Guide | Wedding Dress Shopping 101

One of the most exciting things about being engaged is finally getting to go wedding dress shopping!

And while wedding dress shopping is E X C I T I N G, it can also be really intimidating, BUT… it doesn’t have to be. 🙂

8 Tips | A Quick Guide to Wedding Dress Shopping!

wedding dress shopping

wedding dress shopping
Venue: THE SPRINGS in Weatherford
Photographer: Emily Nicole Photography

When done correctly, this process can become one of your very favorite memories from your days of being engaged. 🙂

I tackled wedding dress shopping a few, short months ago, and want to share a couple of tips on how I was able to walk away from the day with the wedding dress of my dreams. <3

wedding with Mexican traditions
Venue: THE SPRINGS in Denton, The Lodge
Photographer: Emily Nicole Photography

        wedding dress shopping

wedding dress shopping
Venue: THE SPRINGS in Edmond
Photographer: Holli B Photography

I know… what a boring one to begin with! But it is important. Look at the full budget for your wedding and then decide how much of it you can/are willing to put toward the dress. This will vary from bride to bride. Having a budget in mind BEFORE you start trying on dresses will make the process a lot easier because I promise you, it will be one of the first things they ask when you walk through the doors. Hopefully, AFTER they have handed you a glass of champagne. 😉

        wedding dress shopping

wedding dress shopping
Venue: THE SPRINGS in Rockwall, Poetry Hall
Photographer: Jennefer Wilson Photography

Wedding dress shopping is something that is best done sooner rather than later. Again, this can vary from bride to bride, depending upon the length of your engagement. In my case, I was only engaged for six months so I went dress shopping the week after saying, “Yes!” to my man. Why go shopping as soon as possible? For some of you, you will be able to walk out of the shop that day with your dress, but for most, you will need to order your dress, and turnaround time can prove to be a little lengthy, as can alterations. Just remember–good things take time. 🙂

      wedding dress shopping

wedding dress shopping
Venue: THE SPRINGS in Rockwall, Poetry Hall
Photographer: Jennefer Wilson Photography

Saying yes to your wedding dress isn’t something that happens every day. It is monumental! You should have some of your favorite people by your side while you choose the dress you will become a wife in. 🙂 For me, it was my mama, my sisters, and a few of my bridesmaids. We laughed. They (happy) cried. It was the best.

Pro-tip: be sure to call the store(s) ahead of time and confirm how many guests you can bring with you to your fitting(s).

        wedding dress shopping

wedding dress shopping
Venue: THE SPRINGS in The Woodlands, North Hall Photographers: Drake Studio + Mars Photography

When I walked into the first bridal store, I was dead set on the exact dress I was going to buy, BUT one of my favorite things I did that day was deciding to let my girls pick out dresses they thought I would like/look good in. While I still loved the dress I was initially planning on buying, after trying on several different styles, I was able to see that it was a long, white version of a dress I would wear any day of the week. The dress I ended up falling in love with was one that one of my bridesmaids had picked out for me. So go ahead–try ‘em all! Maybe your dress will be affected by the style of your venue. Maybe it will be affected by the season in which you will be getting married. These can be good things to keep in mind. And don’t worry–you’ll know it’s “the one” when you put it on and come out to show it to your girls. Maybe you’ll cry, maybe you won’t. I didn’t. But I could feel it: “This is the dress I will marry the love of my life in.” <3 I found “the one” at a & be Bridal Shop Dallas.

wedding dress shopping
According to a poll conducted in the SPRINGS Brides & Wedding Pros Facebook Group.

     wedding dress shopping

wedding dress shopping
Venue: THE SPRINGS in Denton, The Ranch
Photographer: Kylie Crump Photography

Have one of your girls snap a few photos of you in each dress (front, back, a few different angles). This will prove so helpful in choosing your dress, especially if you are visiting a few different shops. After you choose the dress of your dreams and head home for the day, delete the pictures of the ones you didn’t buy. No need for those anymore! If you keep them, you will undoubtedly go back and compare and second guess yourself. Say “BUH-BYE” to those pics, and cheers with your girls to finding “the one!”

        wedding dress shopping

wedding dress shopping
Venue: THE SPRINGS in Angleton, Magnolia Manor
Photographer: J & D Productions

You’ve chosen your dress. Hooray! Now grab some veils, some jewels, some glitzy belts, etc. and try them on. See what you like! Some dresses are absolutely MADE when you add the perfect accessory, and some speak for themselves as is. I decided upon a two-tier veil and later added on a flower crown as well, made by my florist, to wear for the reception.

Pro-tip: you do not HAVE to buy your accessories from the bridal shop. I saved some money and ordered my veil on Etsy. 🙂

       wedding dress shopping

wedding dress shopping
Venue: THE SPRINGS in Rockwall, Poetry Hall
Photographer: Hannah Way Photography

After you’ve found “the one” and have taken care of the purchasing/ordering, be sure to grab a few group photos (after you’ve changed back out of the dress, of course!). The bridal shop will more than likely have a cute sign to snap a few pics with. Get ready for all the Instagram “likes” and Facebook “loves” that will be coming your way after posting!

        wedding dress shopping

wedding dress shopping
Venue: THE SPRINGS in McKinney, Tuscany Hill
Photographer: Brandi Allyse Photography

Prior to my wedding dress, I had never had a dress altered to fit my body perfectly. Now, I wish I could do it with every article of clothing I own! Custom alterations take a dress you already love and make it uniquely and perfectly yours, something that should also be true of every aspect of your wedding day. <3 I had my alterations done in Dallas at Altered for the Altar.

Pro-tip: I briefly touched on it in the “Try On Different Styles” section, but keep in mind that your choice in dress may be influenced by many things (your venue style, your wedding location, the time of year in which you will be saying “I do”). For me, the best plan of action was to pick my man (okay, okay… we picked each other), pick my venue, pick my date, and THEN pick my dress. Why? Well, I chose an outdoor ceremony site… in August… in Texas, meaning I knew I would want my dress to be sleeveless and summer-y! And that’s exactly what I got!

wedding with Mexican traditions
Venue: THE SPRINGS in Denton, The Lodge
Photographer: Emily Nicole Photography

So that’s about it! That’s my quick guide to wedding dress shopping. Any tips I forgot? We would love to hear about your wedding dress shopping experience as well! Leave your thoughts in the comments below.

 

Need to find a venue before the dress?  Book a tour with THE SPRINGS nearest you today!

venue tour

Written by Rylee Rosales

Rylee Rosales

Rylee is a Content Marketer for THE SPRINGS. She was formerly the venue assistant manager at THE SPRINGS in Weatherford and was married August 2017 at THE SPRINGS in Denton. She has seen hundreds of weddings and planned her own in just six short months.