Aug 2, 2011

Dress Shopping Tips

I’ve finally found my dress!!! My lips are zipped on this one though- I don’t want any details to leak to the B-man!

Dress shopping was easily my favorite part of wedding planning, despite the overwhelming amount of choices out there. It’s a big decision- it’s one time where everyone actually is looking at you. And unlike buying a dress in the mall, you can’t just return it if dress regret sneaks up on you. So I thought I’d put together some tips I came up with from my shopping experiences:

  1. Make appointments to try on. Lie and say your wedding date is 2 weeks earlier, just in case.
  2.  Try on every style at least once, even if you think you hate it. The results will surprise (maybe confuse) you!
  3. Wear your favorite outfit shopping. The consultant will look at your clothes to size up your style, so help her out by wearing an outfit that’s very “you.”  I wore my uniform of a cardigan/skinny jeans/ giant pearls and was surprised at how many consultants got my style (classic and simple) right away. They brought me some great dress options, including the one I bought, which I would have never looked twice at on my own. Bringing pictures helps too!
  4. DO NOT GIVE IN TO ANY PRESSURE TO BUY THAT DAY. Seriously. Don’t rush this decision because they offer you a deal that they say only lasts for 24 hours! I promise you that they want to make the sale, and if you come back a week later and ask for it, that discount will miraculously reappear.
  5. Sneak pictures if you can, because you might forget what your favorite dress looked like. Some shops let you take pictures, but many don’t, so keep an eye out for when the saleslady steps away and jump on the chance. Don’t be stupid and forget like I did, and have to go back a billion times to try the same thing on because you can’t remember exactly how it looked.
  6. Don’t bring too many people, because it clouds judgment. Trust your sense of style, and remember that surprising everyone with your dress is better than letting them all see it in advance! 
  7. Once you’ve found your dress, call a few salons for price comparison. I found mine priced at $3100, $3500, and $3800 in different stores.  Take into account alteration costs and accessory discounts when determining the best deal- the lowest priced dress might not be the best overall deal.

And here’s just a few things to make sure go on the receipt, just in case:
  • Exact designer, style number, color, and store’s size recommendation.
  • Delivery estimate
  • Any special requests you may have – ie, if you are adding buttons to the back and the dress has to be made with button loops, get it in writing.
  • Alterations estimate and the number of fittings
  • Any discounts- for example, my bridal shop is giving me a discount on bridesmaid dresses, so I had that printed on the receipt. It’s a reputable store, but they’re not immune to forgetfulness, and I don’t want any issues  when I bring in the girls.

Okay, I should show some kind of picture, so I will leave you with the dress I was thisclose to buying. It was between this one and the one I actually got. I tried them both on three separate times, but the last time it was so clear to me that this one was the wrong choice. It’s still gorgeous though:

I cannot wait to wear the real dress!  


  1. That is a gorgeous one but I'm sure you made the right choice..can't wait to see it!! :)

  2. Yay for finding your dress! My dress comes in in a few weeks and I could NOT be more thrilled. Another tip for dress shopping, if you order an Ivory dress, don't forget that when you are picking out your guys tuxes and flower girl dresses. I know that should be common sense, but it didn't even cross my mind and I ordered everything in white. Needless to say, I had to change everything back!

  3. So exciting!! Congrats on the dress!!

    I definitely second #2.. to try on everything. I thought I'd HATE ballgowns, and I kind of weirdly loved them. Didn't end up going that way, but I had fun twirling around in some of them in the store!