Wedding Dress Shopping Tips & Advice For The Newly Engaged Bride

Wedding Dress Shopping Tips & Advice For The Newly Engaged Bride

Wedding Dress Shopping Tips & Advice For The Newly Engaged Bride. Mobile Image

Jan 24, 2024

Calling all newly engaged brides! The holiday season is a very popular time for couples to get engaged and we thought it would be a great idea to start off the new year sharing our expert advice for wedding dress shopping as a newly engaged bride. We always share in the excitement with our brides when they visit our bridal boutique in LA and love hearing the story of how they became engaged.


If you are a new bride-to-be who does not have a lot of experience in the bridal fashion and wedding world, it can be hard to know where to start when it comes to thinking about your wedding dress. We will share all the tips newly engaged brides need to know about selecting bridal stores to shop and what to consider as you begin the search for your wedding dress. From when to start shopping for your wedding dress to who you should bring with you to your appointments and how to work with a bridal consultant and everything in between, we will help all brides feel ready to shop for their dream wedding dress. Our expert advice will help all brides be prepared for their wedding dress shopping appointments and have the best experience during the process.



VIDEO: Wedding Dress Shopping Tips & Advice for the Newly Engaged Bride


If you are a newly engaged bride, you might feel overwhelmed in knowing where to start the process of shopping for your wedding dress. We share all the best advice and tops tips newly engaged brides need to know when it comes to wedding dress shopping. If you are preparing to shop for your wedding dress for the first time, you won't want to miss our expert advice. 




When to Start Shopping


After becoming engaged, thinking about what you will wear on wedding day is often one of the first things brides do. So many of our Lovella brides share that shopping for their wedding dress is one of the early tasks they are doing on their wedding planning checklist and we can’t agree with this idea more. In an ideal world, we recommend brides start shopping for their wedding dress one year before the wedding. Bridal dresses take an average of 6 to 8 months to order and be produced. You will also want to allow time for alterations.


Alterations will typically take place 2 months before your wedding. So in a perfect world, your first fitting is 2 months before, your second fitting is 1 month before, and your third fitting is 2 weeks before your wedding. That is a general timeline you can use to start your shopping appointments, but always be sure to check with the store and seamstress you will be working with for alterations.


Shopping for your wedding dress a year before the wedding allows you to give yourself the most amount of options to choose from and will alleviate some stress. You will not be limited on delivery dates or have to worry about rush fees. Now, if you are a bride who is getting married in less than a year, that does not mean you have no options when it comes to your wedding dress. Some designers offer rush delivery options or there may be quick ship styles available, or even sample sale dresses. Just be sure to let the bridal stores know what your timeframe is so that they can offer dresses that are available to you.


How to Pick a Store


Now that you know when to start shopping for your wedding dress, where do you shop? If you are not familiar with bridal stores, it can be hard to know where to choose to shop for your wedding dress. Is there a magic number of stores brides should visit to shop for their wedding dress?


When it comes to choosing bridal stores, we recommend doing a bit of research before scheduling any appointments. Start with looking online to see what styles appeal to you and which designers you are drawn to. From there, see what stores are in your area that carry those designers, how much quantity they have of these designer dresses, and the price points that they are in. Many bridal stores will have price ranges listed online for the designers that they carry, if not a price for each bridal dress. This is helpful for thinking about your wedding dress budget.


Another tip to keep in mind when selecting bridal stores is that designers have a certain mile radius from certain stores. Each designer is going to have their inventory a certain distance apart, so if you are driving all over town and going long distances to visit a lot of bridal stores, you are going to start seeing the same inventory. It might be a better use of your time to shop more locally. Our expert advice is to pick your top three bridal stores after doing your initial research. Maybe they carry your favorite designer or a certain dress you know you must try on, or maybe you get a recommendation from a friend who found her dream dress at a certain store. After three stores, you are again going to keep seeing the same inventory so aim for quality over quantity.


Quality vs Quantity


An important aspect to keep in mind when bridal gown shopping is quality over quantity. Once you start visiting many bridal stores, you will see the same dresses over and over again and if you didn’t love a dress when you first tried it on, you probably will not like it on the second or third go around. When it comes to bridal, quantity is not the way to go. Quality is essential in the bridal fashion world- quality picks of dresses, quality picks of stores. We have lost count of the number of brides who have come into Lovella for their first wedding dress shopping appointment and they find their dream dress in their first trip, sometimes even the first dress they try on. If it’s not broken, don’t fix it! If you fall in love with a dress and you're genuinely in love with it, save yourself the time, energy, and the effort, and do it. You get to cross that off your to-do list and move on to another element of the wedding planning.


However, if you feel like you truly want to explore your options, go for it. It can sometimes be helpful for brides to go to a few other stores because it really helps solidify your decision. It will also come down to your personality and how much you feel like you want to shop.


How Many Bridal Stores To Visit


When you are planning out your wedding dress shopping appointments, we do not recommend going to all the stores in one day. It will be a lot of new information to process as you try on dress after dress and brides can easily get overwhelmed, especially at their first appointment. This is where quality over quantity comes into play again. We recommend an hour to an hour and a half in store for a quality appointment. Any more time and it will become too much. This point will be better understood once you start shopping and trying on dresses, but many brides reach a point where they forget the dress they had on 10 or 15 minutes ago because there is just so much happening during a bridal appointment.


Do one appointment a day so that you can really sit in that moment and enjoy it without being overstimulated or getting information overload. That said, if you wake up on shopping day and you're having a bad day or you don't feel good, we’d encourage you to reschedule. If you show up in not the best mindset and not feeling great about yourself, you don’t want to be making a decision on what you’re wearing on wedding day. If you aren’t feeling your best self and aren’t excited to try on dresses, you’ll be wasting your time, the store’s time, and you risk making a decision you won’t be happy with later when you are in a better mood.


Nervous energy is a normal thing for brides to experience when trying on wedding dresses for the first time. Being nervous is not a reason to cancel your appointment. Many good things and new experiences come with some nervous feelings. But overall you want to be in the best possible mindset, be open to suggestions from your stylist, and be open to the experience and just flowing with it and seeing where this process takes you.


Prepare For Your Appointment


The best piece of advice we can give to newly engaged brides beginning to shop for their wedding dress is to research dress styles before shopping. Look at the bridal store’s website and save photos of the dresses or styles you are drawn to. The way to be best prepared for your appointments and to make the most of your time with the bridal stylist is to come with a starting point. If you show up with even a couple of photos of dresses you like, that gives your stylist a place to begin. If you come to your appointment without even one photo, it’s going to be hard for your stylist to know what vibe you are going for and know what your style is. Your appointment is going to start with just a couple of dresses so you and the stylist can learn what you like and don’t like about certain dresses and that feedback will lead to the next dresses and ultimate the one you say “yes” to.


Communication Is Key


If you only take away one piece of advice from us as you prepare to shop for your wedding dress, it would be communication is key. You need to give your feedback to your bridal stylist so they can do their expert job and help you. They know the inventory at the store and will know which dresses to pull for you to try on based on your style and what you like or don’t like about certain dresses you’ve tried on.


Your stylist is only going to be as good as the feedback that you give them. You need to be able to communicate what you like and what you dislike and what look you’re trying to go for. Maybe you don't even know what look you're trying to go for, and that's where stylists get to work our magic for you.


Who You Bring With You


Shopping for a wedding dress is one of the more fun aspects of wedding planning and it can be easy to get carried way with your entourage. Less is more when it comes to guests you bring with you to shop for your wedding dress. You have to be prepared for many opinions and opinions that may differ from your own. If you have a loved one in your life who may try to run the show, think about if you want that energy with you at your appointments. We have seen many brides choose their wedding dress based on what their mom or aunt, for example, wants them to wear, but it’s not the dress that they love and feel the most beautiful in. Bring the loved ones that will support you and be positive in this journey and not try to outshine your voice.


We would also recommend not sending photos of your dress to people who were not there shopping with you. They were not there for the journey of all the dresses you tried on that led to your final dress. They can’t sense what you feel in your dress from a photo, all of that excitement gets lost in a flat photo. You don’t need outside opinions from people who did not get the full experience with you.


More Helpful Wedding Dress Shopping Advice


We hope you have found this advice helpful when it comes to preparing to shop for your wedding dress as a newly engaged bride and all the things you need to consider as you have your first bridal appointment. For even more helpful advice when it comes to shopping for your dream wedding dress and finding your bridal style, be sure to check out our past posts:



About Lovella


If you're shopping for your perfect wedding dress, come visit us at Lovella Bridal in Glendale, CA. We carry wedding dresses in all sizes and styles, including plus-size bridal gowns and a full selection of veils and accessories. Lovella Bridal is the premier, luxury bridal wedding dress shopping boutique located in Los Angeles, California. Lovella features couture, feminine, modern and chic bridal gowns in all sizes from the best wedding dress designers. Schedule an appointment to find the wedding dress of your dreams at Lovella Bridal. We can't wait to help you!



About Wedding Fashion Expert


Our wedding dress shopping tips and advice are from Nayri, Lovella's own, in-house wedding fashion expert. Nayri is truly the expert when it comes to bridal fashion and wedding style. As the Wedding Fashion Expert, Nayri is the top bridal fashion stylist and the best-selling author of the book "I'm Getting Married And I Have Nothing To Wear," the ultimate guide to helping brides find their wedding day style and their perfect wedding dress. You can subscribe to her YouTube channel or listen to her podcast for more helpful and practical advice on wedding dress shopping.