6 Tips for Choosing the Perfect Wedding Dress
For most brides, choosing a wedding dress is an event of a lifetime. Your dress sets the tone of your wedding day and is a reflection of your personality and style. When shopping for your wedding dress, start early and set a budget.
1. Find Styles You Like
Browse through bridal magazines, the Internet and Pinterest. Save, cut out and Pin dresses that appeal to you.
2. Pick Your Favorites
Look over the images you saved and see if you have any similar styles or patterns. Are all of the dresses you like lace ball gowns? Start there, then narrow it down and make a list of the features you know you prefer.
3. Make Appointments
Make appointments to try on gowns at multiple stores. Ask your friends and family for recommendations! Be sure to bring your favorite images to the salon and tell them the style of dress you are interested in. It’s also helpful to find out which designers each salon carries—check out the designer websites and make a note of styles you like. Don’t forget to tell them what your budget is! Trying on a dress that’s well outside of your budget will only lead to frustration, and the last thing your consultant wants to do is put you in a dress you can’t afford. Make a day of it and invite important people in your life, like you mother, sister, maid of honor, bridesmaids, etc. But keep this in mind—the more you invite, the more opinions there are.
4. Bring the Proper Undergarments
Wear a nude strapless bra, Spanx, etc. to try on gowns. It’s tough to get a good idea of exactly how a dress looks when you have straps or seams in the way. Many bridal shops only carry one dress for each style. Most of the time, a consultant will be helping you in and out of dresses, making sure each one is clipped in just the right places so you’ll have a good idea of what the dress should look like. You might also want to bring a pair of heels or shoes similar to what you think you might wear on the big day. It also never hurts to bring a bottle of water (if the bridal salon allows outside beverages in the store)—it can get pretty warm while you’re trying on dresses and you’ll want to stay hydrated!
5. Venture Outside of Your Comfort Zone
Don’t say “no” to trying on styles other than your favorites. Trust your consultant during your appointment. They pick out dresses for brides on a daily basis and have a better idea of their inventory. You may be surprised and choose a gown you least expect! The more you communicate with your bridal consultant, the better your experience will be. Be sure to tell them exactly what you do or don’t like about each dress you try on—if you don’t like how your waist looks in an A-line dress, then you probably want to move on to a different style.
6. Don’t Forget the Extras
If you’re on the fence about a dress, ask to try on a veil, headpiece or jewelry (if the bridal salon carries those items). Accessories can sometimes add that extra bit of detail that might be missing—it’s the icing on the cake! The color of a dress can also make a huge difference. At the beginning of your appointment, let your consultant know what color you’re interested in (white, ivory, blush, etc.). The sample dress you fall in love with might not be the color your looking for, but you might be able to order it!
When you find the one, get confirmation in writing of your estimated arrival date, along with fitting and pick-up information. Make a list of everything you still need (accessories, make up and lingerie) and keep everything in one place. When you bring your dress home, keep it safe from moisture, dirt, stains and wrinkles. Many bridal shops will give you a cloth dress bag when you pick up your dress.
Don’t be discouraged if you do not find you dream wedding gown in the first store. While some brides can say “Yes!” to the very first dress they try on, others feel the ned to try on more. You’ll know it when you find it!
It sure was nice when you mentioned that I can actually drop by the salon and show them images of the dress style that I want so that the shopkeeper can make a few suggestions to me. That is good to know because I really don’t like the idea of scouring the whole dress shop for a wedding dress. Since I already have a gown in mind, I think it is best if I just had a photo of it printed out and see if they have one like it. Thanks!
Thank you for mentioning the idea of trying out different dresses as I will never know which one will work best with me and that it could be the one that I least expected. That was proven by me when I went to my graduation wearing a dress that I never would have thought would suit me. I will be sure to keep this in mind when I start shopping around for a wedding dress since what I am after is something that would look great on me rather than something that I really like.
My sister asked me to go wedding shopping with her next week so I appreciate the tips you provide in this article so that I can be prepared! You make a great point that you should bring a camera so that you can take pictures of your favorite dresses because this will make it easier to choose the one if you can look back at the details on different dresses. Also, I like that you say to try on all different styles even if you don’t like them on the rack because they will look different on and I will make sure to share these tips with my sister when we go shopping.
I loved that tip you gave about bringing a camera. Having a memory of each dress you try on is important if you can’t make the decision right then. And, if you can’t bring a camera, write and take notes.
It was amazing when you said that I can actually try out different gowns, even the ones that I do not like because they might be the ones that will work the best for me. I never thought of it that way until you mentioned it. I was fixed with getting a specific gown that I failed to think that there is something out there that is much better. I will be sure to do this once I truly start looking for the one to use at my wedding.
I like how you said that we should think about wearing a strapless bra to try on gowns. It makes sense that our dream dress might be strapless, but it wouldn’t look so good if we were wearing a bra with straps! I’ll pass this information along to my best friend who is getting married next year.
I like your suggestion to take photos of the gowns you try on so you can remember them later. My daughter will be getting married soon and needs to find a dress. I’ll definitely bring a camera so we can remember the dresses after we leave.
My sister is planning to get married next year and wants to have a great looking wedding gown. It was suggested here that she should find the style that she likes and make an appointment. Furthermore, it’s recommended to go to trusted shops for quality wedding gown services.
My best friend just got engaged. I’ll be sure to tell her to bring the right undergarments when she looks for wedding dresses. I’m sure that this would be a great idea to make sure the dress fits better.
My wedding is in about 6 months and I’m wanting to find the best dress for me. Thank you for suggesting that you should make sure and make appointments at several different boutiques. I’ll have to keep this in mind as I search for the best stores in my area.
I like how the article mentions trying dresses outside of your comfort zone since you’re only going to be getting married once–rather than sticking to a tried-and-true dress design, you could go try on something you thought you’d tell yourself not to try–only to fall in love with that particular style. The more you communicate with your bridal consultant, the better both your experiences will be since you’re both helping each other out. Now, while I’m obviously the groom-to-be, I know I can tell my bride-to-be not to stress over having to wear too traditional clothing on our wedding day.
I like your suggestion to start by browsing through magazines or the internet to find images of the styles and patterns that we like. My daughter jut got engaged and asked for my help choosing a dress for the wedding. She doesn’t really know what style she wants, so your tip to start by browsing should really help out!
My daughter is looking for wedding dresses for sale right now. I think it is a good idea to wear the right bra for the dress. I think trying on many dresses is the key to finding the right one.
It’s great you talked about going out of your usual zone when it comes to looking for a wedding gown since you’re usually going for a style that you like–but weddings happen once in a lifetime so it’s better to go for something different and surprise everyone! Another thing to do is to always, always make appointments across several stores in order to be able to try on several gowns in order to be able to find ‘the one’. If I had the chance to try on wedding gowns again, I would definitely go for one that’s not my usual princess gown style… I would want to try a mermaid or an off-shoulder cut for once!
I thought it was great how you said that accessories can add a little bit of extra detail to a standard wedding dress. My sister is getting married next month and while she has her wedding dress picked out, she does not have any jewelry picked out. She loves long necklaces and would be ecstatic to find one that works with the dress that she picked out.
Thanks for these tips on how to find a good wedding dress. I agree that you want to make a few appointments at different stores in order to try on a lot of different dresses. My sister is going to get married next year, so when she tries on some dresses, she’ll have to make a few appointments.
Many thanks for sharing with us the awesome article, It’s really helpful for me
I wanted to thank you for this advice for picking a good wedding dress. I’m glad you mentioned that you should try on dressed that are outside your comfort zone and communicate what you like or don’t like. This seems like it could be really helpful to help you know exactly what you want from a dress.
I believe that searching online and looking at magazines is a great start or brides to choose the right wedding dress. I like that you said to make appointments to try on gowns at multiple stores. I will share your article with my niece who is engaged and is looking forward to buying her wedding dress.
Thank you for your amazing article on choosing the perfect wedding dress! I just got engaged, and need to find a wedding dress as soon as possible. I will definitely utilize all of your great tips and information when looking for my dream dress.
My wedding is fast approaching, and I haven’t found the perfect bridal dress yet because I was too preoccupied with the other preparations for the wedding. Right now, I’m currently looking for the best wedding dress that will capture everyone’s attention with its elegance and beauty. Thank you for this reminder anyway; I’ll make sure to check which designers each salon carries.
You make an interesting point about trying on dresses before making a purchase to ensure it suits our skin tone and body shape. The other day my sister mentioned she would like to buy a v-neck nursing friendly dress. I will ask her to test it before making a purchase.