The Minimalist Approach to Gown Shopping | Tips on your Bridal Salon Appointment

By Sharon Townsend with Tiffanys Bridal

Just like overpacking for a trip can weigh you down at the airport, too much “baggage” when gown shopping can complicate the process. Here’s a guide to lighten the load and help find your gown with less fuss.

Rebecca and Chase Leslie Nichole Photographer

Leslie Nichole Photographer

As far as clothing, there’s only one essential: a basic strapless bra that will support you but won’t get in the way of seeing each gown at it’s best, no matter the shape or neckline.

PRO TIP: If you have the shoes you want to wear, it’s possible to get a special measurement taken for the hem, saving money in alterations later. However, shoes aren’t essential, and not all gowns can be measured this way, so don’t stress if choosing footwear is still on the list.

Rene Jean Photography

Mentally, you can pack light by keeping an open mind. Of course, you’ll want to come in with photos and ideas, and these are very helpful to the stylist when it comes to pinpointing your style. But don’t overdo it or get stuck on a particular type of gown. Give the stylist an opportunity to work some magic and recommend gowns based on background knowledge and the information you’ve provided. Two big things to keep in mind are budget and timeline, so “unpack” that information from the start so your stylist can be sure to find a gown that won’t break the bank and will arrive on time.

Finally, show restraint when it comes to the number of people on this trip. Minimalists rejoice: less is definitely more when it comes to the size of the viewing party. Remember, everyone you bring to the appointment has baggage of their own, and it can greatly encumber the decision-making process. You love a gown that Aunt Hilda deemed hideous when you exited the dressing room, and suddenly the bloom has fallen off the rose. Now what? Ideally, bring one or two of your most trusted family or friends; three at the most. This avoids too many opinions or rowdy groups that take attention from the task at hand.

Leslie Nichole Photographer

Keeping it minimal will help you go into the bridal appointment with less stress and more room for a great experience. Pack light for a fun, low-pressure journey to the gown of your dreams – perhaps a look you never actually dreamed of until opening your mind and putting down the heavy load of expectations. Enlightening, isn’t it?

Sharon Townsend is the owner and manager of Tiffanys Bridal, where you’re invited to be part of the tradition and be a Tiffanys Bride. Visit or call 804.273.6303 for more information.