The “I Do” Series- Wedding Dress Shopping Tips

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Layers of tules, delicate ivory lace, and glasses of champagne. 

I have always dreamt of the day that I would emerge teary-eyed from a dressing room,  surrounded by my nearest and dearest, realizing I found “The One.” 

Truth be told I do have some time before my big day but I just couldn’t wait to get started!

Although I have yet to find “The One” I have found my dress hunting journey to be an enlightening one. 

Here are a couple of tips that all brides to be should keep in mind when embarking on the quest to find their perfect dress- 


Know your budget 

This is one of the first questions most places will ask you. I like to tell them my budget is $1K less than what I am realistically willing to spend that way I can give myself some room in case I fall in love with a dress that is a little over my budget. Bridal consultants will show you dresses that are within your price range but should you like one that is a bit over, they are very gracious about noting it. Also if you have a strict budget keep in mind that most dresses (unless custom made) will require some type of alternations and those can run anywhere between $200- $900. 

Bring your inspiration  

Bridal consultants love when you show them pictures of dresses you like because it gives them a good idea of what you’re looking for. If you have no idea, that’s okay! I would suggest browsing Pinterest and Wedding Wire to get the notion of certain styles, shapes, or fabrics that stand out to you. I also like to look through the bridal shop’s website beforehand and note any certain dresses that I would like to try on during my appointment. If there is a certain dress the shop does not have available for you to try on, most places will be more than happy to order a sample for a small deposit fee (around $50) that you can later transfer over to your dress/ accessory purchase. 

Don’t limit yourself 

Whether it be your stylist, mom, MOH- whomever! it’s likely that someone will suggest for you to try on a dress that you don’t like. My advice would be to give it go! You might end up loving how it fits or it may help you discover something new you might want in your dress. Or it may confirm that you don’t like it! I went in having a certain silhouette in mind but my stylist and mom suggested a shape that I just didn’t see myself in. Surprise!- I ended up feeling so great in it that now that’s the shape I want.

Pack wisely 

Have shoes or accessories? Perfect, bring them! Have an idea of how you want your hair styled for the big day? Wear it that way to your appointment. These small things really go a long way to help you envision your overall final look. Also, dress in undergarments that are nude and comfortable. Most bridal stylists will be in the dressing room with you helping you get in and out of dresses so just make sure you’re wearing the right undergarments. 

Just have fun! 

Whether you’re shopping solo or with your bride tribe, have fun with it! YOU’RE GETTING MARRIED! Sure it can be a little stressful thinking about the budget or not finding the design you like, but take a step back and realize that everything will work out. Enjoy the dress hunting process-“The One” might come to you when you least expect it!

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