Things I Wish I Knew About Wedding Dress Shopping


Happy Engagement Season!  Did you get engaged over the holidays?? Congratulations!  Enjoy every minute, because your wedding day will come faster than you think!  And yes, I know you CAN’T WAIT for that day to FINALLY come.  But relax and take it in right now, you’ll treasure this special time.

Okay, enough with the sappy stuff.  Let’s get down to business.  WE HAVE A WEDDING DRESS TO FIND!  I’m going to be honest, wedding dress shopping maaaaay have been one of my favorite parts of wedding planning (you know, except for the marrying the love of my life part)..  I’ve never been so consumed by any article of clothing in my whole life.  I’ve also never felt more like a lunatic.  Have you ever seen the show  ‘Bridezillas’?  You don’t want to go there.  So before you go out and start searching, read these tips first!


Bring the right underwear.

Imagine stepping into a dressing room with a lady you just met five minutes ago and she says, “Okay, take your clothes off.”  That’s wedding dress shopping.  You’re going to get real comfortable being in your underwear around people, because chances are, you won’t be able to get into your dress by yourself.  You’re going to need a hand (or a few) to get that puppy on.  Do yourself a favor and wear some decent underwear.  I’m talking full-coverage.  The acrobatics required to get into a wedding dress are not the kind of moves you want to be doing in a G-string.  I don’t care what you wear on your wedding day, but at least for the shopping phase… just consider it.

While we’re talking about undergarments…

Consider finding the bra you want to wear on your wedding day first.  The right bra changes everything.  The way a dress fits and feels is very much dependent  on your bra.  I would  recommend getting yourself measured and investing in good quality.  You want unwavering support and comfort! You’re going to wear this thing on the longest (and BEST!) day of your life.   I opted for a strapless, nude-colored bra.  Your dress will shift during the day (lots of moving, hugging, dancing, etc.) and if your bra happens to peek out the top a bit, chances are nobody will notice (until a trustworthy bridesmaid swoops in to save the day).  

Keep an open mind.

I went in thinking I knew exactly what I wanted and no one could tell me otherwise.  I wanted a fit-and-flare, lace-sleeved, flashy gown.  And what happened?  I ended up falling in love with an old-fashioned, lace ball gown that I absolutely adored.  So when Mom wants you to try on a hideous, 80’s prom queen wedding gown, just do it.  What’s the worst  that could happen?  You may find out that you love white satin.  Okay, probably not, but you get the point.  Your perfect gown may be the one you never considered before!

Bring the right people.

I cannot stress this enough.  Only bring the people who absolutely have to be there.  I’m not saying you don’t love every single one of your 27 bridesmaids, but do they all need to be there?  Consider making it a special day with just you and those you are closest to, whether that be Mom, Grandma, your sister, your best friend…  More is not always merrier, especially when it comes to opinions.  Remember, this is YOUR day.  Don’t let anyone make you feel bad about it!

Have a budget.

Step away from the dresses until you decide how much you’re willing to spend.  The biggest mistake you could make is to go in without any budget at all and fall in love with a dress you can’t afford.  I know it is your wedding day, but do keep in mind, it is one dress that you will wear one time.  (Check out these other wedding budget tips!) There are plenty of beautiful dresses in your price range.  I would recommend calling dress shops  ahead of time to make sure they have a decent amount of dresses within your budget.

Be patient and bring loose fitting clothing.

If you want to get lean before your big day, go try on some wedding dresses.  You’ll be sweating in no  time!  Not only are you doing bends and twists you haven’t done since first grade, once you’re finally in, you’ll realize they do not breathe.  And sometimes you can’t even breathe in them.  Bring a water bottle and take a break.  And please, oh please, don’t wear your tightest skinny jeans and wool knit sweater.  After trying on about 13 dresses, the LAST thing you’re going to want to do is squeeze yourself into skin-tight denim.  Opt for a loose fitting shirt and leggings.  You won’t regret it.

And last but not least, HAVE FUN!

Just ENJOY it!  When I finally found my dress, paid for it and got in the car, my heart sank.  “It’s over??  I never get to try on wedding dresses ever again?? “  I was devastated.  I even started questioning my dress decision.  Don’t let this happen to you.  Just enjoy the process and make some great memories that will last a lifetime.  When you finally find the dress, CELEBRATE!  You did it!  And now you’re one step closer to marrying your best friend!  😉



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