wedding dress is one of the most important fashion choices you will ever make, but do NOT let that stress you out. This is supposed to be a fun experience full of great memories!

Keep reading to ensure that your dress shopping experience is a smooth and enjoyable one.

✔️ The first step to finding your dream dress is doing your research. This is a must, as there is so much more that goes into dress shopping than most people think.

Begin by finding your favorite look! Doing this will make choosing dresses to try on much easier. There is an abundance of styles to choose from such as sleek and chic, southern and rustic, bohemian, or simple. Do you like lace or beading…or both? Maybe you are a fan of satin or chiffon. The options are endless.

I recommend taking a look at your local bridal shops’ websites and social media where you can scroll through every style imaginable. You may end up loving multiple styles, or you may only have your eye on one.

✔️ The next step to your bridal shopping experience is to start planning.

First you should set a budget. Wedding gowns can be pricey, ranging from $100 to $10,000 or more, but the national price is around $1,200 to $1,500. Price differs for many reasons such as the material, designer, and simplicity versus intricacy.

My biggest piece of advice when it comes to setting a budget is planning beyond just a dress. If you want a veil, beaded belt, or statement jewelry you should include that in your budget as well. You should also keep alteration costs in mind in case your dress needs a few fitting tweaks.

You should also plan what bridal shops you would like to shop at. Make a list of shops in your area and make an appointment with them. Most bridal shops require an appointment to ensure that everything is organized, and you have plenty of time to try on. I would recommend not having more than two appointments in one day, so you do not get too overwhelmed.

Time to find your dress; so exciting! There are heaps of tips that you will want to remember to make your shopping experience flow.

✔️ First, make sure you bring the proper undergarments if you are planning on wearing any with your dress. Most gowns have built in padding and support, so you do not have to worry about a bra, but if you want to wear shape-wear with your dress, I suggest something nude in color.

If you are planning on wearing heels on your special day you should bring some that are the height you desire. Most bridal shops carry heels for you to try on if you are not quite sure what you would want with your dress. And if you are not planning on wearing heels on your special day…well I don’t blame you. Comfort is key!

✔️ The second tip to remember when shopping for a dress is to keep an open mind. The saying ‘you never know until you try’ holds so true when it comes to trying on gowns.

It can be difficult to tell exactly how a dress will fit or flow until you try it on. Some gowns simply have no hanger appeal meaning it looks slouchy or dull on the hanger, but on a person, it hugs just the right spots and brings out their best features. You just have to try it, and you may end up loving it.

Dresses can also be changed in many ways to make it have that wow factor you are looking for. I have even had a bride who got creative and tried a dress on backwards…and she said yes to the dress! Needless to say, she went into shopping with an open mind and it worked for her.

✔️ This next tip is an important one to remember. Wedding dress sizing is all over the board depending on the designer and the material used. Most of them tend to run extremely small. To determine your size I suggest trying a size or two bigger than your typical jean size. Do not get discouraged if a dress is too small. Trust me, it’s not you, it’s the dress!

✔️ To avoid getting overwhelmed during your bridal appointment, let the stylist you are assigned do the work. They are the experts! Your stylist knows every detail of each dress in the store; therefore they know exactly what dresses to pull to fit your vision.

A stylist is very well versed in all things bridal, so they can give you tons of pointers if you are lost. They can help you determine exactly what style you love or what size you are. If your gown needs accessories, your stylist will pull the perfect crystal or opal belt, or maybe you need a long, lace trimmed cathedral veil, or maybe you only need a statement necklace to complete the look. Whatever it may be, you do not have to sweat it because your stylist will be there for you.

✔️ The next tip is another essential one to remember for your shopping experience. Do not let other people’s opinions of the dress you love get to your head. Your group can help you make decisions, but at the end of the day it is YOUR dress. Listen to your gut before you listen to the people around you.

✔️ Last but certainly not least, HAVE FUN during your bridal gown shopping experience. I cannot stress this enough. Your wedding day is supposed to be one of the best days of your life, so make planning it fun too. Make great memories, have lots of laughs, and try not to stress.

If you found this guide helpful, then be sure to share these tips with other future brides to give them a fantastic shopping experience as well. Good luck and happy shopping! ♥