Wedding Dress Shopping: 10 Things Every Bride Must Know

Wedding dress shopping was easily one of the best parts about getting married, but it was also surprisingly tiring! It’s a lot of work to get in and out of those big dresses y’all, even with the help of a professional. Today marks 99 days until I get to marry Jake, and I wanted to share some tips for other brides-to-be out there for when it comes to shopping for your wedding dress.

I’ll let you in on a secret…I actually bought my dress BEFORE we were officially engaged! Jake had been hinting for a while and I knew it was coming as he had taken me to look at engagement rings. We went to  Virginia for Thanksgiving last year to spend a week with my family, and since I was with my mom and sister and all of my best friends could come, we all went looking.

Related: See my post about my own Wedding Dress Shopping here.

I will say I didn’t expect to find my dress that day. My mom really just wanted to have the experience of wedding dress shopping with me since we live 1200 miles apart. But it ended up being one of the best days I’ve ever had! I had all of my favorite women right there with me. And magically found my dress! So even though it wasn’t official, we got it anyway since it was THE DRESS and I knew this was it. Crazy how that works, right?

If you love this style of dress, check out this article from about simple style dresses!

So, here’s the top 10 things I think all Brides must know when shopping for their dress:

  1. Make an appointment. Don’t try to do a walk-in for a bridal shop. They’re always crazy busy! Make an appointment in advance, and if you want to take your time and really get some good 1-on-1 help, avoid Saturdays. I went on a Wednesday and had pretty much the whole place and the dress consultant all to myself.
  2. Get some rest before! Don’t stay out the night before with the girls. These appointments can be long and tiring! Be prepared to be moving around a lot all day. I think the flood of emotions drain you, too.
  3. Bring the appropriate under garments. Like a strapless bra and the right underwear. David’s Bridal gave me my own bra and slip but I still brought my own just in case. I don’t think boutiques offer this option, so come ready!
  4. Have an idea of what you like. It’s easier to tell them what you like and allow them to find it for you or help you make your way through the sea of tulle and lace. Check out Wedding Dresses Guide for some inspiration if you need some help!
  5. Keep an open mind. My dress looks nothing like I imagined it would! I expected something entirely different than I ended up getting, but I was completely ok with it because it was perfect. Don’t be closed off to new ideas.
  6. Wedding dresses are sized differently. Don’t be thrown by the number, it might be a size or 2 bigger than your normal clothes. Your consultant will get you in what fits and what’s comfortable, so don’t focus on the number. Also, shop for your current size, even if you’re planning to lose weight. It’s much easier to take a dress in than let it out!
  7. Stick. To. Your. Budget. Please don’t try on dresses you can’t afford and fall in love with them. It will break your heart! Let your consultant know what you can spend and don’t go too crazy, unless you’re willing to take money out of other parts of your budget! You’re only going to wear this dress once, after all. Also keep in mind: alterations on top of your dress price and your accessories. Shoes, your veil, any jewelry, a belt and what you’ll wear under your dress also need to be accounted for.
  8. Don’t bring too many people. Limit this day to your bridal party. One of the times I went for a fitting, there was a girl that had 10 people there. They took up half the store! Keep it limited to around 5 or less.
  9. Give yourself plenty of time. Finding the perfect dress can be a task! I feel very lucky to have happened across mine so early, but I figured it would take me going to a few places to find it. Don’t settle! Keep looking until you put it on and KNOW that’s the dress. And that may take some time, so plan ahead for not only finding the dress but getting it altered as well. Most people recommend 6-9 months before.
  10. Have fun! With all of the stress that comes with wedding planning, getting your dress should be one of the happiest days. I cried like a baby, and so did everyone else! Don’t put too much pressure on yourself. Enjoy this time, you only get to do it once.


Bonus: Don’t confine yourself just to bridal boutiques! You can shop tons of places online for dresses that aren’t “wedding dresses” but work just as well!

What is your favorite kind of gown??

Have a great weekend!!



*Thanks to Miss to Mrs Box for sponsoring this post!

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Leave a Comment

  1. Roxci wrote:

    Omg I totally agree with EVERYTHING you said in this post, Dani, especially the one about having a design in mind. I honestly think I would’ve gone mental if I didn’t have an idea of the dress I wanted. Hahaha! it’s so easy to feel overwhelmed when shopping for wedding gowns!

    Posted 6.29.18 Reply
  2. Abrah wrote:

    Thanks for this post! It’s like having a wise friend or big sister who is sharing what she just went through! There are so many details to and steps to remember in planning a wedding –helpful hints like these make the whole process go more smoothly and that frees you up to focus on making it as special as possible in every way. I especially liked the hint about being prepared with undergarments you plan to wear underneath… so important but so easy to overlook and it can make a big difference in how your fittings and ultimate fit go.

    Posted 7.1.18 Reply