(Closed) Any dress shopping tips/advice?

posted 5 years ago in Dress
Post # 2
Member
1386 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: June 2014

1. You might want to find out what designers they work with. 

2. It was great – I did not feel rushed at all. I brought in photos of dresses I liked and they pulled those and ones similiar in taste – basing a lot off my reactions. 

3. When I found my dress – I paid half (deposit) and the other half when I picked the dress up. 

4. I went to one bridal shop – tried on 30 dresses. I only went once – I knew right away it was my dress.

Post # 3
Member
10481 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: City, State

The first place I went was David’s Bridal. I had a pretty awful time there honestly. First of all, the associate didn’t even ask my budget before she started bringing dresses in. I asked if these were in my price range and she looked dumbfounded and said “Oh! I probably should have asked that!”. She ended up pulling nothing but dresses I would never had been interested in. By the time I left I hated dress shopping.

Now the second store was a small boutique that sold OTR dresses and was owned by a woman and her daughters. This experience was great! She let me roam freely through the store and let me pick whatever caught my eye to try on. She also brought over dresses she thought I would like as well. I ended up buying my dress right then with her!

Dont feel bad telling them you dislike something! I was very vocal at DB and pretty much told the girl I hated everything she was bringing me. 

Post # 4
Member
27 posts
Newbee
  • Wedding: June 2017

Dress shopping is so much fun! I hope you have a blast!

1) Is there anything specific that I should find out about or ask the bridal shop prior to my appointment?

I definitely agree that it’s worthwhile to check out the salon website to see what designers they carry. This is also helpful because it gives you an idea of the price range of the gowns they carry–super important for such a major purchase!

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.

I didn’t feel rushed at all, although salons vary with how they determine what dresses you try on. At the few shops I’ve been to, my consultant walked me through the racks of sample gowns and asked me how I felt about different silhouettes, embellishments, etc. If I saw something I liked, I’d say so and she’d pull it to try on!

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?

If you’re just trying to get a feel for the type of dresses you like and are not intending to purchase a gown, I recommend making that clear to your consultant. I went to one appointment just to see how I felt about some less popular designers, and felt terrible when the consultant asked me if I had found “my dress” at the end of the appointment–I didn’t mean to mislead her! I’d mentioned before that I wasn’t planning to purchase that day, but I suppose she thought that I would change my mind with the right gown. It’s not the end of the world if a consultant asks you and you say “no,” but I do think that consultants appreciate knowing your intentions at the start of the appointment.

Unless you’re buying a sample off the rack, you leave a deposit (I’ve been told 50-60% at the shops I’ve gone to).

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’ve visited 5 shops, all of which carried different designers, and I’m 90% sure I’ve found my gown! I haven’t gone to any of the places more than once, although I plan to return to the most recent place soon to make my final decision and put down a deposit.

Good luck with your gown shopping! I hope it all goes wonderfully!

Post # 5
Member
2788 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: May 2014

Honestly I think the best tip I can give is to have an open mind & just learn as you go. Try every style on just to see. You’ll learn things that you like & things that you dislike with each dress you try on. Have fun, this is such a special time in your life 🙂

Post # 6
Member
942 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: May 2016

I went alone on an “off” day, a Tuesday. I wanted to see what I liked/flattered me w/out pressure of fam/friends bc I had no clue what I liked, despite their online questionairre. This was great as she brought fit and flare, sheath, etc.

The next 2 places I went, I did bring friends & Future Mother-In-Law

I then went w/ my bf back to first place (that I went alone)& tried on 3 dresses I’d tried on before and ended w/ first dress from first day.

Also, once you get measured, don’t be afraid to ask what they measure you at and what they want to order. My biggest place was my hips, a 10..they wanted me to go up 10 size to a 12 dress. I said no, an 8. It came in and fit perfect…it’ll still need to be taken in…I prob could’ve ordered a 6, but I would rather be safe. I know I run small in dresses, street 0-2, so yea (granted wedding dress sizes are bigger than street clothes/dresses).

Also when you go for first fitting, ask about under garments. Most don’t and are pressured to buy the stores so it fits right…and they’re really expensive 

Enjoy & have fun!

Post # 7
Member
336 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: April 2017

I went to my first appointment this weekend without intending to buy a dress, and ended up buying the second one I tried on (tried 7 in total). So be open minded! 

I didn’t feel rushed at all and they let me walk away and come back after thinking about it. 

I would bring pictures of styles you like. They didn’t have the exact dress I wanted but found something similar and even better by the same designer after I showed them a picture. 

Definitely be honest. They didn’t design the dress and being specific about what you like and don’t like will help them find something. I was amazed at how none of the dresses I grabbed off the racks worked for me, but the consultant nailed it in the first one she grabbed.  

I put put down a deposit which was half the price of my dress. 

Dont be shy to ask for a discount! 

Post # 8
Member
207 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: August 2016 - Estates of Sunnybrook - McLean House

View original reply
camette:  Hey 🙂 I just got my dress on Sunday so I know exactly what you are feeling. I too was anxious, wondering if I’d find my dream dress. hehe

1) Is there anything specific that I should find out about or ask the bridal shop prior to my appointment?


You will want to know whether they have rentals and dresses for purchase. Or any brands in particular (if you are looking for something very specific). 

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.

Sunday was the first time I visited a bridal shop actually. I scheduled 3 appointments that day from noon unti close with at least an hour in between each appointment because you may or may not need some time to get from one store to the other. You don’t feel rushed at all. She asked me what styles I wanted to look at in particular and showed me where each style was situated. The first store I went to, my MoH and I just told her which dresses I liked and she’d pull them off the rack for me to try. I was offered a few dresses based on their impression of what I liked and I never felt pressured to try anythign I didn’t want on. Funny enough, I told the associate at the final store I really didn’t like the dress she showed me and it’s totally fine because you’re being honest and they want to find you your perfect dress! 🙂

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?

Be prepared to pay a deposit (if you are ordering a brand new dress). Usually I think it’s 50% down. If you luck into buying a sample dress, you will have to pay the full price.

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 went to three because I did my research on customer service, styles, etc and those 3 were my favourites. But you don’t have to limit yourself. I found my perfect dress at the final store after trying probably 30+ gowns that day. I’d say 10 gowns in you’ll know what you are looking for 🙂

Good luck!!!!

  • This reply was modified 4 years, 10 months ago by  essjay6.
Post # 9
Member
224 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: October 2016

My best tip is to try sitting down in the dresses! I was told this, and thank goodness, because two of the styles I liked when I was stood up were very restrictive when I was sat down.

 

Also, be open minded about what style will suit you. The assistant I had was great, but when she brought out my dress, I laughed and said “no chance” -but she persuaded me to try it on, and I fell in love.

 

The assistants have worked with lots of brides and they get a good sense of what will suit different shapes, so it can be worthwhile listening to their suggestions. 

Post # 10
Member
1594 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: June 2011

View original reply
camette:  Three suggestions:

1) Wear a strapless bra and panties you are comfortable in. If you don’t want the person helping you to be looking at your buttchecks, leave the thong at home. If you don’t care, wear it. The strapless bra can be removed easily but if you do end up wearing it under a strapless dress, you won’t have to worry about hiding the annoying straps.

2) EAT SOMETHING! I was really stressed one day and didn’t eat anything before a fitting (I know you’re asking about shopping, but the same rules apply). Long story short, I vomited then fainted butt ass naked in the changing room while five women were ripping my dress off me and my mom was holding a shoebox under me trying to catch my cookies. Came to on the floor wearing a lime green thong and a pair of stilettos with the entire store staring at me. Seriously. Don’t be me. EAT SOMETHING. 

3) Be open to different styles. I said ‘no’ to ballgowns “just because” but ended up trying one on throughout my appointment. I later bought it. It was perfect and exactly what I realized I wanted. Try a few different types on, that way when you say ‘no’ to something, there’s some reason to it. 

Post # 11
Member
234 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: May 2017

View original reply
camette:  

 

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.

 

 

Post # 12
Member
1350 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: September 2017

 

1) Is there anything specific that I should find out about or ask the bridal shop prior to my appointment?

I would find out what designers they stock, and if there’s any musts I would check to see if they carry that dress. Also if a consultants name is constantly mentioned in a yelp review. Ask for them! 

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 bridal apt was really great, the associate let me and my friend roam around and then pulled some dresses that she thought would work as well. I do not feel bad telling the assoicate I don’t like something, she isn’t in my head and she doesn’t know me. She would rather I give suggestions as we try things on so that she can help make a decision. 

My second apt was at Pronovias so I knew the dresses I came for, the consultant did not make any suggestions but lead me around the floors so that I could be guided to the right sections. 

My third apt is coming up this weekend, I made sure to go to a store that doesn’t carry Pronovias as I am really drawn to those dresses and want to play devils advocate. 

Try different styles, My first apt  I tried on a ball gown and strapless dress to see what felt right. 

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?

I’m not at that stage yet but my understanding is you leave a deposit. 

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 will be at my third store on saturday. I have 1 more apt set up for early april and will probbaly try to go see 1-2 more stores. I’ve tried on a total of 10 dresses. I’ve found a dress I love or think I love but I want to do my due dilligance. I plan on going back to one of the stores I visited when it’s time to buy. 

 

Edited to say: Have fun, don’t worry about the consultant and enjoy the experience! 

  • This reply was modified 4 years, 10 months ago by  asobos.
Post # 13
Member
259 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: October 2016

You might want to try going by yourself first!  Its very hard having others there influencing your opinion.  The first dress place I went to was VERY pushy… most others werent tho.  They pretty much scammed me into buying my dress that day. They also did not take deposits which I found was odd but didnt tell me that until after they already took my CC. They claimed they were giving me a discount but they actually just mark their prices up.(I found this out later) so I just ended up getting it for the normal price of the dress.  With that said maybe look up the price of the dress (if you find one) to make sure they are giving it to  you for a fair price. Even if you find the dress that you like I suggest not buying it that day.  Sleep on it because from what I’ve seen many many people have dress regret.  If you’re still sure about it the next day then you know its the right one. 

Post # 14
Member
1902 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: April 2016

View original reply
camette:  

Go for a light lunch – fruit, salad- about 2 hours prior.  Have 1 glass of wine.

Only take 1 or 2 people with you NOT your whole wedding party. Those who know you best and will be lovely honest but know what YOU want not what they want to see you wear.

Know your budget. Stick to it. Be ready to leave a deposit.

After- go for wine again. =)

 

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