Five tips for brides who are dress shopping

While shopping for a wedding dress, you’re supposed to be excited, feel beautiful, and love the dress you choose. And after helping my big sister, Angie, shop for her bridal gown, I thought my own dress hunting would be a breeze. Angie walked out with the fourth dress she tried on. It was an amazing gown that looked absolutely stunning on her.

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My experience with dress shopping was nothing like Angie’s however; mine was long, stressful, and very overwhelming.  I went to six different studios and even tried buying online, despite that everyone told me not to (and if you’re thinking about buying your dress online, be sure you are able to return it and if you aren’t do NOT risk it).  So, after dragging friends from one boutique to the next (shout out to Cara and Morganne for helping me so much!), I decided I should go on my own. However, last minute I asked my coworker, Sam, to go with me and she turned out to be my good luck charm! After probably trying on 50 dresses total from all the different boutiques, I walked out of Here & Now Bridal with a gorgeous gown that I am so excited to wear. They were helpful, genuine, and gave me the best experience dress shopping I had.  If you live in the Virginia Beach area, try Here & Now bridal. They are great!

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So, since I had my heart set on one kind of dress, tried on almost 50 like it, and ending up choosing something completely different, my whole process left me bewildered. But, nonetheless, I have created a short list of tips that I would give other brides while dress shopping… Not that I was necessarily good at it (clearly, it took me a while) but I did learn some things along the way:

  • Try on all kinds of styles, even if you have your heart set on one specific style. But don’t turn your head to other styles.  You may know what you want, but it doesn’t hurt to try on those other styles–just in case! I never expected my heart to flutter when I put on the dress I bought, but I am so glad I tried it on and will now be walking down the aisle in it.
  • Trust your gut. There were a lot of times I tried on dresses that my friends and family loved, and even though I liked them, I knew they weren’t the one for me. Sometimes you can’t explain why you don’t love a dress (and trust me, the sales people will ask you so many questions about what you do and don’t like about the dress) but if you are having second thoughts, then listen to them.
  • If you’re on a tight budget, pay attention to the price tags. I only had this happen once, but sales people might bring you a dress that is over your budget in hopes that you fall in love with it. With Dylan and I being on a tight budget for the wedding, I had very little wiggle room for price, so when a saleswoman brought me a dress that was three times as much as my budget and had me try it on without telling me the price, I was very frustrated. Like I said, this only happened once, but be on the lookout for it when shopping.
  • Don’t try on too many dresses–take it from me, a bride who tried on probably 50 dresses. All that did was confuse me even more than I was before dress shopping. To prevent becoming overwhelmed, don’t over do the trips like I did.
  • Have fun! My first few trips were so much fun. I took my sister, Dylan’s sister, Dylan’s mom, and my two grandmothers the first time and we had a great time. But the more times I went, the more I began to stress about finding one. I wish I had been a little less worried about it and had trusted that I would find one soon enough.

Regardless of how frustrating  it was, I couldn’t be more excited that I found my dress! It is romantic, fun, and I’m dying to post a picture of it (but I’d like to think that Dylan does, in fact, read my posts in this blog… Haha). Until April 9th guys… I cannot wait.

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