The Top 10 Best Tips for Wedding Dress Shopping


Want to Say Yes to the Dress but don’t Know Where to Start? Here’s Some Top Advice from guest writer Erin Bouchard, Owner of Once a Time Weddings

1. Know your wedding venue before you dress shop

This tip might seem obvious, but a lot of brides come into the shop full of excitement of trying on gowns, even before they have booked a wedding venue. Different styles of weddings will call for different styles of gowns. Having a basic idea of where your wedding will be held will greatly help you narrow down your wedding day style.

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2. Think about the three words that best describe your wedding day style

Most brides these days don’t have themes per se. But they often have a feel for what they want their wedding day to be like. While there’s no right or wrong feel for the day, it is helpful if you have spent some time thinking about what your wedding day style is. For instance, a gown that matches a rustic, romantic wedding day may be a very different style than one that matches an elegant, glamourous day. Neither styles are right or wrong, just different.

3. Bring those who you would want there when you find your gown with you

Sometimes brides think they’ll head out to dress shop and just invite a friend or bridesmaid along. They decide they will just get an idea of styles and then bring back everyone else. And then they fall in love with a gown that they can’t wait to get married in. Sometimes they regret not having everyone with them. Head into the appointment with the thought, if I find my gown today at this store, who would I want to be present with me? Who do I not want there? Decide on who you’re inviting based on those answers.

4. Make sure your opinion is heard the loudest

We know you want to hear everyone’s opinions, that’s why you invited them to your appointment. But we want to make sure that your opinion is heard the loudest. You are the bride and you need to be the one who loves the gown and who can’t wait to get married in it. Remember your guests will be picturing and biasing their comments on what they would love or want to wear. Make sure you share your opinion and it gets heard the loudest.

5. Most brides do not immediately know that a gown is their gown

As much as reality TV would leave us to believe, most brides don’t instantly know that a dress is “the one”. It’s a process of trying gowns on, eliminating styles, and figuring out what they like and don’t like. Try not to put too much pressure on knowing instantly that a gown is “the one”.

6. Be open to trying different things on

This may seem like a given, but you’d be shocked how many brides turn down gowns before they have even tried them on. Some dresses look so differently on the hanger than they do on the body. Be open to trying things that may not necessarily catch your eye at first glance. You just might be pleasantly surprised!

7. Discuss your price range

The absolute worst thing you can do while dress shopping is to fall in love with a gown that is outside the price range you are comfortable with. And how do you know the range you’re comfortable? By talking it through with those contributing to the gown. That means discussing with your family and your fiancé before dress shopping. Be honest with your consultant about the range that you are comfortable with.

8. Bring a strapless bra and heels if you plan on wearing them

Bring along a strapless bra to your appointment so you can picture what the gown will look like better. Don’t go out and purchase one if you don’t have one already. A lot of times brides don’t need to wear a strapless bra with their gown or will opt for the seamstress to sew cups into the front instead. But if you own one, bring it along. Same with shoes. It’s not necessary to know or have purchased your shoes before your appointment. But if you know you want heels and you have a pair at home that’s of similar height, bring them along with you.

9. Think about what your fiancé would like

It is nice to think about what your fiancé would ideally like to see you wear on your wedding day. I mean, I get that sometimes they have no idea what to suggest – Aline, ball gown, alencon lace are not usually in men’s vocabulary. But if you know that he’d like a certain shape or style then keep that in mind as you shop and share it with your stylist!

10. When you fall in love, do not be afraid to say yes.

Buying a wedding gown is more of an emotional decision then most decisions we make. Don’t be afraid to follow your heart if you love the gown. Just make sure to stop shopping afterwards and focus on all the other wedding planning aspects!

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