1) Is there anything specific that I should find out about or ask the bridal shop prior to my appointment?
Go online, (Google, etc.), social media (Instagram is great) and search for dresses you like so you can show the attendant and they can get a feel of what you like. Check out the bridal shop’s website to see what designers they carry and then search that designer’s website for dress styles. If you see something you must absolutely try on, call them ahead of time and ask them if they carry that style. Regardless, visit anyway; maybe that designer has other styles they carry you may like.
2) Can anyone tell me their experience with visiting their first bridal shop? Do you feel rushed? Do you feel persuaded to try dresses on you don’t like? I feel like I would feel bad telling the sales associate that I don’t like a dress they picked out.
My first experience I went alone because it was last minute and I enjoyed it. The attendant gave me personalized attention even though it was a bit busy that day. She didn’t pressure me into trying anything on I didn’t want, but she did give me alternatives – they know best. You’re dress shopping so give yourself time. Try on a dress you don’t want; that may end up being the one.
3) Is there anything else I should know or be aware of when dress shopping? When you do finally choose a dress, do you pay for it in full right away or do you just leave a deposit?
As I sort of mentioned above, try on styles you think you may not like. If you don’t want a dress with a ton of tulle, try it on anyway. If you think you want a strapless dress, try on one with long sleeves or cap sleeves. Unless you’re having a wedding on a beach, in a backyard or during one of the hottest months, try on different styles. At least you’ll be able to narrow down what you like and what you don’t like. I refused to try on dresses that weren’t white. My dream dress is actually champagne – I would have NEVER picked that out.
Wear/bring a strapless bra and I chose to wear boy short underwear so my entire ass wasn’t out in the attendant’s face LOL. Try on veils and headpieces but don’t feel pressured to buy it then and there. Depending on the price point, you could find pieces significantly cheaper in other places.
I wouldn’t recommend bringing more than 2-3 people with you – you don’t want too many opinions.
They typically have heels for you to try on with the dress, but bring a heel that you think would be the same height of the shoes you would wear on your wedding day. Plus you may/may not want to wear a shoe that hundreds of other women have worn (can you say fungus LOL).
I believe the deposit was 15 or 20% but I can’t remember because my mother purchased the gown for me.
4) How many bridal shops did you visit before you found your dress? Did anyone visit the same bridal shop more than once before making a decision?
I only visited two and it was the 2nd one where I found my dream dress. I did visit the bridal shop twice because the dress I saw on Instagram they hadn’t gotten it yet. They had a 20% off sale that weekend so my mother put down the deposit and I went back to try on the dress I saw online. They would have honored the discount so it wasn’t a big deal. Anyway, when I tried it on I didn’t like it. Then I put my dream dress back on and I got that same wonderful feeling. After that I instantly unfollowed all other designers I had been following so I wouldn’t see any more dresses. Once you find your dream dress you don’t want to see/try on anymore dresses – at least that’s how it is for me.