Photo: Jeremie Hkb
Shopping for your wedding gown can be nerve-racking, even for the most excited bride. As with anything in life, the more prepared you are for a situation, the smoother it goes. We're here to make sure you have the best experience as you enter this part of the planning phase, so we've outlined some helpful tips and tricks for when you're shopping for "the one".
If you're planning on shopping for your gown online, here's an article to guide you through that process as well.
Don't know exactly what you're looking for yet? Check out this article about finding the right bridal style for you, or this one that features three different show-stopping looks.
schedule an appointment
Photo: Paige Kowal Photography
This is, by far, the most important piece of advice. Most bridal boutiques require appointments (especially these days). Make your day less stressful by scheduling your appointment. Some boutiques book up for weekend appointments three months in advance.
don't go on a full stomach
You don't want to go to your appointment hungry, but you don't want to be super full either–comfort is key to feeling your best. Early afternoon or late morning appointments are preferable, this way, you can go out to lunch with your bridal party afterward to celebrate.
Bring the right undergarments
Photo: Veronica Girotti, Mama Photo Studio
The right undergarments can make or break a dress, so it is important that you wear/bring several options. For bras, make sure to bring a strapless option. Skin-tone underwear is also a must-have bridal staple. If you wear shapewear, like Spanx, bring that too!
do your hair and makeup
Photo: Artiese Studios
You don't need to have your hair and makeup professionally done for your appointment, but it wouldn't hurt! Just make sure you feel your best. The closer you look to how you want to look on your wedding day, the easier it will be to visualize yourself in the gowns.
bring a small group
Photo: Kara Reynolds Photography
It's always nice to have an opinion from someone who knows you, especially on a purchase this big! That being said, you don't want too many opinions, so limit yourself when it comes to the invite list for your shopping party. The ideal number is 1-3 close friends or family members.
take photos if you're allowed
Photo: Véronique Chesnel Photography
Chances are, you'll be trying on a lot of gowns, possibly at different locations. It can be hard to keep track of everything! If the boutique allows (some don't) take photos of yourself in each gown from multiple angles. This will help when you're looking back and trying to decide. It's much easier to make a decision seeing the gown on yourself rather than on a model.
confirm that the store has the gown you're looking for
Dress: Rue De Seine
Every bridal boutique carries its own range of designers. To be even more specific, they carry a select few designs from each of those designers. So, even if they carry the line you like, if you have a particular gown in mind, call ahead to make sure they have that sample in-store and available to try on.
know your budget
Photo: Jeremie Hkb
One of the first questions that your bridal stylist will ask is, "What is your budget?". It's a good idea to go in with a number and be upfront about what you are wanting to spend. This will help your stylist curate a group of gowns for you to try on that fit within your budget.
Bring Your Wedding Shoes (Or Something Similar)
Photo: Artiese Studios
If you know you're going to be wearing heels on your big day, then bring a pair of heels that is a similar height to the ones you want. This will change your posture and how you feel in the gown. Even if you're planning on wearing flats, bring some cute ones so you feel like a bride.
have an open mind
You may have a specific silhouette or even a specific gown in mind, but be open to trying on a few things that are out of your comfort zone. This is the time to experiment. You want to look back on your purchase and know that you made the right decision and gave all of the options a try.