I am SO happy/relieved to say I bought my wedding dress! I learned so much while shopping for a wedding dress. Below are some tips for wedding dress shopping:
1. As tempting as it may be, don’t look at wedding dresses before going to an appointment. Here is the reasoning- you don’t want to fall in love with the idea of a style that turns out is not the most flattering on you. I went to my first appointment and tried on every style- ball gowns, mermaid, a-line, and everything in between. This helped me narrow down to 2 styles of dresses- one that I loved the idea of and one that looked great on my figure.
2. Wear the right undergarments. Although it is actually unusual to wear a bra with your wedding dress, make sure your wear a nude and versatile bra. I also recommend a nude thong. I personally plan on trying on my dress a second time and bring multiple different bra options to see what work best for me. By doing this I will be more prepared for my fittings.
3. Prepare to be seen basically naked. Everyone I encountered at bridal stores were extremely respectful and professional which made the matter easier. All of them asked if I wanted them in the dressing room helping me put on gowns, or if I wanted them to wait outside then come in and zip it up once I was in the dress. That being said, even if you choose the later option some of the dresses are revealing and most of them are not going to fit you off the rack (the girls might be falling out of the dress, or the low back might be extra low). Depending on the dress, what you are wearing to the appointment, and store you go to they may measure you in your clothes or in your undergarments.
4. I don’t recommend buying your accessories before you buy the dress BUT you should have an idea of what you want. If you have your heart set on a veil make sure you try on a veil with every dress. You should also have an idea of the type of shoes you plan to wear. Since I am 5’3″ this really is not a problem for me unless I plan to wear 7″ + heels. Most wedding dresses are designed for women 6′ and under. If you are taller than this you might be able to wear heels but expect to wear flats. If you are taller than 6′ tall, unfortunately you might have to pay extra in alterations.
5. Be open minded. I fell in love with a dress then bought a dress with similar features but something I did not expect to be the one. A lot of bridal salons can really make your dress unique, Don’t be afraid to ask to remove or add embellishment. They can also add or remove layers to dresses among other options.
6. Ask about where the dress is stored, and if they do in house alterations. You really want a place that does in house alterations for two reasons.
a) You want someone making the alterations who has lots of experience with altering wedding dresses.
b) If they screw up on alteration they will likely be replacing the dress. If you take it to an outside seamstress, getting the dress replaced might be more of a challenge.
It is also important to ask about where the dress is stored. If you are taking the dress with you and storing it on your own you will obviously take full responsibility for the dress. The place I bought my dress from store it and takes full responsibility/replaces the dress if it gets damaged in any way.