(Closed) Wedding dress shopping etiquette?

posted 4 years ago in Dress
Post # 2
2 posts

Hi, I have only just started shopping for my wedding dress. I looked on the bridal shop websites to see what designers they had so I could so a little research and see what dress features I liked. I then rang and made a consultation appointment. Go in with an open mind and try on as many dresses as you can of different styles. i thought I had a pretty good idea of what suited my body but I ended up suiting the opposite of what I thought. I went with my granny and best friend. Good luck with your search x 

Post # 3
733 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: September 2014

jolieqe:  No you are not a loser if you go alone. I went alone with mine because I have a lot of opinionated people and I didn’t want their opinions to cloud my judgement of my choice in my dress. I did however go back and show a few people before I purchased the dress.  My advice, make sure you at least extend an invite to those whom you want with you. I wouldn’t bring a huge group personally. If I had wanted people there, it probably would be my mom, Future Mother-In-Law, and some of my bridal party. Most places will require an appointment but there are some salons that will do walk ins if they aren’t busy. Depends where you live! Good luck dress shopping 🙂 

Post # 4
2510 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: July 2014

No- bringing a small entourage actually makes things easier.  I went shopping with my mom, and sometimes my sister and/or my aunt came along, but sometimes it was just me and my mom.  

Yes- pretty much you make an appointment and they show you dresses.  Usually you go in with a budget in mind, and a general style.  You don’t have to know exactly what you want to wear, but if you know things you really like, or really don’t like, or particular shapes you are interested in it is helpful.  Most stores recommend that you go on their website beforehand, see what designers they carry, look at their dresses, and maybe bring a picture of a couple of dresses you would be interested in trying on.  As you start to shop, and you have a favorite dress from another store, it is helpful to show them that dress.  It is a bit awkward to talk about a competitor’s dress, but it really makes their job easier if they know there is a dress you are looking to beat.  

Other than that, just enjoy, and make sure you are really honest- the dresses don’t have feelings.  The consultant will have you try on about 7 dresses they think you would like.  The more honest you are about what you like and don’t like about each gown, the more likely their next pull will be more what you love.  

Post # 5
104 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: October 2015

You are definitely not a loser if you go alone.  My first time dress shopping I took my Maid/Matron of Honor.  I did not take my mom on purpose because she has this vision that I will get married in a dress very similar to hers (80’s, high neck, long lace arrow-point sleeves, waterfall veil…. NOPE).  I figured my Maid/Matron of Honor would be honest about everything I tried on, but she ended up crying every time I put a dress on.  I ended up putting on one I liked and she went absolutely crazy- sobbing and telling me I lookjed amazing.  It was a simple satin ball gown, when I had always imagined myself in a lace dress with lots of beading and a more fitted cut.  But since she was emotional I got caught in the moment and bought the ball gown.  This was followed by MAJOR dress regret, and me heading back to another bridal shop alone until I found my dream dress… the slim A-line lace Maggie Sottero I had always imagined.  Since I was paying for my own dress I had no qualms about going alone and ordering the dress I wanted. 

 As far as your appointment goes, go with an open mind and try on lots of different styles.  But as you try them on make note a bout the things you like and don’t like.  In my case, I tried on both satin and tulle gowns and decided I preferred satin.  I also learned that I don’t like pick-up skirts or drop waists, but that trumpet and fit-n-flare gowns look surprisingly good on me.  As you make your list of preferences, your consultant can start to pull more gowns to align with what you like.  Also, make sure you go in with a clear budget that would include alterations.

P.S.  Make sure you eat beforehand and take a bottle of water with you.  Wedding dresses are HOT and it’s important to stay hydrated.

Post # 6
584 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: May 2016

BoilerBride101015:  This made me LOL. Your poor overly sensitive MOH! That’s adorable.

Post # 7
104 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: October 2015


jillbean1217:  OMG it was insane.  At one point I put on this drop-waisted gown with a very full ruffled skirt.  I felt like I should hike my skirt up and start doing the can-can. There was also one that had these weird cap sleeves that wouldn’t allow me to move my arms and made me feel like a T-rex.   Did she cry for those?  Of course she did!

Post # 8
2715 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: September 2012

jolieqe:  Yep, you need to call an make an appointment.  Some places do walk-ins, but it’s always much better to make an appointment, then you are sure to have a consultant helping you.

You are definitely not a loser for going alone!  For most of my appointments I had anywhere from 2-6 people with me.  It was fun for sure and nice to have other poeple’s opinions.  But I also went alone once and it was sooooo nice.  I could be much more honest.  Sometimes it was hard to tell the grandmas that I didn’t like the dresses they picked out!  It’s also easy to be swayed by otheres opinions.  I would second guess myself when my BMs told me I looked fantastic in a dress that I didn’t really care for.  Also, I could take my time.  If I wanted to hem and haw over a dress I could.  I didn’t feel like I was boring anyone.  So definitely take your mom once or twice, but I also recommend going alone once or twice.

Post # 9
205 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: April 2015

The way my appointment went was I brought my small-ish bridal party (of 4) and went into a David’s Bridal. I had a list of 12 some odd dresses that I liked the best. From there I picked my top two to try on and my consultant was able to use the rest of the list as a guideline for my style. She did a great job at finding dresses that suited my style that I hadn’t noticed on their website.

I almost went with a dress that my bridal party loved but I did not. I’m a hardcore people pleaser so it was difficult for me to stand up. But as soon as I said “I want to like it cause you guys do, but I’d only be getting it because you all like it so much” they immediately backed down and re-assured me to just keep looking. Come to find out, they said they liked that one so much because they thought it’s what I liked best! So go with your gut, no one’s feelings will get hurt!

Also, I had a hard time telling my consultant what I liked and what I didn’t. I thought for sure I’d be able to look at a dress and say “I like X but not Y and Z.” I couldn’t, I became one of those super indecisive nonspecific sort of brides. My consultant was great though. Not knowing you specifically here’s things I wish I would have known:

-They will stuff you into a corset that will do amazing things for your body!

-Your consultant is there to help you, don’t be afraid to speak up and say ‘no I don’t want to wear a slip’, ‘I don’t want to put sashes on the dresses’ or whatever. Mine put a sash and veil on me for every dress–Personally, I wasn’t into it but was too afraid to speak up. Once I did, she listened and everything was just fine, there was no awkwardness.

-The dresses may very well look wrong, due to fit. I stood up on a stool with my dresses on–it instantly changed the shape of the dress since it wasn’t bunching on the floor. I initially passed down the dress I ended up choosing because it was so bunched up on the floor it gave it a weird shape and I didn’t realize that was why. 

My appointment basically went like this: She stuffed me into a corset and a slip, and we tried on the dresses I liked best. She then picked and pulled either dresses I asked for or what she thought I would like. There were several dresses I tried on more than once, no one batted an eye, so I think that was normal. You try it on, check yourself out, consultant gets your opinion then it’s on to the next! 

Post # 10
1612 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: November 2014

I went with my mom and nobody else. It was a great experience and we had a lot of fun. Appointments are nice so you can get the undivided attention of a clerk at the store. The first place I went was appointment only and the girl talked to me about what kind of dress I did or didn’t want as well as price point. She pulled a bunch of dresses to try which certainly narrowed down what I wanted. The other store I went to doesn’t take appointments and they let you look through the racks yourself. Then they helped me in and out of the dresses. We were the only ones in the store that afternoon and got lots of attention lol. Got my dress there.

Post # 11
11657 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: May 2014

jolieqe:  I went alone because my BMs were all over 2000km from me as was my mom.  I loved going alone, it meant I could try what I wanted and not have the opinions of others sway me.  I also went to DB for my first appointment and they were really easy going about taking pictures so I was able to text them all and they weighed in that way.

Post # 12
203 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: May 2014

I went with my mom and my SIL (who was also a bridesmaid).  My SIL booked the appointments, as she’d been bridal shopping a few times in the area.  The bridal shop I was at had a binder full of pictures at the front, and I went through that first, putting sticky notes on dresses I thought I liked.

They then used that as a guide to bring me dresses.  A girl gave me a slip and a bustier to wear, and helped me in and out of every dress.  I was never put into anything that was either way too big or too small, so everything I tried fit well. I think if there was a dress you really specifically wanted to try, they’d help accommodate even if the fit wouldn’t be perfect, but I appreciated them not trying to squish me into anything.

That was my amazing bridal shop experience (I bought the first dress they put me in after trying a few others).

Prior to that I tried dresses at other places where they didn’t help me in and out of the dresses, had me walk around and pick, and didn’t take the time to understand what my vision was (even though my vision was a bit blurry…. they still didn’t try narrow it down at all).  The shops I didn’t like also put me in such a wide variety of sizes that I couldn’t really get a feel for what fit well, and how the dresses would look if they actually fit.

I’d say make some appointments, and don’t be afraid to tell them what you want.  If the shop you’re in insn’t helpful, or tries to make dresses that are way off size wise fit, go somewhere else.

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