Wedding Dress Shopping: 8 Tips and Advice for the Newly Engaged Bride

Wedding Dress Shopping: 8 Tips and Advice for the Newly Engaged Bride

Wedding dress shopping, either you love it, or you hate, but 99% of the time, every bride-to-be loves it! This is a once in a lifetime event (hopefully) of going out with your mom, grandmother, sister, or friends, and trying on the most beautiful dresses you can ever imagine! It’s the search for the perfect dress to walk down the aisle in, towards the love of your life, to your happily ever after. You want to look your absolute best! I remember every little detail about my wedding dress shopping experience, and it was one of the best days of my life!

Here are some tips and advice that I got from my wedding dress shopping experience, as well as from a bridal consultant, and what she recommends when it’s your turn as a newly engaged bride when searching for the perfect dress.

Wedding Dress Shopping: 8 Tips and Advice for the Newly Engaged Bride

⇒Make an Appointment Ahead of Time⇐

When planning your wedding dress shopping trip, don’t show up and expect to be taken in. In some cases, you may get lucky, and there might be a consultant who is available to assist you. However, it is polite and respectful to call ahead of time and book a time slot. This will give you more time to shop, and you won’t be in a time crunch. You’ll have a consultant giving their full attention and focusing on you.

⇒Fewer People, the Better⇐

When I asked a friend, who is a bridal consultant what makes an appointment go more smoothly. She said that if you bring a party to help with the process and give their advice, limit the number of people you invite along. She suggested that 4 people is usually the best amount. There are two reasons for this: 1. Fewer opinions the better, and 2. Less stressful experience. As the bride, you feel stressed out enough trying to find the right dress. If you have 8 people throwing their opinions at you, it can add to the stress, and wedding dress shopping shouldn’t be a stressful experience. This also makes it easier for your consultant to assist you, and no one wants a stressed out bride.

Wedding Dress Shopping: 8 Tips and Advice for the Newly Engaged Bride

⇒Wear the Right Undergarments⇐

DO NOT go into your wedding dress appointment wearing a sports bra, and then try on strapless gowns. Not only does it look awkward and not work with any of the dresses, but you cannot visually see what the dress would look like without it getting in the way. Bridal consultants recommend wearing what you might wear the day of the wedding. Even if you do end up not wearing a bra the day of your wedding (in the case that there is one already sewn into the gown), it is for hygiene purposes when trying on dresses. Wear or bring a strapless white or nude bra and underwear, and if you want a bit more modesty, wear a pair of form-fitting shorts.

⇒Come with an Image in Mind⇐

Please do not go to your appointment saying, “I don’t know what I like!” or “I have no idea what dress I want!”, or even worse, “I’ll try on everything!” This will make the appointment long, stressful, and difficult not only for you but also for the consultant assisting you. Do some research ahead of time of different wedding dresses that you like. Save these photos on your phone, print out a few of these images, or even cut out pages from wedding magazines. This will aid your consultant in finding the right dress for you and bring what you’re picturing in your head to life. Be sure to voice what you like and don’t on dresses you have seen or tried on, too. This will also help your consultant in narrowing down the dresses he or she brings you, and get one step closer to finding your wedding dress!

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⇒Keep an Open Mind⇐

I went in looking for a specific dress that I had in mind: 3/4 length sleeves, modest, lace, no gemstones or sequins, and a ballgown. However, I didn’t stay in that mindset. Try on other dresses, keep your options open, and you may be surprised! I refused to wear a strapless gown and had wanted a dress with sleeves so bad. So when the consultant brought out a strapless gown, I was very unsure. However, I did try on some other strapless dresses, but I didn’t fall in love with any of them. I thought, “What’s wrong with trying one more?” I decided to give it a chance and tried it on. If I didn’t like it, then it’s another dress eliminated.

Once I put it on though and saw myself in the mirror, it was all over. I started to feel the waterworks coming on, and didn’t even care that it was strapless or that there were no sleeves. It was love at first sight and knew it was the one instantly. If I didn’t keep an open mind and give it a chance, I may have missed out on the wedding dress of my dreams.

⇒Talk to Your Consultant⇐

Your consultant is there to help you, so talk to them about what you’re looking for and be specific of what you want. Also, be sure to mention what you’re not looking for. Tell them about yourself, your wedding, the theme and your vision for the day. They will be able to take all this information, as well as the images you provide them, and they will be able to pull out dresses that just might work for you. Remember, this is their job, they do this every day. They are professionals, so put your trust in them for a few hours, and believe that they will help you find your wedding dress.

⇒Yes, You Might Just Cry⇐

It is true when you see the bride on all those wedding dress shows cry when she finds her dress. It’s a real thing! You picture yourself in that dress, walking down the aisle, the love of your life waiting for you. With that thought in mind, you definitely feel the tears forming. I can confidently say if you don’t cry when you find your dress, it’s not the one for you. Almost every bride I have spoken with about their dress shopping experience has said they welled up, or in some cases, full-on ugly cried when they found their dress. And even if you’re not a crier, you still get that fuzzy, happy feeling on the inside. That is another sure sign that it’s the one. Trust those emotions on the inside, they are a sure indicator that you found your dress.

⇒Enjoy Yourself⇐

Wedding dress shopping is a fun experience, so enjoy the entire process from the beginning to the end. Even if you don’t find your wedding dress the first time around, that’s okay, you’ll go to the next salon. Some brides find their dresses after two or three, and others after 30. I tried on about roughly 10 dresses before finding mine. Don’t give up or be discouraged when searching, and enjoy every appointment. Trying on wedding dresses is so much fun, and I wish I could do it all over again! If you’re lucky, you only get to do this once! Soak it all in and enjoy the experience to the fullest.

So there are my tips and advice from my firsthand experience when I went wedding dress shopping, as well as what I have learned from other brides and bridal consultants during my wedding journey. I wish all the bride-to-be’s luck in finding your wedding dress, and remember to have fun!

**Thank you to my friend, Kalhiea, for contributing to this post by giving first-hand advice as a bridal consultant.*
Wedding Dress Shopping: 8 Tips and Advice for the Newly Engaged Bride
Photo Credit:
Anton Mislawsky

Wedding Dress Shopping: 8 Tips and Advice for the Newly Engaged Bride
  • Zoi


    Those are great tips to take in mind, as we get married only once (hopefully) and we want to find the perfect dress. As you say it must be an enjoyable experience instead of a stressing one. I am so perfectionist that your advice is really handy for me 🙂

    • Nikki

      Thank you! So happy to hear you were able to take some pointers.

  • Bee @


    This is pretty solid advice! When I bought my wedding dress I was set on something very specific and didn’t want to look at any other style! Luckily, I had a great friend with me who wasn’t shy about being totally upfront with me, and that the style just didn’t work for me – After that I opened up and ended up falling in love with the dress style that I never would have looked at!
    Great advice!

    • Nikki

      What a wonderful friend to be there for support! My friends we’re the same, and I loved having their input. Thanks for sharing that with me!

  • Jubilee D Meyer


    Love these tips! And totally agree about bringing only a few people. I had 3 girls and I made sure they were all very supportive of whatever I liked

  • Mirley Guerra Graf


    Love these tips! Very practical and easy to follow.

  • Nicole


    Every woman, no matter if she ever gets married or not, should have the chance to go wedding shopping! If, like you suggested, you go in with an open mind it’s like being a princess! Love your tips – especially trying on different things than what you might have had in mind – the consultants know body types and can find some things that will look amazing on you that you’d never pick off the rack!

  • Kristen


    I am recently engaged, and already purchased my dress, but I can agree with so much of what you mentioned! I definitely agree with the keeping an open mind. I was dead set against a certain type of dress and my lovely consultant, who was wonderful, convinced me to try it because I wasn’t falling in love with anything. Boy, I was right to trust her and walked right out the door with my dress!

    • Nikki

      Same thing happened to me! You never know! Congratulations on getting engaged, and many blessings in your marriage, darling! <3

  • Jen @ Jenron Designs


    Great tips I completely agree with taking less people with you. I find the more opinions the further you stray from staying true to yourself.

  • Maddy


    I wish I had had this list when I was going to buy my dress!

  • Angela Hoyos


    Such an insightful post! I have been dress shopping with brides-to-be and I agree with the smaller group comment. I was with a party of 10 and it was madness… needless to say, my friend did not pick up her dress that day.

  • Lucu


    This is great advice and once you have the basics right you can enjoy finding the perfect dress.

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