12 Things to Do Before Shopping for a Bridal Gown

Make the process seamless by following these tips.

Shopping for a wedding dress is often what brides most look forward to after getting engaged. Sure, some people may daydream about their color palette and floral design, but the gown is certainly the most exciting aspect for most. However, we know the actual process of finding a gown can be a stressful and overwhelming time if you’re not properly prepared.

bride in fitted ines di santo crepe silk gown with full ruffled mermaid skirt
Photo by Chard Photo; Floral Design by Flowers by Cina

If you’re getting ready to start your search for the perfect wedding dress, take a look at the below list for what you need to know before you arrive to your appointment. 

- Know your wedding date because it can take well over six months for a dress to arrive, so the shop needs to know if your gown needs to be a rush order.
- Have a venue selected, as that can inform your dress choice. A heavy ball gown may not fit for a barn wedding, for example.
- Research styles, but don't be rigid. You never know how something will look unless you try it on!
- Bring heels and proper undergarments to get a rough idea of how it would look on the day.
- Include accessories and alterations in your budget. You may go in with a certain price point and find something, and then have to adjust your spending limit to alter it to perfectly fit your body or get a beautiful matching veil.
- If there's a certain dress you must try on, call ahead. Even is a salon carries the designer, that's not a guarantee they'll have a sample available during your appointment. However, they may be able to order one for you.
- Don't schedule more than three appointments in one day to avoid getting overwhelmed
- Eat first for a more realistic body and to keep from being cranky. Plus, the dresses are heavy – trying a bunch on can be tiring!
- Keep the different shades of white in mind; some may flatter your skin tone more than others.
- Wear your hair up if you plan to for the wedding and down if you don't.
- You might not react the same way your friend did when she found her gown. Just because you didn’t cry doesn’t mean it’s not the dress.
- If you have jewelry from your mom and grandmother, get it for your appointment so you can make sure the gown you choose complements it.

See long-sleeved wedding dress styles and find out what to do with your dress after the wedding. 

Authored by: Emily Lasnier