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  • Writer's pictureIrene + Co Events


The world of wedding planning can be wild–especially when it comes to finding the dress of your dreams. Whether you’ve been dreaming about the perfect wedding dress for years or you have no idea where to start, this blog has tons of advice for how to go about your wedding dress shopping process. Remember, wedding dress shopping has the potential to be positive, fun, and a fantastic way to kick off an amazing wedding.

If there’s one rule that every bride should stick to when it comes to wedding dress shopping, it’s this: Focus on finding dresses that make you feel beautiful and fully in your element.


The Must-Knows of Wedding Dress Shopping

how to pick a wedding dress
wedding dress shopping

Above All, Pick the Dress That Brings You Joy

The rest of this article is going to share some very practical and logistical advice about wedding dress shopping–and it’s all advice you should definitely listen to. But I want to make sure this point comes first because it’s the most important! The main requirement for the dress of your dreams is that it makes you happy. At the end of the day, you’re the one wearing it. You’re the one who’s going to cherish it forever. Make sure the dress you choose excites you, makes you feel your best, and is a dress you’ll treasure forever.


Bring Your Supportive, Honest Inner Circle

The people who you bring with you on dress shopping day matter! This experience is really special, so it’s really important to bring people along who support you, want the best for you, and will give you honest feedback on your choices. Above all, these people should be your cheerleaders and constant sources of support. This day should be one you always look back on and smile about, so make sure the people you’re choosing to accompany you will help foster that positive, happy environment.


Designate Someone to Document Each Dress

On your wedding dress shopping day (or days!), you need to be as in the moment as possible. You need to twirl, spin, and get an idea of how each dress looks and makes you feel. At the same time, you’ll need important data to help you make that choice when buying time comes. Instead of trying to document everything with photos, videos, and notes, designate one of your trusted inner circle with tackling this task. Bonus points if they document everything on their own phone so that you can keep your dress choice secret from your fiance (if you’re choosing to go that route!).



Stick to 2-3 Shops Per Day

It’s easy to get excited about the possibility of visiting a ton of shops in one fell swoop, but trust me when I say this process can be overwhelming. Try to limit your dress shopping to one or two stores each time you go. This will help you focus on the options in each store, keep you from getting overstimulated and overwhelmed, and ensure that every experience is a positive one!


Schedule Out a Fun Brunch to Celebrate

A wedding dress shopping day is fun! Make sure you take time to celebrate in style. Schedule a day with everyone tagging along, pick a great brunch spot, and have a moment of pure enjoyment before you check out a few bridal shops.


Try on Styles That Are New to You

You’d be shocked at how many brides tell us that they ended up with the dress they never expected. Even if some styles don’t feel like you, give them a go! Have an open mind when you go dress shopping, try on things that might not be your first pick, and have some fun with the whole process. You might just find the perfect dress you never even pictured! And if not, isn’t it a kick to play dress up for fun, anyway?


Start Your Shopping Process Early

The general timeline for dress shopping is about one year from the date you get married, but there’s no harm in going earlier. In some cases, designers might need to order the right size for you, and custom gowns might need to be handmade for your specific measurements. Plus, alterations always take a little time, too. The sooner you find the right dress for you and tackle your alterations, the less stress you’ll deal with as you get closer to your wedding day.


Set Your Budget & Stick to It

It’s easy to overspend on a dress. Usually, it’s one of the first or second purchases you make in the wedding planning process. It’s also a very sentimental and important choice. While you should always choose the dress that makes you happy, it’s definitely important to keep your budget in mind. If you’re looking at a dress that’s out of budget, make sure you ask yourself tough questions–are you and your fiance willing to sacrifice elsewhere to purchase this dress? Remember, your budget isn’t just for the dress–it also needs to cover any alterations you might need!


Consider How You’re Getting Married

Are you an eloping bride saying their vows on a mountainside? You might want a dress made of a fabric that packs up easily without a ton of wrinkles. Going for more of a coastal wedding? Something light and breezy to keep you cool might do the trick. Planning your big day for the middle of winter? Thicker material might be your BFF. Take aspects like weather, location, and how you’re getting married into account when you’re selecting your perfect-fit wedding dress.


Consult Your Planner for Shop Advice

The ultimate dress shopping hack? Bringing your planner into the mix. I know it might seem a little out of their scope, but your planner will likely have all the right advice to share with you to make your shopping experience more seamless no matter where you’re getting married. For example, my company has offices in New York, Utah, and Connecticut–but we know of bridal shops across the country that might fit what you’re looking for! Your planner can help you source dresses that match your vibe, fit your venue, and, most importantly, bring you endless joy! If you’re seeking a guide, an expert, and a creative to help you choose the perfect-for-you dress and piece together a dream wedding day, look no further than a qualified wedding planner.



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