When it comes to wedding planning, shopping for a wedding dress is one thing that every bride dreams of. Shows like Say Yes to the Dress have built it up in our minds that we’ll all have that huge moment when we’ll cry, our mom will cry, and we’ll say yes to a dress after only trying on three. The bad news is that it’s probably not going to be that easy. The good news is that it can still be a memorable and amazing experience! Here are a few Dos and Don’ts to shopping for your wedding dress.
-Schedule your appointments for early in the day. It can get exhausting to change in and out of gown after gown, especially if you’re disappointed in the dresses you’re trying on. Schedule the appointments starting in the morning so you start off with more energy.
-Try on different types of dresses. I went dress shopping with a general idea of what kind of dress I wanted, but I made sure to try on a few different silhouettes. I ultimately went with the style I thought I would in the first place, but one of the runner-ups was a totally different style than what I thought I would like!
-Start shopping early. Some dresses can take as long as 8 or 9 months to come in, so it’s important to order extra early and leave room for alterations. A store like David’s Bridal will have quicker turn-around, but it’s better to be prepared.
-Go in with a budget. It’s better to know ahead of time what you can spend so you aren’t disappointed later. If you and the fiance are paying, sit down and agree on a price together. If your parents are paying, make sure to ask them what they are comfortable spending.
-Bring a camera. Not all shops will let you take pictures of the dresses without purchasing, but take pictures if they’ll let you! It can be nice to have those pictures to look at while you think over your choices.
-Buy a dress that feels right for you. White might be the traditional dress color, but it doesn’t have to be the only option! My dress was technically ivory. Blush dresses are becoming more and more popular, as are champagne colored ones. Don’t limit yourself to one color!
-Bring too many people. More people means more opinions. The first time I went dress shopping, it was just my mom and I. In addition to getting to share that special day with just the two of us, it also meant I was getting one other very important opinion, instead of a crowd full. The second time I brought several more relatives and bridesmaids, but only after I had narrowed it down to a few dresses I really loved.
-Order your dress too small. I spent a lot of time interacting with other brides online during the wedding planning process, and I was surprised how many women order their wedding dress too small with the goal of losing weight. It’s a great goal, but not everything is in our control! It’s better to buy a dress that fits you now and if need be, get alterations later.
-Pick something too trendy. Wedding dresses go in and out of style, but those pictures will probably be on your wall forever. I’m sure you don’t want to look at your wedding pictures 20 years from now, only to cringe at your dress.
-Freak out about the sizing. Wedding dress sizes usually run a few sizes larger than normal clothes, which can make brides self-conscious when they’re trying them on! Just remember that it’s the wedding dress, not you!
-Try on dresses you can’t afford. I promise you will regret this. You might say you’re trying on that $5,000 dress “just for fun”, but you’ll be leaving heartbroken when you fall in love with it and it’s outside of your budget!
-Buy a dress you don’t love. You’re going to regret it, and you’re going to find yourself lusting over other dresses.
-Keep looking at dresses after you buy one. After I bought my dress, I deleted the pictures of all the other dresses I had been looking at. I stopped looking at dresses on Pinterest and didn’t try on any other dresses. And on my wedding day, I was totally in love with my dress! Don’t let yourself be tempted by other dresses. It will just make you second-guess the one you already bought. And those purchases usually aren’t returnable!
What advice would you offer someone trying on wedding dresses for the first time?