Wedding Dress Shopping Do’s and Don’ts

A wedding dress hanging in a mansion's hallway

What’s that old saying? Finding the perfect wedding dress in a hot and crowded bridal shop with your friends and family staring at you is hard to do? Maybe that’s not right, but one thing’s for sure, it’s not always a piece of wedding cake finding your perfect dress. Sure, the dress seems elegant and seamless once it’s already bought. It’s the journey that sometimes trips up brides. So what can you do to at least ensure your dress picking process is as smooth as possible? Check out these do’s and don’ts below to find out.

Do: Know What You’re Looking For

It’s really hard to make up your mind when a big decision rolls around. It’s even harder to make that decision when you have no jumping off point. What I mean is, know a bit about what you like before you go shopping. You may think you want to go in blind, but with all that tulle in your face you’re going to get overwhelmed. Suddenly you’ll feel like you’re in a sea of white and every dress looks the same. This is dress overload in action. If you go in with a better idea there’s less of a chance you’ll get overloaded.

A woman shows off a wedding dress to her friends in a store

Don’t: Bring Too Many People

Think about the shops you’re going to. Sure some of them have big plush couches for guests to sit and judge your look, but some are tiny boutiques with room for only a few. Think about this when you’re inviting friends and family to come with you. Contrary to popular belief, you don’t have to include the entire bridal party in this venture. Consider cutting down your list especially if you have a large bridal party of six or more.

Do: Make a List

It’s never a bad idea to be organized. Sometimes it helps to just get your dress thoughts down on paper. Maybe start by listing your ideas, wants, and likes before you try on and continue documenting throughout the process. This is nice so later you can review your entire list. This is also helpful if you’re an indecisive person or if you just like to think things over a bit before making the final purchase.

Don’t: Bring Anyone You’re Uncomfortable With

Really, this is about you not them. I understand that your Aunt Hilda might be offended that you didn’t bring her along, but her sarcastic remarks make you cringe. It’s not worth ruining your time and possibly confusing you on what you truly like. The wrong people at a dress shop about can change your dress dream into a nightmare. The right people will be supportive and helpful while the wrong people will be judgmental and hurtful. Basically if you don’t feel comfortable with them in your everyday life, don’t bring them along.

A woman talking to a wedding dress tailor

Do: Know Your Questions

Every bride has dress questions; about the process, the cost, the alterations, etc. Questions are great. The more questions you ask the clearer idea you get about what to expect. And the clearer your idea, the less stress you’ll have throughout the entire dress process from picking to fitting to delivery. What bride doesn’t want less stress? Make a list of those questions you’d like to ask beforehand. Don’t count on yourself to remember them all while you’re in the shop. You will be neck deep in dresses and things can slip through the cracks. With a list, there’s no way you’ll forget. Bring a list and get all the information you need.

Don’t: Give in to Pressure

You just have to find the perfect dress, no pressure right? It’s easy to say you’ll have a chill dress shopping experience, but in some scenarios you have to make it so. Pledge beforehand that you’re going to stay cool no matter what. Don’t let the sales people pressure you into making a purchase or liking something you really don’t care for. The same goes for your guests. They may be pushing you to pick one dress while you like another. Sometimes the pressure comes from yourself. Don’t give yourself an ulcer hunting for that perfect dress. Accept that you might have to go and try on a few dresses before you find the right fit. All in all pressure is bad, calm is good. Make your bridal appointment fun and you’ll have a clearer head to make that big decision.

Do: Eat Food

This might seem silly, but this happens all the time. Brides either get so busy they forget to eat before their appointment or they’re trying to avoid bloating. Here’s the thing, most dresses you try on don’t fit anyway and are fitted with clips. Also, as long as you don’t eat bread and beer you probably won’t bloat very much. If you don’t eat you’ll have a less clear mind to go over all the details (not to mention you’ll probably be crabby). If you eat before you’ll be ready to go! Eat before and after a while of dress-trying, and maybe invite your guests to go to a celebratory lunch.

Trying on dresses is your chance to feel like a superstar or queen. This is your excuse to play dress up as an adult. Don’t let pressure or indecisiveness or not eating food get in the way of your moment. Bring good people who lift you up and keep your sense of serenity, and your day will be dress-tastic.

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