Practical Tips to Choosing the Perfect Wedding Gown

Wedding Dress

Practical Tips to Choosing the Perfect Wedding Gown

wedding dress photo

Making each decision about your wedding day is anxiety inducing for sure.  Is it possible to make choosing a wedding dress a calming yet exciting experience, that will be truly memorable?

Let’s get right into it.


Who Should You Bring to Go Dress Shopping With?

 In a nutshell, bring supportive family and/or friends. Bring the most important people in your life.  This may include: mom, dad, close friends, mother-in-law, grandmother, or siblings.  Be wary of bringing too many people.  Dress picking can easily make you overwhelmed with so many voices and opinions from those you invite. A reasonable number is 3-5 people.  It is also a good idea to contact the bridal shop beforehand to find out how many people they will allow to attend.  

Too many people?  Let’s compromise.  One alternative is to the other special people to assist another day, in choosing shoes or other wedding accessories.  

Some brides decide to dress shop alone.  There are many consultants that recommend it too.  Circumstances may not allow a future bride to bring others or they may simply prefer their dress decision to be a truly personal one.  Family and friends should respect this. The decision is the bride’s only. 


What are Some Things I Need to Know Before Stepping into a Bridal Shop?

  • Plan Ahead.  Before heading to the bridal shop, do some research online first.  Check out current prices to make a sound decision on what your budget will be.  We all want that perfect dress.  But always remember, this is for one day.  Don’t add years of financial stress for one day.  
  • Research Inspirational Photos.  Gather some inspiration photos to get an idea of your style.  This will give your bridal stylist a starting point.  Also be open to the recommendations of the stylist as well.  They have assisted hundreds of brides, and definitely have a feel for what dresses look best on different body types. Request to see different styles and fabrics.  Keep looking until you are comfortable with your decision.
  • Start Early.  Avoid unwanted stress that comes with procrastination.  Some bridal shops require you to order months in advance.  Remember, a sufficient amount of time is also needed for alterations.


What Undergarments Should You Wear?

Now, let’s strip wedding dress shopping down to the bare basics: undergarments.

We recommend you wear a strapless bra in the correct size.  Also note, some wedding gowns are highly structured and bras may not be needed to wear them.  

Wear seamless panties or even a high-waisted shaping brief.  Satin and silk gowns will fall effortlessly over it, and create a more bridal look at your appointment.

Don’t wear a bodysuit or corset.  It will limit your experience to the styles of dresses you will try on.  If you know you will be wearing one on your big day, choose one after your dress has been purchased and closer to your date. 

Even though it isn’t an undergarment, consider wearing or bringing shoes that will be a similar height to ones that you would like to wear on your wedding day.  Whether converse flats or stiletto heels.  It will help you envision things better.  

wedding shoes sola flower store


What Dresses Should I Never Try On?

Simply put, never try on a dress you can’t afford or one that is out of your budget.  If you do, this is what will happen:  

You will spend hundreds or thousands more than what you can financially afford.  This will create added stress when it comes to purchasing other items for your wedding.  Secondly, you will fall head over heels for an expensive dress and when you logically realize it is unattainable, no cheaper, budget-friendly dress will match the luxury of the top notch dress.  Be kind to yourself.


What Are Some Questions I Need to Ask the Bridal Shop?

Everyone always says to bring a list of questions to the doctor.  Well, bring a list to your bridal appointment .  Some good questions include: 


  • How long will it take to make my gown?
  • Are your alterations in-house or will my gown be shipped out?
  • Is it okay to steam my dress?
  • How do I bustle my dress, if needed?
  • What are ALL of the additional fees associated with a purchase?
  • Do you sell sample dresses?
  • What discounts are available during the year?

With thoughtful planning, make your bridal shop experience as pleasant as possible.


(featured photo by Amber Renee Photography; flowers by

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  • Shammy Peterson on

    I found it helpful when you suggested checking the current prices of wedding gowns online to easily make a decision about your budget. My sister is getting married in June, so she is planning to visit a wedding dress store before this month ends. Since she wants to find a dress that will meet her wants and budget, I will ask her to consider your tips.

  • Charlotte Fleet on

    It makes sense that one should determine their budget before going wedding dress shopping by researching online. My younger sister is getting married at the beginning of next year, and she needs to find the perfect dress. I think that it would be smart for her to research the reputation of potential dress shops in addition to setting a practical budget.

  • Shammy Peterson on

    Thanks for pointing out that some bridal shops require you to order months in advance, so you must start shopping early. My fiance and I are planning to get married in March next year. I definitely want to look like the most beautiful woman, so I want a wedding dress that could highlight my best features. Your tips will surely help me find the right gown as early as now.

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