Tips To Keep In Mind When Shopping For Bridal Gowns

Shopping for bridal gowns should be one of the most enjoyable aspects of wedding planning. However, in reality it can also be a bit stressful. So we have composed a few helpful tips for you on making your wedding dress shopping adventure one of the most memorable moments of your pre-wedding experience.

Every bride has dreamt about bridal gowns since she was a little girl. It’s probably one of the details you have most imagined about your future wedding, even before you found your true love. Shopping for wedding gowns should be one of the most enjoyable aspects of wedding planning. However, in reality it can also be a bit stressful. So we have composed a few helpful tips for you on making your wedding dress shopping adventure one of the most memorable moments of your pre-wedding experience.


Helpful Tips On How To Shop For Bridal Gowns

Source: Vicki Bartel

bridal gowns vicki bartel

1. Set a realistic budget-and stick to it!

Set a budget that is realistically within your means and stick to it. Also, remember to take factors such as sales tax, alternations and accessories into consideration when coming up with a wedding gown budget. A lot of bridal shops require at least a 50% deposit so make sure that you have at least that much available when you find the dress of your dreams. Another helpful piece of advice is to pay with a credit card so that you proof of purchase should any problems arise.



2. Start shopping early

If at all possible, start shopping for your bridal gown nine to twelve months prior to your wedding. You need to ensure that there is ample time for delivery, customization and alternations.


3. Familiarize yourself with wedding dress styles before you start shopping

Study the different styles of bridal gowns before you start shopping so you are up to date on the current lingo. Wedding dresses typically come in the following styles: ball gown, A-line, mermaid, fit & flare, sheath, and empire. You should try one of each style on the first time you shop so you can find which gown style best suits you figure. Then you can decide on additional details such as sleeve length, neckline, color, material, and embellishments.

4. Envision your bridal gown

In your mind, you probably have a realistic idea of what you want your wedding gown to look like. Do you envision yourself in a modern style dress? Traditional? Victorian? Once you have a picture of your dream dress in mind, it will be much easier to narrow down your selection. Also decide what type of bustle, train, veil etc you want as this can help make your decision that much easier.

As well, you should keep an open mind. Just because a dress looks gorgeous in pictures or on display, doesn’t necessarily mean it will be the dress of your dreams. A dress that you might have not given a second glance might turn out to be “the one.” You can imagine how many brides have gone into a bridal store with a specific style bridal gown in mind and then ending up purchasing a completely different style dress. You’ll know when it’s right!


5. Confer with experts

Discuss the details of your body type and what style dress you envision with your bridal consultant. Listen carefully to their advice as they are well-versed in their profession and can offer you a great deal of input. Also, provide them with all the important details such as the date (and season) of your wedding, the theme, the size of your bridal party and guest list, and so forth. Ultimately, these details can have a huge impact on your wedding dress decision.  

6. Limit the size of your shopping party

As much as you would like to include all of your closest family and friends on the big decision, the truth of the matter is that the more people you take dress shopping with you, the more overwhelmed and confused you will feel. Bring no more than 5 people with you (two or three is ideal) and choose someone who is honest and whom you can trust for impartial input. If you wish, you can bring a larger party with you for your fittings so that you can share the experience, after you have already made your decision. And remember, it’s your wedding so the final say is ultimately yours!


7. Don’t get hung up on dress size

Bridal gowns tend to run one to two sizes smaller than the average dress size so do not get discouraged if you are normally a size 6 and you end up buying a size 10 dress. Don’t buy a bridal dress that is too tight in the hopes that you will lose enough weight in time for the big day. It’s much easier to take a dress in than it is to let it out. Don’t let the size of the dress discouraging you from choosing it if otherwise it fits all of your requirements.

8. Start thinking accessories

You don’t have to pick all of your accessories the same day you purchase your dress. However, it is a good idea to start looking so that you will not be rushing around at the last minute trying to find the perfect veil, tiara, hat, jewelry, shoes and so forth.


9. Always confirm the finalized details

Confirm the fees and pricing before you make your final purchase to ensure that you will not be subject to unexpected expenses. Take alternations, bustling, etc into consideration for future costs. Also, make sure that you have everything in writing in case there are any discrepancies later on.

10. Stay in touch with the dress shop

Keep in communication with the bridal boutique to make sure that your dress will be ready in time for the big day. You don’t want to wait until the last minute to find out that there as has been an unexpected delay. Stay in touch with your bridal consultant and keep all of your scheduled alteration appointments.


There you have it! Keep these tips in mind when shopping for your bridal gown and you will have a magical experience! Now go out there and find the dress of your dreams!