I Said YES to the Dress: Tips and Truths About Wedding Dress Shopping
Wedding dress shopping was everything I never expected it to be, in a good way! I had so many misconceptions about what it would be like and I was pleasantly surprised by the entire experience. With my awesome bridesmaids, my mom and my mother in law in tow, we accomplished finding my dress for my big day! (Many wonderful gowns are pictured, but rest assured my dress is NOT pictured in this blog). The following tips and truths are derived from what my experience actually turned out to be!
You will feel like a beautiful bride
Going into wedding dress shopping right after 10 months of hardcore Step studying left me afraid that I wouldn’t feel my best when trying on dresses. I was worried the runway sized gowns wouldn’t fit my body type. But at the start of my first appointment, my consultant made me feel comfortable and beautiful no matter what dress I put on! Most of the dresses come in a size that can be made to fit most body types, so rest assured you will feel like a beautiful, elegant bride.
You don’t have to wear any special or specific undergarments
I always thought you needed to bring special undergarments when you try on wedding gowns, but it turns out you don’t need anything! Come in whatever you want to wear on top and underneath and it’ll all work just fine, but wearing a dress the second day did make it much easier to dress and undress when trying on gowns!
Bring the people who make you feel your best
Your entourage should be comprised of the friends and family who make you feel your best! Pick friends that give you confidence and support you, but still give you enough space to feel how you are feeling! Dress shopping is an interesting experience emotionally and sometimes you’ll need some moments to yourself to take it all in.
Don’t be afraid to openly state your opinion
I had four appointments and I tried on many dresses, but aside from my dress and a runner up, I knew as soon as I put a gown on that it was not my dress! Being blatantly honest about what I liked and did not like made it much easier to progress in my appointments until I finally found my dress that had it all! Don’t be afraid to say how you really feel, it won’t offend your bridal consultant!
Hear and don’t hear your fiancé’s opinions on dresses
Since I got engaged, Denzel had many opinions on what he wanted my wedding dress to look like and not look like. At first, I went in with all of these opinions in mind, searching for a dress that fit everything I wanted AND everything he wanted. As soon as I stopped thinking about all his likes and dislikes, I was able to find a dress that I truly loved. And I know he will think it was the perfect choice, just because it is on me!
Trust your bridal consultant
These people really know what they are doing. It is fun to try on dresses picked by your mom, mother in law, and friends, but the bridal consultants take all of your opinions and your body type and pick dresses that really work! They know their selection and they have dressed many brides. Some of my favorite choices were ones that my bridal consultant selected.
Make multiple appointments
I made four appointments (Signature Bridal, Serendipity Bridal, Melange Bridal and Blush Bridal) and found my dress during my third appointment! My first appointment I went in with an open mind and tried on all sorts of silhouettes. This appointment laid a foundation down for my favorite shapes and designs. The rest of the appointments progressed until I put all my likes and dislikes together to discover my dress! My final appointment, I had anticipated for months- it was the Hayley Paige trunk show. I always wanted a Hayley Paige gown! But I went in to the appointment knowing I was 98% sure I found my dress at the previous store. I tried on all the Hayley Paige dresses I loved from Pinterest and Instagram, and after the appointment I was 100% sure I found my dress.
Know your budget and what it specifically covers
Don’t forget, in addition to a dress you may want a veil and you’ll need alterations! Go into your appointment with this in mind when you decide a budget. Make sure your entourage are aware of your budget so they don’t pick any over-budget beauties!
You really will know when you find your dress, and you don’t have to force it
To be honest, I felt like I HATED every dress I tried on beside my dress and the runner up. I was losing hope at appointment three right before I found my dress. I almost didn’t even put it on, because I felt so hopeless! When I put my dress on, I looked in the mirror for a few minutes and went through these stages:
Ok, I don’t hate this dress… Oh my I think I really like this… OMG I am getting married… I love Denzel and I love this dress… *cue the uncontrollable bawling*
It was such a surreal moment. I barely noticed anyone else around me, because I finally felt like a bride and all I could think about was Denzel. Then, I looked around me and saw the emotion in my mom, Denzel’s mom and my wonderful bridesmaids (shout out to my MOH who was there via Facetime). Even my bridal consultant was tearing up! I don’t think everyone cries when they have found the dress, but there is definitely a change in emotion that happens!
You don’t actually get champagne, so bring your own
For some reason, I had a pre-conceived idea that every bridal store gave you and your entourage champagne. That’s isn’t actually real. Only 1 out of 4 bridal stores offered us champagne! Best thing we did was bring our own champagne and glasses of course! (Also, don’t forget to bring bottles of water!!!)
Dress shopping is one of the moments that made my upcoming wedding feel so incredibly real! It was such an emotional and happy experience. I am thankful to have shared it with a few of my lovely bridesmaids (Yexica, Victoria, Isabel and Bianca) and my mom, Nicole, and mother in law, Ann. I cannot wait to share more wedding fun with everyone!
Check out my blog on our wedding planning so far!
Just 8.5 months left until I marry my groom!