Tips for First Time Bridal Shoppers
Updated: Nov 11
If you’re a first time bride, which most brides are, you may have no idea where to start. When it comes to finding the perfect dress you may feel overwhelmed, anxious, or unsure where to start! Here’s a few tips to keep in mind when shopping for your dream dress that will make your experience fun, easy, and stress-free!
1. Do your research and create a vision board
It’s helpful to do your research prior to going shopping so you know exactly what style you’re looking for. Keep in mind two key components of your dress when thinking about what you want: silhouette and neckline. Everyone’s body shape is different, which means it’s important to find the right dress shape or “silhouette” for you. This can help your stylist find you the right gown for you and save you from trying on gowns that just simply aren’t your style. If you’re unsure, then try various silhouettes that you think would work best for you then narrow it down. Common silhouettes include:
Fit and flare
Once you have narrowed down on your silhouette, think about what kind of neckline you may want. Do you want a more modest cut, or do you want to go for a more sensual, sexy look? Knowing this before you try on dresses can help narrow down some of your options immensely. Here are some common necklines:
Doing your research in advance will bring you that much closer to finding your dream dress. It will also help you choose the right bridal boutiques that match your criteria. Next, Create a vision board on pinterest or on your phone with dresses that inspire you. You’ll want to show this to the stylist at the shop you go to for reference. Next, you want to figure out your budget. How much would you like to pay for your dress? Does that include alterations or without? Will you be wearing a veil and if so, is that factored into your cost? Once you have a number down, call the boutiques you’d like to visit and find out their budget range. This will avoid any financial stress when shopping. Once you find the boutiques that work for you, go ahead and book your appointments. You’ll want to book a maximum of 3 boutiques to start.
2. Time for your appointment! Wear the right undergarments. When shopping for a wedding dress, you want to wear the correct undergarments so that when you’re trying on dresses you don’t run into any problems. Try wearing a nude strapless bra and a pair of nude underwear to your fitting. Wearing the correct undergarments to your appointment can make a huge difference in the way your dress fits and looks on you. There may be some thinner fabrics you will try on that may show all accents of the body so if it helps you can also bring shapewear in your bag for those specific gowns. You want to make sure everything is comfortable and looks good underneath your gown.
3. Don’t bring too many people.
Shopping for a wedding dress is meant to be an exciting and stress-free experience. Everyone deserves to feel relaxed and comfortable when picking out their dream dress. That’s why it’s so important to carefully pick who you’re bringing dress shopping with you. Too many people are your appointment can be overwhelming, and may lead to some unwanted opinions. Different opinions can be helpful, but too many can lead to disagreements, and can take the fun out of your special day. Bring a family member or a friend that is there for your best interest. By keeping your dress shopping entourage small, you will get the most honest opinions from people who know you the best, but who also cherish your opinion and want you to be happy!
4. Have an open mind.
You know what style you want and you’ve done your research. However, even though you may be completely set on one dress, your dream dress could be completely different from what you envisioned. You may have pictured yourself in an A-line gown with a strapless neckline, and then one dress just completely catches you off guard and changes your mind!
Come prepared with a list of what you DO want, but be open to suggestions from your stylist. Keeping an open mind will help you and your stylist work together to narrow down your options, and could yield some unexpected results! However, don’t be afraid to be honest. If your stylist picks a dress and you’re not feeling it, speak up! It’s your special day after all. Now you’re ready to shop!