Not always, but often times, the process of shopping for a wedding dress can make a bride a bit anxious. Knowing what to expect, and how to go about it all, can definitely help  shopping go smoothly and save you from the stress so many brides experience.  

Here's what to know before you start the search.

  • Look online and in magazines for inspiration. There might be a specific dress you find that you absolutely love, but there might not be - and that’s OK too!
  • Take note of the design details you like AND don’t like. There are thousands of wedding dresses out there and anything to narrow search is helpful. 
  • Be open to various shades of white. Hues like ecru, eggshell and ivory are still “white dress traditional” but the slightly different undertones can be more flattering against your skin than stark white. 
  • Know that the total cost of your wedding day look is more than just the dress itself. It can also include, the veil, jewelry, accessories, shoes and tailoring of the dress. For example, if your total budget is $3000, a $2900 gown will put you over. Shop accordingly.
  • When going dress shopping, have your underpinnings in order. Wear or bring a strapless bra (ideally in a nude color.) The versatility will allow you to try on various necklines and styles without having bra straps in the way.  Also opt for subtle underwear - no hot pink or red polka dots! There’s a good chance that a bright panty will show through  the dress and make it difficult to accurately picture your big day look. 
  • Remember that the dress will be altered and made to fit YOUR body. So if the sample you try on doesn’t fit perfectly over every curve of your body, don’t sweat it, it can be fixed!
  • Don’t be bothered by the sizing. Wedding dresses run notoriously small, so be prepared to have to order your dress in a few sizes up than you usually wear.   Sizing is determined by your largest measurement, as it’s much easier to take a garment in than it is to let it out. It’s also worth noting that wedding dress sizes have not changed in over 50 years and do not take in to account today’s modern figure. Some companies have chosen to update their sizing, but most have not, citing the enormous cost it would take to change it. It’s annoying (and not the best way to make a bride feel good about herself!) but just keep this in mind when purchasing your gown and don’t let the number throw you off your game!

And last, but not least....

  • Avoid the “too many cooks in the kitchen” problem and only invite a a small group shopping with you. Everyone will have an opinion (and want to share it) and having too many people there makes it difficult to focus on the one voice that matters most - yours!!