20 Must-Read Wedding Dress Shopping Tips

Searching for the perfect wedding dress? We reached out to BG's Instagram fanbase (66,000-strong and counting) to share their candid gown shopping advice; after all, the best insight often comes from others who have very recently been in the same situation as you. Check out their helpful survival tips!

bride trying on wedding dress
Photo Credit: Ina Pandora Photography

How to Prepare

"Do your research! Look online for inspiration beforehand, and find stores that carry designers that you love and are within your budget. Have an open mind, but go to your appointments with at least an idea of your likes and dislikes." [email protected]

"Wear proper undergarments, and do your makeup. I also brought a pair of heels along with me." [email protected]

"Don't be afraid of going custom! It can be an incredible experience. There won't be any need to pay for costly alterations because your dream dress will be made to measure; plus, it will be one of a kind." [email protected]

"Don't forget your accessories, and enjoy the process — it passes by in a flash." [email protected]_approach

Who to Bring

"Bring a small entourage of loved ones who respect your budget and whose taste you trust." [email protected]_81

"Do not go shopping with a large group — there will be too many opinions. Go during the week when they first open for the day, if you can. The stores will be quiet, and you'll have a relaxing and enjoyable experience with your small group." [email protected]

"I went by myself just to look around and ended up finding my dress. I wasn't trying to please anyone else. It just came down to how I felt and looked in that gown. At the end of the day, the one person who has to love it is you!" [email protected]

During the Appointment

"Figure out which silhouette you like best on your body, and go from there... it's best to give all styles a try before you say 'no' to them because they will fit your body differently than the models in magazines." [email protected]_culinary_couple

"Listen to the sales assistant, who can recommend a dress to suit your shape. I'm so glad that I took her advice. I ended up with a completely different style than I had imagined but it was the best choice." [email protected]_006

"As a former bridal stylist, it was helpful when ladies would tell me about themselves and the vision they had for their wedding. It's good to let your consultant know what you're looking for, but also to be open-minded and let your consultant pull options based on what you tell them. They know the dresses they have in stock, and they want what you want: to find a style you're so ecstatic about that you never want to take it off. It's a great feeling to see a bride glow when she finds her gown." [email protected]

"Speak first! When you come out of the dressing room, face the mirror and tell your entourage what you think of the dress. You certainly want to hear their opinions, but your opinions matter the most. And don't be afraid to tell someone, 'I know this isn't your favorite, but I really love this dress!' Your family and friends love and respect you and will be happy with your choice if you are." [email protected]_dawn

"It's all a process of elimination — color, style, and fabric. Listen to the consultant, and stay true to your dream." [email protected]

Expect a Few Surprises

bride
Photo Credit: Ina Pandora Photography

"Try on everything — you may be surprised to find that the dress you end up with isn't what you initially thought you wanted." [email protected]

"I came away with something I wouldn't have even thought to try on; the dresses can look so much different on than they do on the hanger! Oh, and don't try on more than ten styles, as they start to merge into each other." [email protected]

"I went in with a list of likes, maybes, and nos. By the end, I was surprised by the silhouette and style that I chose, and a few items on the list had totally swapped places. I let my first consultant help guide me to what worked best for my body type. By my next few appointments, I was a pro at narrowing down the choices to only what I knew would flatter me. However, every dress is different, so don't be afraid to try on another fit-and-flare if you've been burned by one before." [email protected]

"Be open to different fits and styles. Also, it's important to stick to a budget. And you can say 'yes' to the dress on your first day!" [email protected]_huiz

Ultimately, You Need to Go With Your Gut

"Pick the dress that you like...not your mother, not your sister, not your best friend. Don't try to please everyone else. It's your day, so do what you want. This rule applies to every part of the wedding planning process." [email protected]

"Don't listen to anyone who says you can't wear white. You can wear any color your heart desires. It's your dress and your day." [email protected]

"Be true to yourself. So many dresses I tried on were beautiful but just weren't 'The One.' I finally found the perfect dress in my price range after lots of shopping around! Don't be shy to say you don't like something." [email protected]

"It's all about going with your gut. If you try on too many dresses after you've already found 'The One,' then you'll just end up confused and overwhelmed. There's plenty of fish in the sea, but why go searching if you've already found your soulmate?" [email protected]

 

Comments

My experience has been after trying on a dress and being measured, firstly when they measure you they are not making that dress to your measurements only to order a standard size. Being told the dress you try on is actually bigger because it has stretched from others trying on, told you need to order bigger size or no responsibility will be taken ( they won't take responsibility anyway) when you get your dress they will very helpfully arrange for their specialist fitting team to alter it back to the size you actually tried on but talked you into ordering a bigger size, to find out that all these alterations is now actually going to cost over half the price of the dress, on top of what you already paid. When your getting the alterations done you will be surrounded by a lot of others that have found themselves in the same position. Altering the dress no matter how good this is down leaves you with not the same dress. Save yourself the heart ache and a large amount of money and get your dress tailor made rather than from a bridal shop it will fit and look better and in the long run it will be a lot less expense