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The Blog and the Bride

Wedding dress shopping can be overwhelming, so we compiled our top tips to get you ready!

I’ll never forget the way I felt when I walked out of the dressing room and stepped onto the pedestal in front of the bridal shop 3 fold mirror.  

I gazed at my reflection, turning to see the sides and back before glancing at the faces of my mom and best friend sitting behind me.  I LOVED it. They loved it.  My mom’s eyes filled with tears and my best friend tilted her head to the side and smiled like she does when she really means it.  

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I couldn’t help it…I had to share a photo of my dress! (The back was my favorite part of it!)

We left the bridal store knowing I had found my wedding dress, but responsibly decided to go to my other appointments to make sure I was 100% sure AND to have a little more wedding dress fun.  As we got in the car and started driving down the road, my best friend tapped my shoulder from the back seat, “Hey Beck,” she said, “that dress…it’s the same one you tabbed in this magazine!”  She handed me a bridal magazine I had purchased in anticipation of our dress shopping day-o-fun and sure enough, out of hundreds of dresses, I had picked MY dress out of that magazine days earlier without realizing it was the same one.  

Wedding dress shopping can be overwhelming, so we compiled our top tips to get you ready!

7 Steps to Saying Yes to your Dress

Step 1:  Do Your Research

Buy the dress issue of a couple different bridal magazines, look on Pinterest, and google different dress silhouettes/styles.  Save a couple images or magazine pictures you like and bring them with you when you try on dresses.  

Step 2:  Plan Ahead AND Come Prepared

Bring the following with you when you try on dresses:  the shoes you’re going to wear on your wedding day (or shoes of a similar height/style), a nude strapless bra, the kind of undergarments you’re planning to wear on your wedding day, and your inspiration photos.  

Pro tips:  Make sure you know your budget ahead of time, Make appointments at each store, AND plan a food break in between appointments!  (Trust me…you’ll be hungry!)

Step 3:  Choose Your Crew Wisely

Make sure the people you invite to help you pick your wedding dress know you and your style BUT ALSO know how to be both honest and supportive!

Step 4:  Try on a Variety of Styles

While you may think you know what you want, dress silhouettes will look different on your body than they do in magazines or on the hangers.  You might be surprised at what you end up loving!

Step 5:  Consider the Style of Your Wedding

When choosing among different dresses and styles, consider the style of your wedding.  What a bride wears to a beach elopement is often much different than what one would wear to a modern marble terrace wedding.  Make sure you’re confident that you’ll love your dress choice in the context of your wedding!

Step 6:  Ask yourself:  Am I able to dance in it?

You laugh, but I’m serious.  

Try moving around, sitting, standing, walking, and yes…even dancing in each dress as you try them on!

Step 7:  Get it in Writing

Once you’ve chosen your dress (WOO!), make sure you do the following:  

Find out when the gown will be ready, get an estimate for the cost and timeline of alterations, ask about the cancellation policy, AND double check that the manufacturer’s name, style number, size, and color are correct! I’d recommend finding out all that information AND getting it in writing from the store or consultant you’re working with.  

(BONUS) Step 8:  FREAK OUT because you just chose your wedding dress!!!

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Becky Dean

I'm a co-founder and lead photographer at Pen and Lens.

Wedding photography is my heartbeat. I love capturing the interactions between the bride and her tribe as they get ready together, the look on a groom’s face when he FINALLY sees his bride for the first time, and the way a dad wraps his arms around his baby girl on her wedding day. Bride and groom portraits make my heart jump and I cry on almost every wedding day.

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