Wedding Gown Shopping Tips

Have you gotten your dress yet?  This is one of the most frequently asked questions about your wedding.  Shopping for a wedding gown is very exciting, but it can also be overwhelming.  There are so many different styles, that it may be hard to know where to start.  It is never too early to shop for your wedding gown, but some preparation ahead of time will make the process easier.

There are a few things to consider before you begin your shopping.

  • What is your wedding location?  An outdoor or beach wedding will have a different gown than a wedding in a cathedral or indoor location.
  • What season are you getting married in?  Strapless gowns are worn all year around, but you may want to think of getting a heavier fabric or a wrap that accents your gown, but will add warmth.
  • Are there restrictions for dress in my ceremony location?  In some churches and houses of worship there are restrictions for dress and you may have to have your shoulders or arms covered.
  • What is the budget for your gown?  This is probably the most important question you need to answer.  It would be devastating to fall in love with a gown that you cannot afford.


Your shopping day game plan

  1. Who is coming with you: Most brides are not going to buy a wedding gown without mom.  Other than mom, it is a good idea to only bring one or 2 other people.  Too many opinions could end up making the choice more confusing.
  2. Make an appointment:  Most salons require you to make an appointment.  That way when you go in, you will have someone available to help you with your selection.
  3. Only visit a few places per shopping day:  It may be tempting to go to many places in one day.  That can be extremely tiring and also lead to confusion because of all the different gowns you have tried on.
  4. Don’t be afraid to try on different styles.  A dress that you think you don’t like on the hanger could turn out to be your dream dress.

The shopping day

  • Bring with you photos of gown styles that you like.
  • An idea of what color you want, the level of formality of your wedding and what physical features you want to disguise or even accentuate.
  • Wear underwear that will work well under a wedding gown.
  • Wear or bring shoes that are the same height of the ones you want to wear on your wedding day. (This will be most important for your dress fittings)
  • Bring a camera.  If the bridal salon allows you to take pictures.
  • Notebook and pen.  Keep track of the details of your favorite choices, prices and details.

 The Contract

Now that you have found the gown of your dreams, make sure you get all the details written up in the contract.

  1. Description of the gown
  • name of the designer
  • style number
  • fabric
  • size
  • color
  • any changes made for the designer
  1. Delivery date
  2. Number of fittings
  3. Estimated alterations fees
  4. Deposit amount and dues date for remaining balance
  5. Cancellation and refund policy

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