5 Things You Need to Know Before Gown Shopping

By Rachel Moore, Richmond Weddings™

Wedding gown shopping is one of the most exciting steps of the planning process. However, it can also be one of the most stressful. Don’t get so overwhelmed that you turn into the dreaded “bridezilla”. So, how in the world do we make it easier? The following list includes some tips to think about before the dress appointment.

1. Don’t be afraid to be unique. The year 2022 is allowing people to feel more comfortable expressing themselves, but it can still be hard to step out of the social norm. You don’t have to wear a pure white ball gown, stilettos or a veil to be considered bridal appropriate. It’s your wedding! You deserve to feel beautiful, comfortable, and confident. Anybody who thinks otherwise can get a quick uninvited email straight to their inbox. Pick the short gown or the longer one. Choose a white gown, a black one, or both! Ditch the dress and choose a jumpsuit. Whatever makes you who you are should be reflected in how you feel in your wedding attire.

2. Bring the RIGHT people. We all want our “people” – aka support systems – with us when deciding on our dream gown (excluding those one or two people we are forced to invite). However, not everybody has the same opinion. Exercise crowd control by keeping it small and aim for about 2-4 trusted guests. The other lovely (you can define what that means) family and friends that you’d like to invite or not invite but feel like you should, can still feel a part of the special moment by getting pictures after the appointment. Gown shopping is STRESSFUL so don’t make it harder by adding 10 extra opinions from those who have various style preferences that may not align with yours.

3. Trust your gut. You are right one hundred percent of the time when it comes to wedding gown shopping. How do I know? Because everything is completely up to you! The family and friends brought along are more than welcome to add their input. However, you are the only person that knows if you can see yourself walking down the aisle in that gown. You are the only person that knows a certain veil could get in the way, so you opt for a headpiece. You are the only person who knows heels are not an option and sneakers are preferred. Listen to the opinions of loved ones, but don’t let them overpower yours. They are there to share in YOUR experience for this big day but not add to the stress or make it their own.

4. You might surprise yourself. – Let the stylists get to know you. Your Pinterest board could be a guide but stay open to other possibilities. It’s like buying clothes at a store, just a whole lot more fun; some things look phenomenal on the mannequin but may not be a good fit. (Even if you originally thought they were going to look perfect!) Change is okay. If buying a ballgown was originally out of the question and you end up falling in love – go for it! Just because your mind was made up does not mean there’s no room for change.

5. Do some homework. – This could sound contradictory, but hear us out. Do some research. We’re not saying to know everything you want when going in, but if you have favorite designers, use the designers’ store locator to find boutiques nearby that carry their line. If you prefer a more intimate experience, find salons that offer private or one-on-one appointments where you have a personal stylist. If you feel more confident in shape wear and makeup, come ready! Set yourself up for success and have fun because this day is all about you in the end!