The Do’s and Don’ts of Wedding Dress Shopping

The Do’s and Don’ts of Wedding Dress Shopping

It’s been a long road but you’re finally here! You found the right partner for you. The One. There’s a ring on your finger and you’re deep into planning one of the biggest days of your life. Some of us have been planning our wedding since we can remember (ahem, guilty.) Keep reading for a comprehensive list of Do’s and Don’ts that will help you get the most out of your wedding dress shopping experience!

Wedding Dress Shopping

Do: Go in With An Open Mind

“Wow, I didn’t picture myself in this – but I LOVE it!”

You might be feeling DEAD SET on a gorgeous dress you found on Instagram or Pinterest. So, once you’re finally wedding dress shopping, you might only want to stick with dresses like those on your Pinterest board. Never the less your bridal consultant is well-trained and knowledgeable about what dresses suit body shapes and what trends/styles are well-suited for you, so don’t be afraid of exploring outside of your bubble.

Have you ever heard someone say “it looks better on” – that can be the case with wedding dresses that might not look good to you on the hanger. Try working together with your consultant to try on styles that you might not have imagined wearing and you could fall in love, again! Often, brides will choose to wear dresses that they would have never envisioned themselves in!

Wedding Dress Shopping

Don’t: Arrive Unprepared

“Why am I sweating so much?”

You should wear something easy to change out of, especially if you’re visiting multiple boutiques. Fitting rooms can be hot and dresses can be heavy.

  • Bring a pair of heels that match the height you’re planning on being at your wedding – it’ll help you estimate dress length and how much of your heels will show in pictures
  • Wear nude underwear, bring a strapless bra, and Spanx if you’re planning on wearing it on your big day.

Wedding Dress Shopping

Do: Shop Your Size & Don’t: Let Size Numbers Hurt Your Feelings.

“I’m going to be way skinnier by the time it’s my wedding”

I believe you. So many of us go on healthy eating plans and work out to look our best at our weddings. But, nothing is guaranteed…except how you look right now.

  • Try on the dress that fits you today, not the dress that will fit you in six months. No matter how unhappy it makes you to try on a dress that doesn’t match your fitness goals.
  • When you think about how much time and effort goes into tailoring a dress, it’s best to stick with what works today than plan with an unconfirmed weight loss goal in mind.

Trust me, it’s easier to tighten a dress than to make it bigger.

“I thought I was a size 4. I’m sad now”

Maybe you’re an 8 in jeans, but you’re a 10 or 12 in wedding dresses. I know I’ve felt discouraged when I’ve had to size up, but keep in mind that dress sizes are a little wonky. Dresses don’t fit like ordinary blouses or jeans, so they’ll size a little differently and that’s okay.

Wedding Dress Shopping

Do: Consider Your Venue and Weather

“OMG. I think I’m going to pass out”

Think about the how your dress can make or break your wedding enjoyment. Looking good is important, but so is enjoying your wedding. Especially, if the weather is going to be +30 on your wedding day and you’re getting married outside. You might be fulfilling the dreams of your inner child buy purchasing that princess gown you’ve always wanted, but you’ll realize that you’ve made a grave mistake ten seconds into your wedding day.

Remember, your dress is important but so is your comfort.

Wedding Dress Shopping

Don’t: Bring A Crowd, But Bring Enough People for Support

“Obviously, I hate her, but if I don’t invite her I’ll never hear the end of it”

Your family and friends can be great sources of support and often, they’ll help you make the right choice if you’re feeling conflicted. I suggest that you think twice before you invite the whole family.

  • Don’t worry about hurting someone’s feelings because you didn’t invite them dress shopping.

I think we’ve all seen an episode or two of “Say Yes To The Dress” where a pushy mother in law or a picky husband take all the fun out of a brides dress shopping experience and leave her distressed and in tears. When it’s your wedding, you’re the expert of what you wear. And remember: it’s still your choice what you wear to your wedding, even if someone else is paying!

Wedding Dress Shopping

Do: Shop Within Your Price Range

“I guess I could try it on…It’s only a couple thousand above my budget”

Wedding budgets are tricky and you’ll probably end up overspending at some point in the planning process.

  • Don’t fall in love with a dress that’s outside your price range.
  • Don’t even try it on. You’ll end up conflicted or disappointed if you can’t have that dress.
  • It’s the last thing you need when you’re already forking over a hefty sum for a dress.

Don’t forget the cost of tailoring, accessories, and veils can add up.

Wedding Dress Shopping

Don’t: Shop Online Without Properly Vetting The Site First

“It looked good in the picture!”

I’m sure you’ve seen some prom dress horror stories, where a girl orders a seemingly gorgeous dress online and it comes in looking like the equivalent of a bedazzled potato sack. If you like something you see online. Take a few steps before you hit that order button.

  1. Start by calling your local bridal boutiques to see if they carry or can order a dress you found online.
  2. If you’re out of luck, then be sure to confirm sizes, fabric, fits, and reviews from people who have ordered before.

The last thing you need is a wedding dress crisis amongst other wedding planning crises. Or do yourself a solid and shop locally!

Wedding Dress Shopping

Do Manage Your Expectations And Don’t Overthink It

“Okay, I love this dress… but do I love it…?”

  • Don’t be deadset on a single dress or style – be open minded about what you want because you won’t know what looks good on your body until you try it!
  • Remember that when you’re all dolled up: your hair, makeup, and accessories – will complete the look!

Once you try on the right wedding dress, you’ll know that it is the one for your wedding. Trust your instinct & Trust your gut.

Wedding Dress Shopping

Do: Have Fun

“Wow. I’m soooooo pretty”

You totally are so pretty and you should feel like a princess when you shop for your wedding dress. It’s supposed to be fun! Don’t make it a chore and weigh yourself down with wedding dress shopping stress. Take this opportunity to de-stress and enjoy one of the most exciting parts of wedding planning!

Written By: Kiran Lalli

Check out our Bridal Fantasy Shows:

Edmonton Fall – October 14th 2018

Edmonton Winter – January 20th 2019

Calgary Winter – January 27th 2019


There are so many local options for wedding dress shopping: Check out the links below!

Edmonton & Sherwood Park – Bridal Debut Gownhouse

Edmonton, Calgary & Surrounding areas – David’s Bridal

Edmonton/St. Albert – The Dress Lounge

Edmonton – Baba’s Bridal Boutique

Edmonton & Calgary – The Bridal Boutique

Spruce Grove – Bridal Avenue