Day 8: Searching for Your Wedding Dress

Now to the “fun” parts of wedding planning. There are a list of things I communicate with my brides when they are about to go wedding dress shopping…

First, you want to have a venue & wedding style selected before gown shopping. Your gown should be a reflection of you, as well as appropriate to the type of event and style you are having.

Photos featuring a Modern Barn Wedding in Wisconsin

Research!  What you need to do before going dress shopping…

The only way you’re going to know what dresses you like is by looking! Start off looking at photos online, magazines and designers’ websites, etc. 

Just like with any other type of search for inspiration, you’ll want to weed out what doesn’t quite stand out to you after a few hours or days. Go back and look through everything again, remove photos, and refine your “collection” of dresses that you like. Repeat if necessary.

You should see some sort of pattern once you’ve refined what you saved. It could be a fabric, a dress style, a type of embellishment, a color, or even a designer. Gather the similarities and define them. Know what it is that you’re liking so you can share the with the bridal salon. 

Visiting Bridal Salons

Begin by researching the styles various stores have before you make an appointment. Remember, MAKE AN APPOINTMENT! This way you will get the best attention and service. Be sure they carry the overall style you are looking for. If you are ordering a gown, you will need to allow 6-8 months for the gown to arrive. BE OPEN TO DIFFERENT STYLES that may be suggested to you — you never know what you’re going to fall in love with!

“I was very nervous about going wedding dress shopping. One thing I didn't understand is how important it is to trust the sales person at the bridal salon. Trust them as the professionals they are. It helped me relax and not be so nervous. Then, I was able to really enjoy myself”

Important Wedding Dress Shopping Tips

  • Go shopping with an open mind. Communicate with the dress clerk/designer what is important to you in regards to the elements of the dress. Yet, be open to letting the “professional” pick out a few dresses they would recommend.
  • Choose someone (one or two people) to go with you that would be honest yet not too opinionated. Remember, this is supposed to be fun and exciting. Not stressful.
  • Pick a dress that is flattering to YOUR body type…not someone else’s or what is popular. I have seen so many brides choose a dress that is beautiful, but not fitting nor flattering to their body type.
  • Make sure the dress is comfortable. You are going to wear it for a really, really long
Bride holding a signature wedding day hanger for her wedding dress.

Day 8:  Conclusion

Buying your wedding dress can be a challenge, particularly on top of all the other things you need to sort out before the big day. However, this is an experience that a lot of the time only comes around once in your life – so take a deep breath, relax and enjoy it! We can’t put into words just how fun it is to visit different bridal salon trying on gowns until you find the one. If any experience in the world is worth putting time into, it’s definitely this one! I wish you the best and hope you find that dream dress.

Happy Shopping,


Distinctly Yours Wedding & Events


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"10 Easy Steps To Get Your Wedding Planning Started with Confidence"

    Marsha VanArk, Wedding Planner at Distinctly Yours Wedding & Events