Perhaps the most nerve-racking part of the wedding planning process is shopping for your wedding dress. While the process should be, and usually is, a very fun and exciting experience, there is a lot of pressure to finding “the one.”
However, through my own research and experience, I’ve found that these five tips will help you have the most amazing time when shopping for your wedding day.
1. Keep Your Entourage Small
I know it seems like you’d want all your family members, bridesmaids, best friends and more with you when you make this huge decision, but the truth is that the more people you include in the event, the more opinions you have to manage.
The first time I went to try on a wedding dress, I brought only my mom and sister with me, which turned out to be a great decision because the salon was so tiny that any more people would have been too large of a group to manage!
The next time I went shopping – and actually said yes to a dress! – I had my mom and one of my bridesmaids with me. It was great to have just their two opinions, and I knew I could trust their judgement as well.
If you’re easily persuaded by others’ comments and opinions, I would seriously suggest limiting your wedding dress shopping party to just your very closest friends and family. While I was glad to I kept my group small at first, I did invite different people to each of my fittings so I could get my other sisters, in-laws, bridesmaids and my grandma involved in the process.
I think a fitting is a great time to welcome other guests to come with you, since they won’t have any other dresses to voice their opinions about and instead can focus on how gorgeous you look in the one you picked!
2. Do Your Hair & Make Up
This was probably the best tip I read while preparing for my own wedding dress shopping experience. The lights in most bridal salons are super intense, which can definitely make you look washed out in the mirrors.
While you obviously will look a little more dolled up on your big day, it’s a good idea to spend a little extra time doing your hair and heavier makeup than your every day look to counteract the super strong salon lighting.
This way when you get in front of the mirror, you won’t be so focused on why you look like a corpse bride, and instead can focus on how you feel in the dress!
3. Pick a Dress That Actually Fits You
Another amazing tip I read before I picked my dress was that you should select a dress that you would feel confident in if you had to go to your wedding tomorrow.
This just means that you shouldn’t pick a dress that you think would be perfect…if you lost 10 pounds, toned up your arms, changed your hair colors and got a spray tan.
While you can certainly improve yourself if you want to before the big day, you shouldn’t feel that you need to change everything about yourself to look good in a dress with impossible standards.
Pick a dress that you love and feel amazing in that day, and you’ll have the peace of mind knowing you will feel just as wonderful in it on your big day.
4. Review from All Angles
Something else to consider before saying yes to the dress is how the dress fits you from all angles, not just head on.
If your salon allows you to take photos, have someone in your group take pictures of you from behind and from the sides. This way you know what you’ll look like from your guest’s point of view while you’re walking down the aisle or having your first dance.
You would hate to pick a dress and the not realize it’s not very flattering from behind until you receive your actual wedding photos!
5. Stop Looking
This tip is for after you’ve said yes to the dress and handed over a huge chunk of change for that perfect one – stop looking!
I know it’s hard to stop, since there are literally thousands upon thousands of wedding dresses, and by this point in time your Pinterest home feed will be bursting with recommended pins of bridal gowns, but it’s really important to remember that you’ve already made your decision and it’s time to move onto the next planning step.
The more you look at all the other options available, the more you could begin to doubt your own decision. Stop pinning dress, stop searching #weddingdress on Instagram, and instead look at only the dress you’ve selected.
You made your decision for a reason, and now you can begin to focus on the rest of your outfit like shoes, accessories, your hairstyle and more.
At the end of the day, it’s only one dress that you’ll wear for eight hours of your entire life. The wedding market puts an extraordinary amount of focus on “the dress,” but you don’t need to let this pressure overwhelm you!
Focus on finding something that represents your own personality, that you’re 100% comfortable in and most importantly, something you can confidently wear on one of the happiest days of your life.
What was the best advice you received before you went wedding dress shopping? Were there any tips or tricks you found helped you the most when making your decision? I’d love to hear your stories in the comments below!