I had so much fun wedding dress shopping and wanted to share my tips with you! I did zero research beforehand and really wish I had a post like this to help guide me on making such a big decision! It’s such an exciting time and I encourage every single bride-to-be to savor every second of the process :)
Wedding Dress Shopping Tips
Start Trying On Dresses ASAP
As soon as you get engaged, I recommend booking several appointments online at wedding dress salons. Many of the high end wedding dress designers book up weeks in advance and there are also longer lead times now due to supply chain shortages.
Take Your Time Choosing A Dress
Every designer is going to have different lead times and recommendations on how far in advance to purchase your dress. I went dress shopping 7 months before my wedding, and got so excited I chose one of the first dresses I tried on. I regret doing this because 2 months later I changed my mind! Thankfully I still had 5 months for the new dress to be made and fit – but I was still cutting it a bit close! Slow down, take your time, and enjoy the process. It’s a once in a lifetime experience that is SO fun and special. Even if you’re 99% sure a dress is “the one” – take at least a few days to mull it over, maybe bring in a different friend or family member to look at it with you, and really make a well thought out decision.
Take multiple photos of the dress in different lighting
Take a million iPhone photos of you wearing the dress in various lighting and angles – from the back, from the front, from the side, near a window, even in a dark corner etc. Try it with your hair up, down, with a veil on…get creative and again, have fun with it. Take videos as well – you really want to see how the dress looks on you when you move. All brides do this so don’t be shy!
Try Dress Styles You Wouldn’t Normally Try On
I was SO surprised I picked a lace dress. Never in a million years did I think I would wear lace on my wedding. I always envisioned something really simple and sleek, but I am so happy I went with this lace dress. I really wanted to wear something that felt unique and special on my wedding day, rather than a style I would wear as a wedding guest. Trust me, you will be really, really shocked at what styles look good on you – and what you end up choosing! People always told me this – and I didn’t believe them, until I started trying on more “out of the box” styles from my typical vibe. Some of my favorites dresses and top choices, ended up being styles I would have never thought to try on.
Choose The Right Bridal Salon
There are TONS of bridal salons out there. I know it can seem overwhelming when you’re starting to research! I personally went to: Monique Lhuillier, Bergdorf Goodman, Oscar de la Renta, Carolina Herrera, Mark Ingram, and Lovely Bride. I was fortunate enough to be in the NYC vicinity where these designers are based, but if you’re out of state, I recommend going to 2-3 top bridal salons in your area that carry these brands. And of course, you can fly in and make a fun weekend out of wedding dress shopping in the city too! If I had to choose only 1 wedding dress designer and bridal salon to visit, it would hands down be Monique Lhuillier. The reason is – she had the widest selection of dresses in all shapes, sizes and colors, the most accommodating sales associates, and the biggest dressing area where guests could comfortably wait. Not only that, I loved that she had such a wide array of bridesmaid, wedding guest, and bridal activity dresses for showers, bachelorettes, and more. I ended up getting my rehearsal dinner dress and bridal shower dress there as well.
My wedding dress is the Monique Lhuillier “Magnificent” style.