(Closed) Wedding Dress Shopping… what should I expect?

posted 11 years ago in Dress
Post # 3
149 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: June 2007

Piper, your first dress shopping experience is always so exciting and should be lots of fun.  I wouldn’t suggest your bridesmaids looking at dresses, because they might get carried away and disappear while you’re looking for someone to give you an opinion on your dress.

A strapless bra is key, and also any spanx if you need it (I looked ridiculous, but the bridal shop attendants are used to it).  I wouldn’t say you necessarily need your heels since you it’s not a fitting, plus they may have some bridal shoes that you may want to try out with the dresses.

A note of warning, be prepared to stand in your underwear with a complete stranger.  Most bridal dress attendants have to be in the fitting room with you to help you into their dresses, and so they will see you naked. 

As for how long it takes to try on dresses, each dress is different. Some you can just slip on and wear, or others you will need to sash, pin, tie, lace up, etc.  I would estimate that if you spend 1.5 hours in each store, you will be trying on about 5-8 dresses. 

Also be open to try dresses that don’t fit your "dream dress" criteria.  You may be pleasantly surprised that some cuts extremely flatter your figure, or that lace looks beautiful on you, etc. 

Most importantly, have fun!

Post # 4
226 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: June 2010

Blech, ignore "Say Yes to the Dress", most of my shopping experiences weren’t that horrendous, so don’t be scared!  My biggest thing I had to remember (besides the strapless) was some more, uh, modest panties.  I didn’t know a saleslady would help me into my dress and see my hot pink lacey barely there panties (embarrassment #1) and then it could be seen in some of the more fitted styles right through the dress (embarrassment #2).  So pull out the white bikinis!  Also a hair tie to play with hair up/down, a camera (cause sometimes you don’t look as great as you think you do, it happens to us all), and some gals that are going to give you your honest opinion!  I think the thing you can not forget, ever is that you are the customer and they are working for your commission, so make them work for it and ask all your questions, ask them to pull more dresses if need be, and don’t feel bad for it if they’re snootie! 

With 7 months to go, being pressured to buy is totally going to depend on a) the designers you are trying on and b) the boutique cause some are known to be pushy whether you’ve got 12 months or 4 months til the big day.

Have fun shopping!!!

Post # 6
378 posts
Helper bee

I’d say go in with an open mind. I went in (and didn’t bring a bra because I didn’t have one and didn’t have shoes either, they provided both) and just said "ok, what would look good on me?" I knew that I didn’t like strapless but I tried them on anyway. I actually didn’t even pick out myself the dress that I ended up getting, the saleslady did.

I put the first one on and went "this whole experience is WEIRD!" and just giggled. But I had a friend with me who documented each dress from multiple angles. And throughout the process I was like "isn’t it supposed to just HIT me when I have the right one?" And then I put on the seventh dress and teared up, and actually started to cry when they added the veil just to see what it would look like.

Basically, just have fun with it. Don’t feel pressure. You can put one on hold and go back and order it a day later if you want time to think on it. Seven months might be pushing it for some dresses, but once I placed my order, they said it will be 12 weeks (around Jan. 4ish), which will give me about eight months to do fittings. That BETTER be enough time. I just have to maintain my weight (up and down) during that time! ๐Ÿ™‚


Have fun! It’s such an exciting time! 

Post # 7
38 posts
  • Wedding: September 2008

i’m going dress shopping for the first time on friday, too– so you’re not crazy, or we both are!

do i really need to bring a strapless bra? being a rather well-endowed girl i only have two and neither are in the best shape… i hadn’t even thought about it! (although i did get nice undies for the occassion ๐Ÿ˜‰ )

 i am totally nervous and weirded out by the whole thing, but i know my mom and sister will make it fun (and emotional…)

 have fun!

Post # 8
32 posts
  • Wedding: October 2008

hi ladies,

 i was actually going to post about this today too. i am going dress shopping for my first time on friday as well (apparently it’s a popular day to do so!). i am REALLY REALLY well endowed like beyond ridiculous and i don’t even own a strapless bra. i don’t want to get a strapless dress but i know if i do there is a really good bra store nearby that has a seamstress on hand and they spend A LOT of time on you. so i know if i need one, i can get one. with that being said. are they going to make me use cups or something or can i just get away with a normal bra and if i need a strapless i will get one?! thanks ladies!!!! and good luck to everyone shopping friday! 

Post # 9
35 posts

do you live in the new york area?  if so, i highly recommend checking out the bridal garden.  i got a judd waddell dress there for about $800.  they have a ton of designer gowns at sample sale prices.  their profits go to a children’s charity so you’re saving money and doing something kind!

Post # 10
1 posts

My advice is just to relax. One thing to remember is that a lot of how your experience goes depends on how comfortable you feel in the salon and with thier staff. If you don’t like the consultant they put you with you will have a miserable time. Either ask for a different consultant or hit a different salon.  Do not waste your time in a place you don’t like; there are beautiful gowns in every salon.

Post # 11
230 posts
Helper bee

I really didn’t want to go dress shopping – my Bridesmaid or Best Man had to literally SHOVE me in the door of our first salon. I think I was worried about being semi-naked in front of everyone, not fitting into the sample sizes, pressure from salespeople, hating everything, or falling in love with something way above my price range. Once I got going, it wasn’t so bad, but I owe that to our awesome salesperson (so sweet and genuine) and my great Bridesmaid or Best Man. Once we had tackled the first salon (which was quite well-stocked), the rest (which were smaller) were pretty easy, I knew what worked on me and didn’t, and I was a lot more confident about it. A few pieces of advice:

-Do you have one of those bras with the clear straps? I used that and it worked like a charm. I have good strapless bras, but you just never know if they’ll stay in place when you’re taking something off/putting something on, so I figured I would go the safer route and NOT risk catching someone directly in my headlights ๐Ÿ™‚

-As someone else said, definitely try what you think you want, but also be open to other things. I totally thought I wanted simple-as-simple-can-be a-line with no pouf. I ended up with a dress with fairly fluffy pick-ups, because I asked the salesperson to bring me a dress with pick-ups "just for fun."

-Wedding dresses are really really heavy for the most part. And if they’re snug on you, getting them off can be quite the endeavor. Be prepared to have tired arms (at one point, i just didn’t think I had the strength to get a dress off!), and also be prepared to need someone to help you – inelegantly – yank the dress over your head. Of course, if you are a really thin person you might not have this trouble, but i was often trying on samples that were a bit tight.

-I was really nervous about walking around in dresses, not wanting to draw too much attention to myself in the store, but you really need to. Yes, people will stare and comment (generally it’s all gushing and niceness), but you have to get used to it! That’s exactly what your wedding day will be like! And you need to know if you feel comfortable in the dress, and at the center of all the attention.

-Remember to try sitting, dancing, etc.

Hm, I’ve written a novel as usual. Hope that helps! 



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