Wedding Dress Shopping: 10 Things Every Bride Must Know

Wedding dress shopping was easily one of the best parts about getting married, but it was also surprisingly tiring! It’s a lot of work to get in and out of those big dresses y’all, even with the help of a professional. Today marks 99 days until I get to marry Jake, and I wanted to share some tips for other brides-to-be out there for when it comes to shopping for your wedding dress.

I’ll let you in on a secret…I actually bought my dress BEFORE we were officially engaged! Jake had been hinting for a while and I knew it was coming as he had taken me to look at engagement rings. We went to  Virginia for Thanksgiving last year to spend a week with my family, and since I was with my mom and sister and all of my best friends could come, we all went looking.

Related: See my post about my own Wedding Dress Shopping here.

I will say I didn’t expect to find my dress that day. My mom really just wanted to have the experience of wedding dress shopping with me since we live 1200 miles apart. But it ended up being one of the best days I’ve ever had! I had all of my favorite women right there with me. And magically found my dress! So even though it wasn’t official, we got it anyway since it was THE DRESS and I knew this was it. Crazy how that works, right?

If you love this style of dress, check out this article from weddingdressesguide.com about simple style dresses!

So, here’s the top 10 things I think all Brides must know when shopping for their dress:

  1. Make an appointment. Don’t try to do a walk-in for a bridal shop. They’re always crazy busy! Make an appointment in advance, and if you want to take your time and really get some good 1-on-1 help, avoid Saturdays. I went on a Wednesday and had pretty much the whole place and the dress consultant all to myself.
  2. Get some rest before! Don’t stay out the night before with the girls. These appointments can be long and tiring! Be prepared to be moving around a lot all day. I think the flood of emotions drain you, too.
  3. Bring the appropriate under garments. Like a strapless bra and the right underwear. David’s Bridal gave me my own bra and slip but I still brought my own just in case. I don’t think boutiques offer this option, so come ready!
  4. Have an idea of what you like. It’s easier to tell them what you like and allow them to find it for you or help you make your way through the sea of tulle and lace. Check out Wedding Dresses Guide for some inspiration if you need some help!
  5. Keep an open mind. My dress looks nothing like I imagined it would! I expected something entirely different than I ended up getting, but I was completely ok with it because it was perfect. Don’t be closed off to new ideas.
  6. Wedding dresses are sized differently. Don’t be thrown by the number, it might be a size or 2 bigger than your normal clothes. Your consultant will get you in what fits and what’s comfortable, so don’t focus on the number. Also, shop for your current size, even if you’re planning to lose weight. It’s much easier to take a dress in than let it out!
  7. Stick. To. Your. Budget. Please don’t try on dresses you can’t afford and fall in love with them. It will break your heart! Let your consultant know what you can spend and don’t go too crazy, unless you’re willing to take money out of other parts of your budget! You’re only going to wear this dress once, after all. Also keep in mind: alterations on top of your dress price and your accessories. Shoes, your veil, any jewelry, a belt and what you’ll wear under your dress also need to be accounted for.
  8. Don’t bring too many people. Limit this day to your bridal party. One of the times I went for a fitting, there was a girl that had 10 people there. They took up half the store! Keep it limited to around 5 or less.
  9. Give yourself plenty of time. Finding the perfect dress can be a task! I feel very lucky to have happened across mine so early, but I figured it would take me going to a few places to find it. Don’t settle! Keep looking until you put it on and KNOW that’s the dress. And that may take some time, so plan ahead for not only finding the dress but getting it altered as well. Most people recommend 6-9 months before.
  10. Have fun! With all of the stress that comes with wedding planning, getting your dress should be one of the happiest days. I cried like a baby, and so did everyone else! Don’t put too much pressure on yourself. Enjoy this time, you only get to do it once.

 

Bonus: Don’t confine yourself just to bridal boutiques! You can shop tons of places online for dresses that aren’t “wedding dresses” but work just as well!

What is your favorite kind of gown??

Have a great weekend!!

XO,

Dani

*Thanks to Miss to Mrs Box for sponsoring this post!

Leave a Comment

2 Comments

  1. Roxci wrote:

    Omg I totally agree with EVERYTHING you said in this post, Dani, especially the one about having a design in mind. I honestly think I would’ve gone mental if I didn’t have an idea of the dress I wanted. Hahaha! it’s so easy to feel overwhelmed when shopping for wedding gowns!

    Posted 6.29.18 Reply
  2. Abrah wrote:

    Thanks for this post! It’s like having a wise friend or big sister who is sharing what she just went through! There are so many details to and steps to remember in planning a wedding –helpful hints like these make the whole process go more smoothly and that frees you up to focus on making it as special as possible in every way. I especially liked the hint about being prepared with undergarments you plan to wear underneath… so important but so easy to overlook and it can make a big difference in how your fittings and ultimate fit go.

    Posted 7.1.18 Reply

Instagram

  • Have you ever been so excited about something that every time you talk to someone who you see could benefit from it, you just want to tell them every single thing about it because you just want to help them? That’s how I feel about minimalism and living with less. It’s changed my life and my mindset in so many ways and all I want to do is tell people about it. But I don’t, unless they ask. 
You can’t force change on people. They have to come to their own conclusions in their own time. They have to have their own inspiration *ah ha!* moments like you had. You can talk until you’re blue in the face, but they won’t HEAR you until they’re ready. The best way to show them how great something is is by being an example! Be the change you wish to see. Maybe you can inspire others with your happiness. Happy Tuesday!
  • “If you don’t have time for things that matter, stop doing things that don’t.” - @bemorewithless .
This weekend (and in general, lately) I took a little break from social media. Since I started my new job, this weekend was the first actual weekend Jake and I have spent together since we got back from our honeymoon in October. Crazy, right?! It was wonderful to spend time with family and get stuff done together and just enjoy the time we had. Making time for what’s important is so crucial to your mental health and the health of your relationships! If you’re too busy, remove the things that aren’t actually important and make time for the things that are.
  • Happy St. Patty’s Day 🍀
  • “Stop buying things you can’t afford to impress people you don’t even really like” - @msrachelhollis 
I just started reading “Girl, wash your face” and I have to say, so far, I dig it. The author is very real and relatable and pretty funny. I’ve heard so many great things about it, I had to add it to my reading list. 
This particular quote from the introduction really stuck out to me because it hit home so hard. I used to be that person who spent money I didn’t have to impress others that I didn’t like or didn’t even know. Looking back now I know WHY I did it, but I still wish I had been wise enough to know it was stupid and not at all important. I guess that’s all part of growing up, right? Better late to realizing it than spending my life that way! 
Happy Friday, beautiful 😘
  • Is this week flying by for anyone else? We’re a few days into the Lent season, and I told myself that I would find 40 more things in my home over these 40 days to donate. We’re not even to the halfway point yet, and I’m already more than halfway there.

I have found more clothes, more things from my kitchen, more random hidden items throughout my house like old candles, pet toys, picture frames that I didn’t find in my first go through and I am happy to be getting rid of now. 
It’s crazy how each time I go through my house again I find more things to part with. Things that don’t bring joy or add any value. And you may think that I’m throwing away all of the money that I’ve spent. That’s partially true. But I feel no guilt, because the money is already spent and it no longer adds value so it has to go. It’s not easy to let everything go. I still feel some attachments. But it’s gotten much easier. What are you doing for lent? Do you celebrate or like the idea of it and what it represents?
  • Happiness is Decluttering.
Since embracing the idea of a minimalist lifestyle, more than our closets have changed.
I’ve become a lot more confident and comfortable with myself. I wear less make up, curl my hair less often, and with my capsule wardrobe I put way less effort into what I wear. 
This time last year, I was tanning every week, shopping constantly, only buying name brand makeup, keeping my nails and eyelashes done and trying to be like these girls I see on my Instagram feed. It was EXPENSIVE. I thought their lives looked so glamorous. Now when I see their pictures, I think of all the time, money and space they waste on that stuff, which adds no real value to their lives. People I once envied I now look at the complete opposite...I think what I have is more valuable. Have you ever had any big changes of heart? I’d love to hear about them!

the latest from @danithomblog