Wedding Dress Shopping DOs and DON'Ts

Published 07/24/2018

As told by recent bride of our own, Debbie. I will reflect on my dress buying experience and what I encountered and what I would recommend doing and not doing.

First things first schedule your appointment earlier rather than later. Think about how you feel at work at 3 o'clock, tired, wanting to leave. When you have an early appointment your specialist is probably a bit more energetic than they will be towards the end of the day.

Don't Believe Everything You See on TV!
I am originally from New York and my mom really wanted to go to Kleinfeld's, but I was hesitant. If I didn't have Randy helping me find the dress or see a consultant, you see on the show I would be disappointed. I've had a few friends go to Kleinfelds and have a great experience and found their dress there, but I wasn't sold on it so I didn't go.

I went to two local stores in the area. But prior to going shopping I couldn’t help but wonder, would I cry when I found the dress, would it be as magical as it looks on TV? It depends on YOU but for me, I just knew it was the dress, I didn't cry, but didn't want to stop twirling and looking at myself in the mirror. I did make my future mother in law cry but it was with the first dress I tried on.

Pinterest Picks
Who doesn't have a secret Pinterest board of wedding gowns?? I did when I was planning my own wedding. I also printed out my top 8-10 dresses and brought them shopping with me. But what I didn't realize is that you need to figure out your silhouette. My photos were all different styles of dresses. So I tried on pretty much every silhouette to figure out which I liked over others. Then we worked from there. Funny part none of the dresses I pinned were the ones I really liked. This goes to show you have to try it on especially since the dress on the hanger versus on your body is very different.

Having an Entourage
Who will you want to share the moment with if you find the dress? I went to the one store two times. The first time I went with my mom and my future mother in law, however,of I knew I needed my best friend/maid of honor there too. The second time dress shopping I went back with my best friend and that's it, while sure it might have been nice to have more people I wanted to keep it intimate and I didn’t need reassurance from a larger group on what I would be wearing.

Be Open Minded
Be open-minded to a degree, I really did not want a strapless gown but I did try on a few just to make sure I knew what I wanted. Let your sales associate bring some dresses to try on that you might not have picked. Dresses on a hanger need to be put on before you dismiss them right away. You never know what gown you will fall in love with.

Too Many Dresses
When you watch TV shows where the bride says she's tried on 65 dresses, I used to think what's wrong with her? Think of all the things you buy on a regular basis, do you try 10+ pairs of shoes on before buying one pair? Probably not. If you go beyond 10 dresses you can lead to confusion. I would say try on no more than 10. I personally tried on about 8 dresses at the first store and only 4 or 5 at the next. Then on my second visit only 3 one of which was the previous gown I had been thinking about.

After my first dress shopping experience when I came home without a dress. I questioned my shopping experience, did I do something wrong, why didn’t I commit to the dress I couldn’t get out of my head? While it is a big commitment it is not as big of a commitment choosing who you want to be with the rest of your life so try not to overthink it.

Trust yourself. If you bring an audience with you be mindful of what they have to say, but are they going to wear this dress? No, you are! So trust your instincts. While I didn't have the crying moment like you see on TV I knew the second I opened the door to the dressing room and my MOH said YES! before I could walk out the door that it was the one. I also knew since I couldn't stop looking at myself and twirling around like a little girl. I didn’t want to take the dress off; I wanted to wear it home. Now I get to wait anywhere from 6-8 months for the dress to come, some take even longer!

Have you found your dress yet? What advice do you have for others?