8 Tips for Wedding Dress Shopping | Wedding Wednesday

January 24, 2018

8 Tips for Wedding Dress Shopping by Karen Shoufler Photography

You said “yes” and now it’s time to pick out your wedding dress! One of my favorite wedding planning memories from our wedding was dress shopping with my mom. I think every bride dreams of having a wonderful shopping experience while hunting for that perfect dress, and it can absolutely be that! It can also be stressful!

Here are a few tips that I have found help to make the trip much more enjoyable and much less stressful:

  1. Choose wisely who you invite to go with you! Look, I get it! I know everyone has been dropping hints to you about going. But, you’ve seen those reality shows when brides bring a whole entourage, right?! I think it’s best to bring no more than 2-3 people with you to avoid too many opinions. In most situations, it’s a good idea to bring a mom and a trusted friend. You want people that will respect your desires and give solid input without being too opinionated.
  2. Be mindful of your budget. If you’ve been following along in this series, you saw my budgeting tips a couple of weeks ago. Hopefully you have your wedding budget set by now and have a specific wedding dress budget. This is so helpful when you get to the boutique to begin shopping. It really helps your stylist pick budget appropriate gowns for you to try. Also, keep in mind of all of the extras that go along with your dress, like alterations, the veil, undergarments, etc.
  3. Know what you like . . . but be open to trying something new. I think it’s helpful to do a little “shopping” on Pinterest or other sites to come up with some idea of what you think you like. I also firmly believe that you should be open to trying on something completely different! You may have a mermaid style dress in mind and get to the shop to find that you hate the way that style looks on you! Tell your stylist! They will be able to help you figure out what you don’t like about it and suggest another style. Be open, and then don’t be afraid to say “no” if you don’t like what you see.
  4. Bring along your shoes and/or any accessories that you have already chosen. If you have your shoes picked out, this will help tremendously when trying on your dress and getting fitted. I know that when I go shopping for anything, I have to bring the right shoes along. Trying a dress on with the right shoes is going to be a much better option than trying on that gorgeous gown without shoes, unless you are getting married on the beach sans shoes.
  5. Wear the right undergarments! Remember that you’ll likely be getting dressed with someone else in the room. More importantly, you don’t want your bright pink bra straps ruining the look of the dresses you are trying on. I suggest wearing a nude strapless bra and nude seamless underwear.
  6. Look your best, or at least put together. You’ll be more excited to look in the mirror to gaze at yourself in a wedding dress if you have your hair and makeup done. You don’t necessarily have to have fake eyelashes on and pay for an up do, but a little hair styling and makeup will make a huge difference.
  7. Don’t settle. Most of the time, brides don’t have to get a dress the first day they go shopping. Unless you are on a huge time crunch, allow yourself the freedom to leave without a dress if nothing feels like “the one”!
  8. TRY SITTING DOWN. This is one tip that gets overlooked way too often. You don’t want to get to your wedding reception and not be able to eat or sit down. Try sitting down and moving around in your dress when you first try it on AND after you’ve had it altered.

Once you consider these few tips, you’ll be all set! Have fun and happy shopping!

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  1. Misty

    January 25th, 2017 at 12:49 pm

    These tips are all so great!!

  2. Marquette LaRee

    January 26th, 2017 at 8:33 am

    Definitely try sitting down in it! I had a bride this summer not realize until she put the dress on the morning of her wedding that she couldn’t sit down without hiking her dress up awkwardly and she nearly burst into tears!

  3. Karen Shoufler

    January 27th, 2017 at 12:11 pm

    Oh no! That’s terrible 🙁 Poor girl!

  4. Holly

    January 26th, 2017 at 9:35 am

    These tips are perfect!!

  5. Ashley Durham

    January 27th, 2017 at 4:40 pm

    Great tips for dress shopping!!

  6. Candi

    January 27th, 2017 at 6:02 pm

    These are great tips!

  7. Brittani

    January 30th, 2017 at 9:13 am

    Sometimes it the little things that make the most difference! Who would honestly think to sit down in a Bridal Gown Shop right? Awesome tips!!

  8. Jill

    January 30th, 2017 at 9:33 am

    I LOVE these tips- they are so important, especially the sitting down one!!! 🙂

  9. Joanna M

    February 2nd, 2017 at 12:38 am

    Great tips!

  10. Sara

    February 6th, 2017 at 10:09 am

    #1 is SO big!!! Oftentimes people bring TOO many others with them and it really doesn’t make it a great experience!

  11. Stella

    February 6th, 2017 at 11:15 pm

    These are awesome tips!! Some of them I wish I would have heeded when looking for my own dress 😉

  12. Veronica Ilioi

    January 24th, 2018 at 1:53 pm

    Such great tips for new brides to have!

  13. Kayla Grey

    January 25th, 2018 at 7:55 am

    Perfect tips! I couldn’t agree more with the entourage tip! Too many opinions can really hurt you in the end, not help.

  14. stella

    January 25th, 2018 at 9:40 pm

    Awesome tips. Going in with an open mind is a huge one! I thought I had my dress picked from the dress website… until I tried it on. It was a big fat “NOPE”! ha! I ended up with something I didn’t think I’d like, but I loooove my dress!

  15. Renee

    January 29th, 2018 at 4:21 pm

    This is so helpful, Karen! I remember receiving the same advice you noted in tip #4!! Bringing my jewelry, shoes and veil truly made the selection process much easier!