Wedding Dress Shopping- Tips to Minimize Stress & Maximize Success

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This past weekend we went shopping to help my sister (who is planning her wedding in 6 months) find a wedding dress. When we walked in she told the associate at the store she knew EXACTLY what she wanted. And it was pretty specific.

My sister is 1) Not at all into dresses 2)Not at all into being photographed (seriously she hates it) 3) Not at all interested in ever being the center of attention, ever. So, I decided that I better jump in and give her some quick, sisterly, wedding planner-ly advice, the kind that wasn’t preachy but rather intended to be helpful for someone who hates getting dressed up in front of people.

Here it is:

1) Try on things you absolutely don’t like or didn’t plan on trying. Just for fun and just in case. This is particularly important for someone who thinks they know EXACTLY what they want. Here’s why:

  • If you keep your focus too narrowed you could miss something amazing.
  • If you have an idea in your head for a style/color/designer you want and will only try on things that match that exact description, you are setting yourself up for the possibility of a very disappointing experience (EPIC FAIL!). The pictures and models in magazines are not you, they likely aren’t your exact size and body shape. If you are only willing to try on a certain dress and once you try it on you hate the way it looks, you will be so upset and angry it could ruin your entire dress shopping experience.


So many dresses...give 'em a try!

So many dresses…give ’em a try!

2) You don’t have to get something the first time you go shopping! And you probably shouldn’t unless you are under time constraints. You need to think about what you have tried on and maybe go try it again. You can change your mind. (This happened to me because I didn’t abide by rule #1)

3) Let people take pictures. Just make sure they promise not to show them to anyone you want to surprise on the day of the wedding.  You will have your wedding pictures to view forever. How you look in the weird mirror in the dress shop could be very different than how you look in a photograph. Try on lots of dresses, let people take pictures and send them to you. Then, go home and scroll through them. Granted, on your wedding day your hair and make-up will be professionally done and the dress will be altered to fit you but you will still have a better idea of what the dress looks like in pictures.

kelly wedding dress with caption

In my opinion rule #1 is the GOLDEN RULE.  Think of it as playing dress-up; Like when Monica, Rachel, and Phoebe wore the wedding dresses in the apartment on friends. You could end up loving something you never even intended on trying on in the first place.


5 thoughts on “Wedding Dress Shopping- Tips to Minimize Stress & Maximize Success

  1. I am totally, 100% behind Rule No. 1! That should be the cardinal rule of formal dress shopping – always try on the dress you think that you hate – most of the time it’ll be the one you fall in love with! Things look so very different on a hanger than they do on the body. I hope your sister had fun trying on dresses! xo

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