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Dress shopping tell-all: Brides' honest advice

Do

“Go in open-minded. Listen to the girls who are working (at the store). They’re the ones who found my dress.” — Sarah

“Show your personal style. Using little nods to your own tastes like bracelets, shoes or a pop of color can be fun and make the look your own.” — Taylor

“Be secure in your decisions. Just know that you’ll know when it’s your dress.” — Natalie

Don’t

“Don’t put too much pressure on yourself. Stay true to yourself and cherish the moment as much as you can. Remember how excited you are and don’t let the dress, anxieties and the big picture drag you down.” — Taylor

“Don’t let your family and friends change your opinions. They’re not the ones that would have had to wear that itchy, heavy lace gown for 14 hours.” — Natalie

And...

“Try on things outside of what you think you would want, because I never imagined that I would want bell sleeves at all and I actually didn’t care for them when I first tried them on. But then it just completely grew on me. It’s fun to try on things. And one of those could be your dress. You never know. (My dress) could have been a goner but now it’s mine forever.” — Natalie

“If I hadn’t gone and tried on all those different styles, I would have regretted not seeing (them). No one knows what kind of wedding dress is going to look good on their body. Maybe have two or three styles in mind that you can kind of picture yourself in. Have the team pull those dresses for you so you can get a good gauge of different looks and see which one speaks the most to you. And just have fun with it and try not to put too much pressure on the day. If it doesn’t happen on the first outing, it’s okay.” — Taylor


Expert take

Beth Clark, owner of Bridal Chateau, weighs in

Do

“Research to be an informed shopper. A lot of people sometimes think buying something online or at a box store will save them money. There are a lot of knockoffs or differences in the construction or ornamentation of the dresses. Read reviews and take a look at things as a whole and not just at face value. It’s easy to get duped these days, especially with online shopping. I don’t want any bride to be upset, whether they buy from me or someone else.”

“Keep in mind how you shop. Some girls are very analytical. You don’t want to buy a dress if your head and your heart are in different places. Some brides just hate shopping. If it’s the first store, if they find a dress they like and they’re not shoppers, it’s okay to buy it. You just have to really stay true to yourself.”

Don’t

“Don’t take away the seriousness of looking for a dress and finding the right thing. It’s one of the most self-expressive garments you’re ever going to purchase. Some people bring in signs to vote for yes or no or bring score cards for wedding dress shopping. It’s fun, but it almost detracts from what you want to do. It’s an emotional experience.”

And…

“I recommend a smaller group. Big groups are tough because everyone is going to have their own opinion. Maybe just bring mom and a close friend or your maid of honor to make it more intimate.”

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