(Closed) Wedding Dress Shopping Anxiety

posted 3 years ago in Dress
Post # 16
20 posts
  • Wedding: September 2016

Guess I’m an oddball in that my wedding is in three months and I just had my first appointment :p 

Personally, I’d say just do whatever is comfortable. Know thyself! If you ultimately want the type of dress that takes 6-9 months to come in and will require lots of alterations, start your process now. If you’re looking for something non-traditional that might be possible off the rack, why not start now if it’ll give you something to feel excited about? Find what makes you happy and follow it.

My personal process involved a lot of stalking from my couch. What made me comfortable was having a game plan, so although I didn’t step into a store until last night I’ve been researching for months. I didn’t want to deal with too much outside influence while shopping.

I also have body issues but I find it somewhat therapeutic to have other people treat me like I’m beautiful (even if they’re paid to!) and to try on beautifully made dresses. One thing I can say is be careful not to have negative energy around you while shopping. Not everyone is kind, and even though they’re “supposed” to be there it doesn’t mean they’ll behave nicely. If you think they might contribute to negative self worth feelings, you are completely entitled to go dress shopping alone or with one or two close friends or family members. Wedding planning can be emotionally abusive. For real.

Just remember you ARE beautiful and listen to yourself! Other people like to speak loudly, especially when it comes to weddings. But you don’t want to be exhausted or “let’s get this over with” in the weeks/days leading up to it. 

Post # 17
724 posts
Busy bee

I’m getting married October 15 2016 and bought my dress over Thanksgiving weekend of 2015 (my dress still isn’t in yet). So I would definitely start looking around the one year mark for sure, especially if you think you will take a long time. In terms of body image… only bring the people you are comfortable with shopping. You don’t have to have an audience. I only brought my sister and mom. I’m not a super shy person but I definitely was wondering if I’d feel awkward stading up on a podium with everyone staring at me. But honestly I loved the attention and just being a BRIDE! You will be radiating happiness no matter what! Also just remember you will be trying on samples so they will not be the correct size necessarily. Don’t overthink it and get into your head. This is supposed to be so much fun! <3

Post # 18
7 posts
  • Wedding: May 2017

I think it really depends on what type of dress you’re looking to buy.

If you’re planning to go to a store where they have to custom order your dress, then you’re going to want to start looking at least a year out. If you’re planning to go to a store that sells samples (or a sample sale) and you’re going to be buying it right off the rack,  all you’ll basically need are alterations so then you can push it back a few months.

I’m getting married next May and lucked out. I won my dress (the one that was my first choice!) and it fits me like a glove – no alterations needed. The only thing I plan to do is bring it to the dry cleaners about a month or two before the wedding. 


Post # 19
131 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: April 2015

I have been there too!

As you said you are picky, I would suggest you to start as soon as possible. That way you still have lots of time and you won’t have to worry if you don’t find anything you like at the beginning. Eventually, you will probably visit all the wedding dress shops near you and try on all the wedding dresses that are in your budget and you like. Probably by trying them on, you will be able to narrow the search a lot as you will rule out a lot of them, and you will only have a few dresses left to consider after. After that is just a matter of deciding which one, which will involve a lot of thinking, but at least it won’t mean having to go to more shops and using your spare time. Once you decide, just buy it and one thing less to worry about!! 

You also mention that you are conscious about your body. The good news is that there is no set rule about which parts of the body should or shouldn’t a wedding dress expose or cover! I mean, if you don’t feel comfortable showing your back, simply avoid those dresses. The same goes for arms, clevage, etc! As well as that, the shape of the dress can help you disguise certaing things. Generally, I think, A-Shape dresses flatter nearly every body shape.

Best of luck with the wedding dress shopping!! It’s not as dificult as it looks, believe me! In fact, it took me longer to find my wedding shoes than my wedding dress! 

Ah! You also ask how much you should spend. I got a Rosa Clará wedding dress, I bought it in 2014 but the dress belonged to their 2012 collection and becaue of that, it was reduced and it cost me a third of the price marked in their catalogue, so I paid 550€. The price depends a lot on the type of dress you want, ie: new or second hand, designer or not, outlet, previous year collections, etc.

Post # 20
34 posts
  • Wedding: October 2017

Hooray! Congrats! I am also an October 2017 bride and I will be starting dress shopping at the end of this summer so that I have 12 months for ordering/alterations.

Post # 21
3844 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: November 2016

samantha1014:  I started dress shopping a year before my October wedding and purchased my dress in November.  It came in a couple of weeks ago with plenty of time for alterations 🙂 

Try not to be nervous!  I recommend taking one or two trusted (but not aggressively opinionated) people with you and trying on a ton of different styles.  You don’t have to find your dress on the first trip (I didn’t) and you don’t have to have a big emotional moment to know you found your dress (also didn’t).  Good luck and try to have fun with it!

Post # 22
1691 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: December 2016

I did it with about 9 months to spare. I liked that I didn’t feel rushed and that I didn’t do it too early because I sure went through dress doubt for about a month after buying my dress. So I wouldn’t do it too soon either. 

I think a year before would be good. That way if it does take you several appts, you dont feel rushed and you can sit on it for a bit if you have to.

Post # 23
1350 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: September 2017

Bee it really depends on you! I’m a picky shopper and need to see options and knew this about myself. 

I’m getting married about 2-3 weeks before you and have been to about 5-6 stores and tried on a bunch of dresses. I keep coming back to my first two choices and am feeling confident about making my decision in the next month or two. 


Edited to say, it’s good to go by yourself as well as friends/family etc. 

Wear underwear you are comfortable with- I stripped down to a thong and no bra because thats who I am as a human but I’m sure it’s not for everyone. 

Also be honest with the consultant, if she’s bringing you dresses you ahte. SAY IT. 

As far as budget, that’s really based on your comfort level. We’ve budgeted 10K for my dress but my comfort level is closer to 5K. 

If you need options, give yourself more time! 

  • This reply was modified 3 years, 4 months ago by  asobos.
Post # 24
60 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: May 2017

I started shopping 14 months out. I  a picky clothes shopper so I knew that it would probably be the same with the dress. Plus I knew that my summer was going to be busy and I wouldn’t have a lot of time to go shopping then. I ended up ordering my dress a year out!

Post # 25
958 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: October 2016

My wedding is October 2016, I was engaged in July 2015. I had soo much dress anxiety. I was all over the place with what I wanted. So one of my friends suggested that I just go try some on. So I made an appointment and took my sister with me and facetimed my parents who live out of state. I was almost crying when I first started talking with the consultant – she gave us champagne 🙂 I had no intention of finding my dress. None. Zero. But the fourth dress I tried on was it. I just knew. I did not buy it that day – which is one thing that was nice about going so early. I waited until the middle of December (when my parents were in town – I couldn’t buy my dress without my mom) and tried my dress and my runner up on again. Between my appointments I could have, but did not, make any other appointments or try any other dresses on. I kind of looked online, but compared everything to my dress. So in the end, it actually made me really confident about my decision.

So go and have fun! You may just find your dress.


Post # 26
385 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: June 2017

I had anxiety about going too but I just went yesterday with my mom and it was way better than I expected. My wedding is April 29, 2017, and I heard the “twelve month rule” so I knew I wanted to get started soon. I only went to one shop and am going to more next weekend with my Maid/Matron of Honor + bridesmaids and expect to find one then. 

Also, I was very worried about how they’d fit since I’ve heard they run way small and I have curves (34DDD and hips/thighs/butt) but I didn’t have too many issues. Good luck bee, don’t stress and have fun! 

Post # 27
38 posts
  • Wedding: February 2017

Yikes!  I’m getting married in March 2017. I can’t find a dress yet and thought I had a bit more time!

Post # 28
131 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: April 2015

If you decided to go for a dress that was a sample and the store was not willing to postpone the alterations until it gets closer to your wedding, you could always buy it, take it out of the shop and bring the dress to a dressmaker for the alterations.

Post # 29
259 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: June 2017

samantha1014:  I agree with the bees, go and try some on! Once you have at least one appointment (where you should try on different sillouhettes) then you’ll know better WHAT you’re looking for. It kind of depends on where you live, what stores are carrying, and your budget is to decide on a dress budget. Personally I think you can find great dresses for $1200-1500, if you want to stay under that, it IS doable, though a bit harder to find a large vareity . Usually dresses in that range fall in just lace or Tulle dresses with few beading that i’ve noticed. Mind you i’m thinking of new ordered dreses, not sample sales, or informals, or online from China. 

Do at least one appointment to help resolve some of that unncessary stress! Since you don’t even know what you want that appointment can help you narrow down a few things, and then you’ll feel you have a much better grasp on it!

Post # 30
2060 posts
Buzzing bee

I was reallly picky looking online but let me tell you this —


looking at wedding dresses online is nothing compared to in person. The dresses were sooooo much nicer in person. 

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