When you make a purchase through our links, we may earn commissions from selected online retailers. You can learn more about our affiliate policy here.

How to shop for your wedding dress

How to shop for your wedding dress

The best part of wedding planning is also the most stressful part: shopping for your wedding dress.

There’s the budget, choosing who gets a preview, finding the right bridal boutique, attending fittings… Who knew it can get so complicated?!

Nevertheless, we’ve decided to write this post to prepare you for your wedding dress shopping experience, starting with the steps. Then we’ll answer your dress questions and finally look at some wedding dress shopping tips!

Let’s dive right in!

7 Steps to shopping for your wedding dress

1. Find inspiration

Finding some wedding dress inspiration online is not a difficult task. And with Pinterest and Instagram around, it’s so much easier to do than 20 years ago…

When you’re searching for that perfect dress on these platforms, there are a few things to keep in mind:

Those brides with the long beautiful sheath and A-line dresses aren’t really that tall, most of the time. Realistically, if you look at their height, try to see if you can figure where their hips start, then their knees and ankles. Notice anything? Yes, even some of the taller models are probably wearing very high heels or standing on top of something.

Why is this important?

Well, simply because most of us are of regular height, and many of these wedding dresses by top designers won’t look as flattering anymore once they have been drastically shortened.

Another thing to note when finding online wedding dress inspiration is the price tag of the wedding dress.

These beautiful designer gowns with the lace and the tulle, all the embellishments, and so on, will cost quite a pretty penny. And the chances of finding an extremely good dressmaker to create a similar wedding dress are slim – and will probably be quite expensive, too, as the bridal fabric doesn’t come cheap.

Also, note the availability of the wedding dress you like. If you saw it on Pinterest, for example, will you be able to locate it at a bridal boutique to book a fitting?

7 Steps to shopping for your wedding dress - The Wedding Club

2. Determine who is buying

Who is paying for your wedding dress? If your parents are paying, you should consider the budget which they have made available for you.

If you’re paying, then you should do your research properly to avoid any disappointment when paying a lot of money for a dress that never arrived. It happens more than you think…

3. Set a budget

Play it safe by setting a budget for your wedding dress, especially if you can’t afford an expensive number or an expensive wedding for that matter.

Some research will help – visit a few boutiques in your area to get a feel for what type of wedding dresses will fit in your price range.

4. Choose your entourage

By the time you’re shopping for your wedding dress, you will have (hopefully) chosen your bride squad.

Decide who you want to take with to your first dress fitting: your bridesmaids, the moms, etc. Or maybe you want to do it alone?

7 Steps to shopping for your wedding dress - The Wedding Club

4. Choose your entourage

By the time you’re shopping for your wedding dress, you will have (hopefully) chosen your bride squad.

Decide who you want to take with to your first dress fitting: your bridesmaids, the moms, etc. Or maybe you want to do it alone?

5. Make some appointments

Time to make those appointments! After doing your research about bridal boutiques in the area, make some appointments for fittings and viewings with them and let those who are going with you know.

Note: some boutiques ask for a once-off fee when you fit your dress for the first time. That’s because many brides fit a dress, take photos, and then let someone else make the dress for them, or the dress needs to be cleaned.

6. Attend fittings

On the day that you attend your first fitting, be on time. If you’re late at one boutique, you might be late at the next. Dress fittings take time, so make sure to ask the boutique if they can take out a few dresses for you to fit once you arrive – mention your budget and style when you make the appointment.

The next few fittings after you’ve found your dress are very important. Don’t miss out on them and wait last minute, only to find it doesn’t fit well at all. You can take your maid of honor or a bridesmaid with you, or even your mom – a second opinion always helps.

7 Steps to shopping for your wedding dress - The Wedding Club

7. Collect your wedding dress

Once you’ve attended your last fitting and all necessary adjustments were made, collect your dress no later than 1-2 weeks before your wedding day. To avoid the groom from seeing it, you can also ask someone to pick it up for you and take it to the venue on the day.