Post # 1
We’re decently far out from the wedding date that mostly, I’m going as a fact-finding mission right now to figure out what looks good on me, what doesn’t, and what I like. I haven’t been in any formalwear in nearly ten years, so I have no idea what I want, and I know that it’s going to take me a while to figure out what I like. My FI and my best friend is coming with me, we’re going to David’s Bridal just as a place to start.
I’m a little nervous, mostly because I’m right smack-dab between straight sizes and plus sizes, so I’m worried nothing will fit me and it’ll just be embarrassing all around. I don’t even own a strapless bra (see: no formalwear in nearly a decade). I did this in 2004 for my first wedding, but I hardly remember the experience, save that it was miserable and I felt fat and ugly the whole time, and I got pressured into a dress I didn’t really love because it was the thing that made my mother happy and my then-MOH said made me look least like a whale. This time, my mother’s not coming with (she says it’s totally up to me and she wants pictures when I’ve picked something), and my bestie who’s coming with is far, far more supportive. My FI really wants to be involved, and I love that, it gives me much more confidence because he’s always quick to tell me when I look awesome, so I’m trying to let that be a helpful thing in the battle against my self-consciousness.
So I suppose I’m looking for advice to make it a better experience this time around. What should I wear make-up wise? What should I do with my hair? I have a few dresses saved on my pinterest board, but I don’t really know if I can pull off any of them, so I don’t know if they’re helpful or not. Any helpful hints or things you wished you’d thought of the last time around?
Post # 3
@mistress_anne: I’d advise not wearing much make up – it will rub off on the dresses as you try them on. Don’t worry about the undergarments – you’ll figure out over time what you need. I was offered a loaner bustier at a bridal store and it was fabulous. Try different dress silhouettes and different materials, ask someone to take LOTS of photos, from front, side and rear. Don’t make a final decision!!! You have lots of time to dress shop – I’d encourage you to enjoy the process and not to feel rushed.
Post # 4
- Wedding: January 2013 - Harbourfront Grand Hall
@Astra: +1 Don’t make a final decision!!
Post # 5
- Wedding: March 2013 - Callanwolde Fine Arts Center
Don’t worry about the undergarments. When I tried on dresses at DB and AA, they both gave me a long line bra to wear for the session. Also, I would suggest trying on a lot of different styles and silhouettes to see which ones you like on you. Its easy to have an idea in your head of what you want, but you might look and feel amazing in something completely different.
Good luck and have fun!
Post # 6
I would recommend doing something with your hair- even if it’s just curling it. I did a simple updo when I went, and it made it soooo much easier for me to visualize what I was hoping to look like on my wedding day. My BIGGEST piece of advice though- even though you don’t plan on buying/picking something out and you’re just going to see what you like and what might look good on, be strict on your budget. I did the same thing- went shopping early just to get an idea of what I liked on me, I really didn’t want to spend more than $1500 on my dress when I did go shopping “for real,” but I told the consultant $3000 at this because I wanted to be able to try on lots in that salon to get an idea of what I really loved, especially since that was not the salon I was going to buy my dress at- too far from home! Well….guess what. I fell in love with a dress. It was $2700. and $300 for the veil. uh oh. As my date got closer I went to salons closer to home to find a dress in my price range and something that could top it. Nothing could. I went back to that first salon and bought the expensive dress. So if budget is an issue for you like it was for me, make sure you stick to that budget even when you’re just going to look! Have fun!!!
Post # 7
Most importantly, keep in mind that they will most likely try to work their magic on you and try to get you to buy on the spot. Don’t fall for it if you’re not okay with buying before looking at more options (a lot of people are, and that’s fine too!).
Post # 8
Wear some full coverage panties or spanx! Some salons, though not all, will have the consultant helping you dress and you don’t want to be flashing them!
Also, be open to lots of different styles. Once I put them on, I hated the dresses I thought I liked in pictures and loved the dresses I thought I’d hate. Give your consultant some room to pull different options that she thinks will look good on you and then give them a chance!
Post # 9
If you want your hair up at the wedding, tie it up – even if it’s just in a loose bun or something.
Wear nude colored underwear and bra — I was going to say a strapless bra, but since you said you don’t have one, at least go for a nude colored one!
Post # 10
- Wedding: July 2012 - Baltimore Museum of Industry
Re: undergarments- don’t worry about the bra, they’ll probably have one there you could use. Agree on wearing full-size panties- my MOH really didn’t need to see my thong. :)-
And ditto on being open to different styles…have fun with it. I ended up with the dress my consultant pulled. Keep your hair down/loose- a dress will “dictate” how your hair should be worn.
Post # 11
The undies thing is a good thought, thongs would be super embarrassing — I hadn’t even thought of that! I live with my hair in ballet buns, so I think maybe I’d do it half-back or something so it looks a little more “special,” maybe wear it curly for once. Thanks for those thoughts, guys, that’s stuff I hadn’t even thought of!
With the makeup thing, I usually just go for some concealer and a little powder on my face, liner and mascara, and some lipstick. I don’t want to be in front of a mirror in all white with no makeup on, I’ll look like a ghost (I’m super, super pale, thanks Eastern European genes!). Would that minimal amount of stuff and a lip stain work? This probably necessitates finding a lip stain that works on me.
I’m trying to be really open to everything. FI wants to see me in mermaid-style things, so we’ll see how that goes. My instinct is to kind of hide in ballgowns and A-lines, but I think that’s my insecurities talking.
Post # 12
I would actually pack a bra anyway, just in case. When I went to David’s they were out of undergarments in my size, and so the one the girl gave me was a size up, and it was much too large. I don’t have a lot of curve to begin with, so it just bunched up around my middle and filled in what little I had with yucky padded fabric folds. Everything I tried on made me look like a barrel-chested dude who was three sizes bigger than me until I finally got fed up and took the thing off. Long story short–nothing hung right and I didn’t like the way any of it looked on me.
Post # 13
I didn’t wear any make-up because I was afraid of it rubbing off!
I’d also suggest trying on a little bit of everything! Glitzy, understated, ballgowns, sheaths, mermaids… Everything!
Post # 14
Lol- I totally wore a thong and no bra (they’re pretty up there on there own), and didn’t think twice… Yikes! I also made it a point to have my makeup PERFECT and was just careful putting dresses on. It never smeared. I just knew the dresses would all look better when I could see the “total package” of dress, hair and makeup. And, I used the gradual self tanning clothes the evening before to give me a little color closer to what I will have on my wedding day. Of course I washed it off. This helped me decide whether ivory or white looked better. I’ll be doing the same thing tonight/tomorrow. Last thing on vanity, I ate lots of greens the few days before for digestive reasons, drank lots of water and stayed very low sodium. I didn’t want to me more bloated then I had to be… That can be discouraging.
As someone with dress regret and shopping for a new one tomorrow, here are a few tips:
-I found some salespeople not to have the most chipper attitude. Some even act annoyed to pull dresses. Do NOT let this hinder you from trying as many on as you want. Also don’t let them talk you into loving a dress that you genuinely don’t love!
-I second the hair do. I wore mine down, with waves. Each dress I tried on and liked, I would also try my hair in a loose chignon. That way I got a feel for both styles.
-Look online and take snapshots on your phone for ALL dresses that you like. It can be overwhelming to walk in and have to sift through the racks. Show them the photos and say that you want to try on those specific dresses. Then, the reps can pull some other things that *they* may think is flattering for you.
-Start by trying one of every style. This will help you narrow down your choices QUICKLY. I wanted a ball gown, which was my first dress to try on. It made me look so much bigger than I was, that I would never consider one on myself now.
-take lots of pictures! If they don’t let you, sneak some with ur own camera phone in the dressing room.
-even if you are 100% sure you found “the one”, don’t buy it that day. Also, try on *more* dresses. If you can’t forget about that given more time and options, then go and buy it. And make sure you fully understand the return/exchange policy.
Post # 15
@mistress_anne: I would say go, have fun and keep an open mind. I find that I read far too many stories on here about dress regret. Even if you find something you absolutely love, make a second apppointment a few months down the road to make sure you love it as much as you did the first time. Make sure you put it through the test of standing, sitting and dancing :). Many brides end up with a dress that they wouldn’t think they’d pick for themselves and that is normal!! As for hair I just wore it like I do everyday since I still don’t know what I wanna do with my hair yet. Make sure to take a list of codes of dresses from online (at least at DB’s) of the dresses you wanna try and pick ones you don’t think would even look good. My salon provided me with the designers they carried and said go to their websites and pick dresses you like. I put 1 dress on the list I kept saying no to in my head because I had my heart set on another dress and ended up picking the one i said no to because the style my heart was set on looked awful on my body. I think now that it sounds like you have more positive people going to your appointment you will have a better experience!!
Post # 16
- Wedding: December 2014 - Catal Restaurant
I might be a minority on this one but I say wear make-up. I went plenty of times without it and a couple with. The photos I have of me with make-up in the dresses really give me a better sense of what I will look like on my wedding day. I would wear thin boy short underwear and a comfortable strapless bra. As a pp said, you dont want to take the chance that your salon is out of bustiers. Most importantly, HAVE FUN!!!!!! Try to relax and enjoy the experience.