Tips for wedding dress shopping

This entry is from our Expert Guest series where wedding and honeymoon professionals share their best tips on creating memories that last a lifetime.

Yay!  You’ve found the person you want to spend the rest of your life with.  And now you’re planning a wedding to celebrate that commitment with your family and friends.  The fun is really just beginning.

So many newly engaged brides start their planning with the dress. After all, it’s a once-in-a lifetime gown and finding the perfect one is such an amazing process. But  – before you dive head first into tulle and lace, know these 10 things to make your experience simple and stress-free.

Tips For Going Wedding Dress Shopping

What's your venue?

Decide Your Venue

Are you a backyard bride or a chic hotel rooftop gal? Deciding where you’ll say your I Do’s will guide your dress choice. Knowing if your venue calls for sophistication, simplicity or something in between will help lead you to the perfect gown.

Name Your Price

In today’s bridal market, you really can find a beautiful gown at every price point. So decide what you want to spend before you shop.  That way, you’ll only try on gowns that fit your budget, and you won’t risk falling in love with something that’s out of your reach.

Explore your style

Explore Your Style

This is one of the best parts!  Whether you’ve dreamed of your wedding since you were seven, or never thought you’d walk down the aisle, you’re officially a fiancée now and it’s time to decide your wedding day style. Browse magazines and blogs, get lost in the prettiness of Pinterest and you’ll likely find yourself staring a little longer at a certain type of dress.  Clip/pin your favs and your style will start to emerge.   Do you want a look that’s glamorous? Sexy? Romantic? Timeless?  Explore your style before you visit a salon and you’ll find more dresses you love faster.

Know Where To Shop

Once you’ve narrowed your style, its likely that a few designers will keep hitting your radar.  Not all salons carry all designers, so once you know who you like, find out which salons in your area carry his/her dresses.  And, if you’ve got your heart set on trying a specific style, ask about that too.  Just because the salon carries your designer, doesn’t automatically mean they’ll have the style you’ve been eying too.

What To Wear

You don’t need full makeup and hair to try on gowns, but wear more than your Saturday sweats.  Your favorite hair and light makeup will give you a better sense of how the dress will look on your big day.  Also, remember that the salon consultant will be helping you in and out of gowns.  A good strapless bra will look great under a variety of styles, but if you are at all self conscious, skip the thong in favor of a bit more coverage.

Keep your entourage small

Keep Your Entourage Small

Dress shopping is awesome, and you may want your mom, sister and besties with your to give their honest opinion.  But. Too many cooks can spoil the broth. Remember that the opinion that matters most in this once-in -a -lifetime dress choice is yours.  So take a few confidants, but always trust your opinion.  Because when you know, you’ll know.

Keep An Open Mind

Many recent brides will tell you that they were surprised by what they ending up loving, so keep an open mind when you visit the salon. If your stylist (or your mom) have a recommendation for you, give it a shot.  You’ll join a long line of brides who fell in love with a dress they never expected to.

Test It Out

Are you liking a particular dress or style?  Try it out by walking, sitting, and twirling around. You want your dress to feel comfortable all day, so don’t be afraid to put it to the test before you commit.

No pressure in choosing

No Pressure

Your sales consultant truly wants to help you find the right dress. But she also wants to sell you a dress on the day you visit the salon.  Remember that when you are looking.  If you’re ready to buy, great.  But if you need more time, take it.  No 10% purchase today discount is worth not being 100% sure you’ve found your dream dress.

Find the perfect dress

How You Know

Like finding your groom, you really just know.  Monique Lhuillier said, when you find the right dress, it sings to you. When you put it on you feel beautiful. You don’t want to take it off and you instantly (and deeply) love it. If a dress doesn’t sing to you, keep looking. And when you hear that song, stop looking and be happy.  Because now you have one of the most special gowns you’ll ever wear.  And it’s perfect for you.

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Author Bio: Josie Daga is the founder of and has been helping brides buy and sell their dream dresses since 2004. has over 20,000 designer gowns in all sizes and price points, all at a fraction of the salon price.  The site also helps past brides sell their gowns without commission.


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