Shopping for your wedding dress is one of the most fun parts of planning, but can also very easily turn into a stressful experience. It’s totally understandable to feel overwhelmed when trying to find a wedding dress that not only works for your theme and budget, but also works for your body too. No fear! We have created a straightforward wedding dress shopping guide, so you are totally informed before you plan to say yes to the dress!

Floral Wedding Dress | Your Go-To Guide for Wedding Dress Shopping | Dress by OZ Bridal by Olia Zavozina | photo by Andrew Morton Photography | The Pink Bride® www.thepinkbride.com
OZ Bridal by Olia Zavozina | photo by: Andrew Morton Photography

When to Shop

We advise waiting until you have booked your venue (or at least have some idea of the type of venue you are wanting) and until you’ve set a budget with your partner. That will help narrow down your choices. Trust me, it will be much harder going in with every dress in the store up for availability compared to having a defined range that will work for you. With that being said, start shopping 7-9 months out from your wedding date. If you’re envisioning a total custom gown, definitely start early as that will take more time and consultations in order to create.

Variety of Wedding Dresses from Monica's Bridal | Your Go-To Guide for Wedding Dress Shopping | The Pink Bride® www.thepinkbride.com
Monica’s Bridal

Who to Bring

This question really depends on you honestly. You should only surround yourself with a crew that will bring joy to the occasion and be helpful, but not overwhelm you. So if you know going in that you might feel that way or feel a bit insecure, stick to maybe just three or four people like your mom, MOH, or a few other key players that really know you and your tastes. You could also make it a very special moment between just you and your mom.

However, if you’re wanting to make it a party, bring more of your gals! They each could be providing great insight on what works and what doesn’t, especially if they’ve been through the process before. Consider asking your future mother-in-law to join in on the girl fun too! We still suggest not bringing more than five or six people total. If anyone feels left out, you could always bring them to a fitting later on.

Strapless Floral Wedding Gown from Lillian Ruth Bride | Your Go-To Guide for Wedding Dress Shopping | The Pink Bride® www.thepinkbride.com
Lillian Ruth Bride | photo by Abigail Malone

What to Bring

Now, that you have who you’re bringing, there are some things that will help make the shopping process a bit easier. You’ll definitely want shoes that are similar to the height that you are wearing on the actual day, skin-colored undergarments, a strapless bra, possible shapewear you might wear, and any photos or inspiration of what you’re considering!

Lace Wedding Dresses from Lena Peony LLC | Your Go-To Guide for Wedding Dress Shopping | The Pink Bride® www.thepinkbride.com
Lena Peony LLC

What to Do During Shopping

Be vocal about you do and don’t like. You’re not going to hurt the stylists’ feelings, and it will better help them to pull dresses that are more of what you’re envisioning! However, stay firm about only seeing dresses that are within your budget! It’s a one way trip to heartbreak when you fall in love with a $10k dress and can’t afford it. Also, don’t feel pressured to have the big waterworks moment either! If you’re not a big crier, that’s okay! It’s totally normal to not find the perfect dress the first time around too. Don’t get discouraged! Your perfect dress is out there!

Pro tip: Eat lunch before shopping! This will help you power through all those gowns without feeling a bit light-headed, but steer clear of heavy and salty foods that will make you bloat before your appointment.

Lace Wedding Dress | Your Go-To Guide for Wedding Dress Shopping | Dress by OZ Bridal by Olia Zavozina | photo by Andrew Morton Photography | The Pink Bride® www.thepinkbride.com
OZ Bridal by Olia Zavozina | photo by: Andrew Morton Photography