By Lindsey Livesay with Annalise Bridal Boutique

Wedding gown salons see all kinds of brides. There are the brides that have been scrapbooking and dreaming about their big day since childhood; then there are the brides that haven’t even picked up a single bridal magazine. While each bride brings a new outlook while figuring out her style, there is one type that’s easy to spot: the surprise bride.

The surprise bride comes in with a long list of all the things she doesn’t want; no lace, no sequins, and strapless is a big “NO!” As the appointment continues and she finds herself liking these originally hated details, she creates an issue that is hard to accept. Immediately surprised by what she likes, she becomes very overwhelmed. Now does she have to consider every dress style she had previously ruled out? It’s a common problem, but here’s how to avoid becoming a surprise bride!

Annalise Bridal Boutique Richmond Wedding Surprise Bride Lindsey Livesay Dress
Nicole Adele Photography

1. Go into dress shopping with an open mind. It’s fine to state elements that aren’t flattering or your favorites. But still, try them on…if only to confirm the initial dislike.

2. Don’t daydream too much. While Disney movies are great and Father of the Bride never gets old, it’s a dangerous way to spend weeks leading up to trying on dresses. Getting too caught up on a movie vision will be sure to cause a headache later on.

Annalise Bridal Boutique Richmond Wedding Surprise Bride Lindsey Livesay Dress
Hayes & Fisk Photography

3. Research designers. Brides tend to gravitate toward certain designers based on their style. Narrowing down designers will minimize options, but still allow for all different silhouettes to be tried on.

These are just a few ways to avoid dress-overload when gown shopping. By prepping before, the process can become so much easier! That way all you’ll have to worry about is that picture-perfect moment when the birds sing and you’re looking at yourself in your dream dress!

Lindsey Livesay is the Owner of Annalise Bridal Boutique, a full-service bridal salon in the heart of downtown Richmond. Offering a luxurious shopping experience, her goal is to match the quality of gowns with the service provided to each and every bride that walks through her doors. Visit for more info!