Going dress shopping for the first time! Any tips??

posted 3 years ago in Dress
Post # 2
266 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: August 2014

1) be open to trying on ANYTHING!!  My dress is a satin mermaid that I love! But I originally went in looking for an organza or lace a-line.

2) Don’t worry if you can’t try on dresses properly….I’m a size 14 and couldn’t squeeze my ass into any of them…plus most were 12s!  They can squeeze you into a smaller size, it’s just gonna fit weird.  The one I bought, I tried on the size 14 sample.  It didn’t close at all!  They ordered me a 20…way too big lol!  Alterations ARE ESSENTIAL!

3) Wear proper underwear.  The consultant was telling me crazy stories about girls coming in to try on dresses in thongs and even some that went commando!

4) Don’t worry if you have to try on 100 dresses before you find “the one”.  I tried on 15 in an hour lol….found mine at the first appointment…but that’s rare I’ve heard lol.

5) Don’t expect to burst into tears when you find the one.  I didn’t. I knew it was the one cuz I loved how my ass looked in it….seriously.  And then I couldn’t stop smiling….cuz my ass looked amazing, lol.

6) HAVE FUN!!!!!!

Post # 3
453 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: November 2014

Make sure you have a budget in mind first. Take in mind there will be alterations (can be hundreds of dollars more) and that you will need accessories still. STICK to your budget. It will be one of the first things they ask. 

Make sure to go with pics of styles you like. Even have a few favorites. 

Be open minded. They have seen tons of women try on dresses and ask for suggestions as what you may think you like may not look good. They can suggest something you didn’t think you might like and you might love it. 

try and bring a pair of shoes with the height you think you might wear. same thing if you have a strapless bra. (both nice to have but not necessary)

just have fun, be open minded and hope you have a few people whose opinions will be honest. 

Most people KNOW when they have found THE ONE.


Good luck and post pics after! we wanna see too! 🙂

Post # 4
1400 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: June 2014

khaleesi:  How exciting, have fun! I automatically like you based on your username.

Just try on multiple silhouettes, and don’t put too much pressure on yourself to find the one.

Post # 5
30 posts
  • Wedding: June 2014

I bought 3 dresses before I found the one that I actually love. My advice is try your best not to fall to the pressure of looking perfect on your wedding day. I suggest you stay true to who you really are, if you like to were lace dresses when you go out look for something lace, if you wear sequins every NYE then go for that. DO NOT get a dress just because you look pretty in it. Their are literally thousands of dresses out there. Get a dress that makes you feel like yourself and feel pretty. I bought a 1200 dress that had the works and ended up hating it because it wasn’t me. Now I’m getting married in a simple all lace gown that cost a 4th of what my other dress did.

Post # 6
126 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: June 2016


Come in with photos of what you like or don’t. But don’t be afraid to try on something they bring in. 

Wear proper undergarments. Nothing is worse than getting naked in front of someone else in your period panties- yall know what i mean! Wear something with more coverage if you are more self conscious. A strapless bra can be helpful too, but many dresses have it built in. 

Be honest about your budget. The shop can work with you to find something you love in your price range. 80% of brides are spending roughly $1500, so just realize if you want full beading Lace etc you have to pay for it! 

research the designers the shop you are going to carry. Look for styles you like by them but don’t get attached to any certain gown. 

Realize you are either going to squeeze into a gown or be clipped into a gown too large hardly anyone is a perfect sample size. 


Bring in too many people for their opinions, 2-3 max.  

Lie about your budget. Nothing is worse than finding a girl the dress of her dreams to hear “well it’s just more than I wanted to spend” when it’s less than the “budget” she gave at the start of the appointment

Haggle with the price. Designers set a price that the shop can sell the dress for. Selling below that can jeprodize their account with the designers. if a store offers you a discount for buying the first day it’s because they can since they don’t have to block out another appointment (read turn away another bride) and pay a consultant for a second appointment. 

Go shopping until you are ready to buy. Designers discount dresses with little notice. The dress you love today might not be order able next month. 

Post # 7
1417 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: August 2014

Take tons of photos (if you are allowed to)! I wish I had a photo of every dress I tried on, just for fun.

Dress up a little bit on the day and do your hair and makeup.

Don’t be afraid to say yes – I think its rare to feel 100% certain at the time because the experience is so overwhelming. I was like 95% sure when I ordered the dress, and now I love my dress so much and have no regrets.

Post # 8
560 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: December 2013

Other bees have pretty much covered it, but I had a lot of anxiety trying on dresses (I can be really shy and get a little body dysmorphic sometimes) so I get wanting advice ahead of time.

For sure wear full coverage undies (nude or light colored like pink if you have them! black showed though haha)

Look at pictures ahead of time so you sort of know what you like, but don’t be afraid to try on a few “out there” dresses just to see. Lots of girls thought they wanted tight mermaid and end up loving their giant ballgown.

Don’t get a dress because people said that’s what your body type can wear. You see super petites rocking giant ballgowns here and larger, super curvy girls looking amazing in sexy mermaids. Try on different ones and make up your own mind on what flatters your shape best.

Bring some high heels.

Take pictures if they let you, it was really helpful for me to look back when I was more calm. Also, you see yourself differently than when you’re wearing it.

Bring like 1-2 people. And talk with them ahead of time about what kind of advice you’re looking for. For me, I knew if someone said something negative about a dress I loved, it’d ruin it for me. I told people if I loved it and they thought it looked good (even if it wasn’t their fav) to support me. I didn’t need any negative thoughts telling me “well so-and-so said it wasn’t their favorite…”

Don’t go overboard. Honestly, I don’t think anyone needs to go to every store in the city trying on hundreds of dresses. Sometimes TOO many choices might confuse you.

LASTLY, once you find your dress, and seriously once you put down money, STOP SHOPPING.

Post # 9
75 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: May 2014

khaleesi:  I second being open to trying anything.  You might be surprised!

Depending on your wedding party…I found that less people along with me was better.  The first dress I bought I was talked into by a pushy BM, and I hated it.  I went back again alone and truly found my dream dress (which I tried on for the group and that same BM talked me out of it!)

Do not let ANYONE, even the salespeople, talk you in or out of something.  Whatever you love, get it!

Post # 10
151 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: April 2015

1. Don’t bring the whole posse.

2. Wear underwear!

3. Shave those pits!

4. Be open to trying different styles – you may find something unexpected and lovely.  My #2 was nothing like what I had in mind, but it was absolutely beautiful.  In the end I did not choose that dress, but I easily could have.

5. Don’t feel like the dress has to make anybody cry to be “THE ONE.”  That’s silly.  It’s a dress.

Post # 11
1817 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: June 2014 - TTC #2

It helps to have a firm idea of what you want and how much you’re willing to spend.. staff and anyone you take might try to sway you to change your mind/splash out a bit more.  But be strong and follow your instinct.


 Also, you don’t have to choose on the day. Sleep on it to make sure you don’t rush into a bad choice. The salespeople might rush you or say ‘it’s 30% off until today!’ but that might be a lie, or you might save more money in the long run waiting and making sure it really is the One.

  • This reply was modified 2 years, 7 months ago by  MrsYoshida.
Post # 12
5 posts
  • Wedding: July 2014

My advice, which I don’t think anyone has mentioned yet, is this: If you have a favourite dress in mind going in, don’t try that one on first. For me, the very first time I tried on a wedding dress and looked in the mirror, my primary feeling was that it looked odd because I wasn’t used to seeing myself in a big gown like that. I think that caused me to like the first dress less than I would have if I had been more used to seeing myself in a wedding gown. For this reason I would advise anyone to start with a dress that isn’t your favourite in order to get over that initial feeling of oddness. 

Post # 13
241 posts
Helper bee

i wore white underwear the first time and it looked awful next to the dresses so i gave up and wore black the next time. when you find the one they may well ask you to try it on without the bra anyway and i could never see my bra through the dresses (would’ve been a sign not to go for the dress if i could have).

Post # 14
1072 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: July 2014

Don’t buy right away. There will be a lot of pressure from the sales assistants and people around you to commit to one dress, but I would go to at least 3 places and try on at least a dozen dresses first. It’s a very expensive purchase and most places will not take refunds or exchanges, so you need to make sure you get it right the first time. Avoid the dreaded dress regret – try on a bunch of things before making a decision, buy the one you love, and then stop looking!

Post # 15
206 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: August 2014

I will second all of the great advice on here, especially the full coverage underwear.  And if you think you might be trying styles with built in cups, don’t forget that petals (pasties, headlight dimmers, nipple covers, etc) are an option!  I wore petals and brought a strapless bra to cover all of my bases.  I’m not terribly shy but I do think it’s polite to not make a stranger come face to face with my nipples 5 minutes after we meet, haha. 

Do your hair and makeup, definitely!  Spend a little time on yourself that morning, put on a little lipstick, whatever will make you feel like you’re at your absolute best- you will have a much better time if you’re not focused on your face looking tired or washed out and your hair looking like a mess.

PICTURES!!!!  Even if you’re not allowed.  Tell the person you bring (assuming you bring somebody) to be prepared to take sneaky pics if necessary.  This might truly make your decision about a certain dress, or break a tie between two dresses.  I tried on a dress that was an absolute stunner in real life, and made me look several months pregnant in every single picture/ video we took.

Good luck!   🙂

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