15 tips for finding the wedding dress of your dreams

I’m excited to share with you all that two months ago, I bought the wedding dress of my dreams! Today, I’m here to share with you the tips I learned during the process, so that you can have success finding the dress of YOUR dreams! Are you recently engaged? Perhaps helping your daughter find her dress? Or maybe you’re a single lady planning her dream wedding from afar? This post is for all of you!

15 Tips for Wedding Dress Shopping

1.) Collect inspiration

I’m sure you all have pinned your dream dress to your Pinterest board, which is awesome! Gather inspiration wherever you can find it- Pinterest, bridal magazines, online, and more. When you get to the bridal shop, it’s going to be very overwhelming. It’s finally going to hit you, OMG, I’m getting married! There are SO many dresses to choose from that you’re really going to need all the help you can get from your bridal consultant. Come prepared with some ideas of what you’d like to try on so your bridal consultant can help narrow down what you like. Print and bring in photos for your consultant. However, keep in mind that once you’re in the bridal shop, you should ….

2.) Be willing to try on ALL styles of dresses!

Have an open mind and try on ALL kinds of different styles of dresses, whether you think you will like it or not! I had a pretty good idea of what I wanted going into the shop, but guess what. I didn’t end up buying what my original style was! You never know what kind of dress is most flattering for your body type until you try it on! You may pleasantly surprise yourself.

3.) Don’t overdo it with your party

This is just my personal opinion, but I think that the less people you bring, the better. I specifically chose not to bring my bridal party (with the exception of my sisters) because I did not want conflicting opinions. This day should be about you, and the last thing you need is too many people telling you what they think. My opinion is the smaller party, the better; but then again, this is YOUR day!

4.) Call ahead

Most bridal shops will require you to call and set up an appointment ahead of time. Avoid walk-ins so your consultant can be prepared! Be sure that if you have a large group coming with, your bridal shop can accommodate.

5.) Set a budget

Before you go dress shopping, set a budget. It can be so easy to overdo it once you’re in the shop and have hundreds of dresses being thrown your way. My suggestion is to not even look at dresses that are out of your price range.

6.) Know your body shape

Having knowledge about your body shape will be very beneficial for you when you are dress shopping. Think about what types of fits are flattering and unflattering on you. I found a great Pinterest graphic to help you with this right here.

7.) Eat something light

Don’t have a full tummy before dress shopping in case your consultant needs to take measurements. It’s no fun feeling super bloated when you’re in a wedding dress!

8.) Wear appropriate undergarments

Your consultant will likely be in your fitting room helping you in and out of dresses. I suggest wearing a strapless bra and nude or white panties that you feel uncomfortable in.

9.) Shop around

Have fun with your big day! Don’t be afraid to shop around and try out a few bridal shops! I found my dress at the second shop that we visited, and I’m so happy that I chose to look at more than one bridal shop.

10.) Don’t shop TOO ahead of time

If you have a long engagement, I would highly advise that you don’t start dress shopping until 9-12 months before your big day. We had a two year engagement, and I waited one whole year after I got engaged to go dress shopping. One of my friends bought a dress very early on, and regretted her decision a few months later. Be patient! Things change fast!

11.) Don’t wear tons of makeup

I wasn’t thinking and made the mistake of wearing bright pink lipstick, and spent most of my time terrified that I was accidentally going to get some on the dresses. And for gosh’s sakes, go easy on the foundation!

12.) Remember that the dress is for YOU

Not for your sister, not your grandma, not your mom, not your mother-in-law, or even the groom! This is YOUR dress. Pick what makes you happy!

13.) Sleep on it

If you think you know it’s “the one,” take a night and sleep on it. It’s easy to get caught up in the glitz and glamour; taking a night to think about the dress will slow the process down for you.

14.) Trust your gut reaction

Once I tried on my dress, I just knew it was the one. I tried on a few others after that, but my mind always went back to that dress. I eventually knew it was “the one” because I couldn’t stop thinking about it!

15.) Once you find your dress, STOP looking

Once you decide on a dress and purchase it, stop with the dress shopping! The last thing you need is a conflict of interest! 😉


Overall, wedding dress shopping is going to be one of the days that you remember for the rest of you life. Have a vision, be prepared, and be open-minded. But most importantly, have fun!!

If you have already found your wedding dress, I’d love to hear your tips in the comments below!


You may also love these posts from my wedding series!

What 30 Brides Would Have Done Differently on their Wedding Day
How to Pick Your Bridesmaids
10 Things to Do After You Get Engaged

  • Love this! I need to go with my best friend to look – so this is PERFECT for me to look at :)

    Thank you mama


    • Yay! So happy you loved!!

  • Ashley Stephenson

    I tried on a few different style dresses and ended up going with the style I thought I would, but I have heard so many people have gone with styles they never thought they would like. So yes definitely try on as many styles as possible!

    • That’s awesome though that you stuck with your original idea! You must really know yourself well!!

  • It can be such a daunting task, so these are great tips!


    Lee Anne


    • Right! The struggle is always real!

  • Samantha

    Great tips, especially about not having too many people there-it can be overwhelming!

    • I would NEVER want my entire party there!

  • Joules (Pocketful of Joules)

    Great tips and I love the images you chose too. I think the best thing for me when I was shopping was to just try a ton of different dresses on to see what I liked!

    • It was so fun, I almost want to do it again! lol

  • snappedbygracie

    So helpful!! Love it! XX, gracie


  • These are great tips, cant wait till I shop for my dress.

    • It’s an experience you’ll never forget! So much fun.

  • Rae

    I totally agree with you about limiting your party. I had three with me (mom, bridesmaid who is always brutally honest with me and my grandmother) and I felt like I had just enough options and opinions that I wasn’t overwhelmed. Of course I ended up buying the dress I went in looking for, but nearly bought a dress that my bridesmaid picked out that I wouldn’t have tried on without her.

    • That’s awesome she had you try on different dresses to expand your mind! And even more awesome that you ended up finding the dress yourself. (:

  • linda spiker

    Great tips! Collecting inspiration is so important. I do that for everything, especially home decorating.

  • Renata

    Thank you for tips! We are reniewing vows for our 10th anniversary & need some ideas.

    • Aw that’s awesome!! Congrats!

  • Yes! Such great tips! Budget is so important before trying on the dresses. I also agree with not looking anymore after you’ve picked your dress. No need to second guess yourself. I can’t wait to see what you’ve picked!

    • Second guessing yourself is the worst. I ALMOST did it when I was looking at bridesmaid dresses and back in the bridal shop but told myself not to!

  • Loved this post! I made sure to be very open to trying all kinds of different styles and didn’t have my heart set on just one style. I ended up getting a totally different dress than I originally expected!

    xoxo, Jenny

    • That’s so awesome, Jenny! Thanks for sharing your experience with me!

  • Jessica Bradshaw

    Such great tips!!The proper undergarmets thing was my downfall. haha. Fortunately I found my dress pretty quickly.

    • LOL. How awkward that must have been lol

  • I WANT A SNEAK PEEK OF YOUR DRESS. Also my dress was the first one I tried on so I don’t even understand shopping because it was a one day thing for me hahaha!

    Coming Up Roses

    • No sneak peaks!!! But it’s GORGEOUS.

  • Adaleta Avdic

    Saving this for another time because this is so niiiice and I won’t need it til later! xx adaatude.com

  • Can’t wait to see what you picked!!! This is all really good advice, I laughed about not picking the style you thought you would because EVERY BRIDE I KNOW has done the same thing.

    Pinning this for whenever my ring goes from “in the drawer” to “on my hand”

    • That is so crazy! I really thought it would be the opposite way around.

  • These are great tips! I actually fell in love with a dress on Pinterest. I found it at a local bridal store and sent my consultant a picture. She picked out 4 super similar ones and didn’t tell me which one was the one I picked out. She didn’t want me to be biased. I ended up picking the one I loved from Pinterest. I stopped looking after that, I was afraid I’d keep finding others I’d like.

    • Wow, that is sooooo cool Lexi! I found styles that I liked on Pinterest but not ” the one.”

  • Thank you for such great tips, I’m going to start looking for my dress soon and I can’t wait!

    La Belle Sirene

    • How exciting, girl!!!! Hope you find the dress of your dreams!

  • Rachel Golden

    I’ve been collecting ‘inspiration’ for my wedding dress for a while now and I’m no where near being engaged, hahahah! This is an awesome list. It’s so easy to get caught up in the excitement of it all. It’s good to have these to keep in mind so things don’t get toooo overwhelming!

    • I think we all collect inspo. At least I have, ever since I was a little girl!!