Hands down, dress shopping is one of the most exciting parts about wedding planning. I mean, honestly, who doesn’t want to go spend a couple hours trying on the most important dress you’ll ever wear? It’s seriously exciting. I bet you even started looking at gowns before you got engaged. I know I did! But, before you head to the salon in hopes of saying yes to the dress, there are 5 things you need to know.

  1. Be open to different styles. Just because you love the gown in pictures, doesn’t mean it’s going to look good on you. And, that’s okay. Be willing to try on different styles to find the one that flatters your body type most. In all honesty it will probably be the dress you never expected to like that you’ll end up falling in love with.
  2. Have clear expectations for friends and family that accompany you. If you want them to express their every thought and be brutally honest, tell them. If you want them to be a little nicer and only give constructive criticism of the gown, tell them. A friend or family member will always have your back and most are cautious to not say too much so they don’t offend you. If you want them to be brutally honest, let them know they can speak their mind freely.
  3. Buying a wedding dress is unlike any other item of clothing. When you head out shopping with friends you might try something on and ask their opinions before purchasing allowing their thoughts to sway you. But a wedding dress is completely different. You know how they say “when you know, you know”? That’s what it is with your gown. When you put it on, you’ll know. You might not cry. You might not have this overwhelming feeling of joy or excitement. But, you’ll know. When you put the right dress on, other people’s opinions won’t matter. Trust me. It’s hard to understand now, but it’s a completely different experience.
  4. Know your budget and stick to it. This might seem obvious but the price of a gown can soar quickly. Know your budget and be upfront with your consultant about it. Tell her that’s the max and don’t try on a single gown above that price. Remember, it’s not just the cost of the gown you have to consider. You’ll also have alterations, undergarments, veil, accessories, and shoes to account for.
  5. Trust your consultant and limit the number of gowns your friends pick out. Wedding dress consultants look at these gowns day in and day out. They know the inventory of the store better than anyone and have seen each dress tried on by girls with every different body type. Your consultant will know instinctively what will work best for you.
  6. Once you find the dress, stop looking. Don’t try on another dress to see if it might be better. Don’t head to another salon just because you have an appointment. All that will do is confuse you. Once you know you’ve found the one, stop searching. How will you know it’s the one though if you don’t try on a few others? Remember what I said above. When you know, you know.

Alright, it’s time to start shopping! Tell us in the comments if you’ve found your dress yet. If so, how many did you try on before you said yes to the dress?