Wedding dress shopping is often one of the most highly-anticipated aspects of wedding planning, but sometimes, the quest for the perfect dress isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. It can be stressful, disappointing, and all-around nerve wracking. But I have some tips that will hopefully make your dress-shopping experience as enjoyable as it should be.
- Research, research, research! Before you visit your first bridal salon, look through magazines and websites and find dresses that you like. Showing your sales person some things that you have been drawn to will help her get a feel for your personal style.
- Try on (almost) everything they show you. You’d be surprised at how many brides try on a dress that isn’t necessarily what they had in mind, only to be blown away when they actually see themselves in it. I’m not saying that you should try on a dress that you think is hideous, but be open minded. You may be surprised.
- Do your hair and makeup before you go. Sometimes it’s hard to decide if you like a dress when you’re staring at a messy bun and makeup-free face in the mirror. There’s no need to go crazy, but neat hair and some foundation and blush can do wonders for your self-confidence.
- Step off the podium. Almost every dress looks great when you’re standing on a wedding shop podium with the skirt artfully arranged around it. You’ll look tall and statuesque. But take a step off the podium and walk around to see how the dress will look on you at your actual height.
- Be prepared for strangers to see you in your underwear. There’s really no way around this, as the sales consultants will be helping you in and out of the gowns you try on. If this bothers you, wear shapewear or something similar under your clothes.
- Don’t be afraid to go shopping alone. When choosing a wedding gown, there is only one person whose opinion truly matters: yours. Most brides love shopping with their mothers and bridesmaids, but if you don’t find their feedback helpful, leave them at home and shop by yourself.
- Don’t let anyone pressure you. Don’t let a sales consultant pressure you into a decision if you’re not ready. And don’t let your friends and family influence your choice. This is probably the most important (and expensive) garment you will ever wear. Take your time to make the right choice.
- Keep your budget in mind. If your dress budget is firm, ask your sales consultant to keep the gowns she shows you within that range. Don’t try on dresses that are out of your price range unless you’re willing to spend a few hundred or thousand dollars more. No need to fall in love with something you simply can’t afford!
- Trust your gut. Don’t be fooled by “Say Yes to the Dress” … you won’t necessarily burst into tears when you find “the one,” especially if you’re not a big crier. Your wedding gown should make you feel beautiful and should be something you simply can’t wait for your fiance to see you in.
- Once you find it, stop looking. If you know you have a dress you absolutely love, that looks great on you and is within your budget, be done with it. Continuing to look at every available option, just to “make sure” can often just lead to confusion. You found your perfect mate and stopped shopping around… it’s time to commit to your dress in the same way!
For those of you who have done your wedding dress shopping, any other tips to share?