(Closed) First time dress shopping – surprising & confusing

posted 6 years ago in Dress
Post # 3
418 posts
Helper bee

I think what may look good in a picture (things always look good in pictures!) does not always look great in person. It’s just a matter of marketing tactics. 

Post # 4
164 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: June 2013

@waitingwonderland:  I had a similar experience. I always imagined myself in a ballgown, but when I tried all of the pics on from the magazines I had saved, I HATED them! I walked out upset and confused, like now what? 

I later fell in love with lace, actually when I saw another bride trying on a lace dress. I tried a few on and fell in love with the dress that I ended up ordering. 

I think what it is, is that what you like on others is very different from what you like on yourself. I think you should ultimately be searching for the dress that makes you feel confident and beautiful because that is what you need/want in THE dress and this will end up causing your pictures to look great as it is a reflection of how you are truly feeling.

Post # 5
11166 posts
Sugar Beekeeper

It makes sense considering that those photographs are meant to present the dresses in the best possible light. Sometimes the fabrics they use aren’t the best quality but you can’t see that until you try the dress on.

You might find yourself loving something completely different than what you thought you wanted. It happens to quite a few brides, myself included.

Post # 6
999 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: March 2012

keep trying and be open to different types, one will finally click!

Post # 7
879 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: November 1999

I’ve noticed the same during my shopping experience!  There were dresses I liked in person but didn’t photograph well and vice versa.  There also were many I liked in the model photos but didn’t live up in person (ie Tara Keely 2200). I now just use the stock photos as a reference point for my consultant to pick dresses of similar style; I seem to have better luck with this method, lol.  I had the same experience with ornate beading too — hated it in the photo, but actually loved it on me 🙂

Post # 8
2359 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: April 2018

I think this must be pretty normal. 🙂

I’m a petite bride, and always pictured myself in a form-fitting mermaid-style dress that would show off my figure. I was also dead-set against any kind of lace or pouffiness.

But I got to the bridal saion and started trying them on, and totally didn’t feel like a bride!

The dress I ended up going with was an organza A-line with a semi-poufy tulle overlay, with a little bit of lace on the skirt and lace applique on the bust and bodice. TOTALLY not what I had ever pictured myself in.

The only two things that I was insistent on the whole time were a) a strapless sweetheart neckline and b) not a lot of ‘bling’- I didn’t mind a few crystals or pearls, but lots of rhinestones and beading were never my thing.

Post # 9
168 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: April 2013

I was 100% against strapless when I went shopping, and ended up with a strapless gown! But everything else I wanted I got – romantic, lace. The consultants loved me because I’m very tall, which means dresses that look not so nice on short/average height ladies looked great on me. Probably because that means they could sell something that doesn’t sell as much!

I think photos have something to do with it, but honestly your figure is going to have the biggest impact on whether something you liked in a picture on a 110 lb 6 foot tall model is actually going to work for you.

Post # 10
768 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: June 2012

This happened to me too. I was convinced I was going to get a fluffy tulle ballgown (with no lace) and I ended up with a fitted (through the hips) A line type dress that was lace. Totally not what I envisioned but once I put it on, I didn’t want to take it off.

Post # 11
656 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: June 2012

I thought I wanted a simple fit and flare in lace or sating and ended up falling in love with an a-line (which I later made even more poofy with a crinoline!) in satin with 3 light layers of lovely organza and an embroidered waistband!

Post # 12
3885 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: September 2011

I think because so many wedding dresses have body and structure of their own (boning, tuille, multiple layers, etc) they’re less likely to work on more than one specific body type. Things that may work on you in a casual dress suddenly don’t work in a wedding dress because the casual dress usually follows your form where the wedding dress has its own form.

Post # 13
547 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: August 2012

Me too!  I went in thinking I wanted a lace dress with sleeves and maybe a keyhole back, scalloped lace hem.  But definitely not a strapless sweetheart neckline and not a train since they seemed like a hassle.  Well, all the ones I tried on with sleeves looked terrible on me–made me look dumpy and frumpy!

Well, what did I end up getting?  A strapless lace dress with a dipped neckline (not quite a soft sweetheart, but almost), and a train.  LOL, the only characteristic that I went in there wanting and ended up having was the lace aspect. 

By the way, the more dresses I tried on, the better sense I got for what looked good and not, such that I could just hold a dress up to me and realize it wouldn’t suit me.  So try on lots and get a sense of what looks good.  Besides, it’s so fun!

Post # 14
7311 posts
Busy Beekeeper
  • Wedding: October 2011 - Bed & Breakfast

Your experience is totally normal. In My Humble Opinion, the best way to shop for a wedding dress is to not have any pre-conceived notions. What you like in photos or on others may be all wrong for you. Just walk in, tell the consultant your budget and key details about your wedding day plans (day/evening, location, overall feel, etc.), and let her pull the dresses that she thinks would look good on you. She dresses brides every day, whereas you have never done it before. Trust the experts. That’s what they are there for.

Post # 16
9916 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: June 2013

I think a lot of models look awful in wedding dresses…they are too tall and thin and look weird, not to mention their awkward poses.  The dress I’m getting looks HORRIBLE on the model, but awesome on every. single. real. person. I’ve seen it on!


Just keep trying things on until you find what you love.  =)

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