The holiday season is a very popular time for couples to get engaged and as we start off a new year, there are probably many brides-to-be excited to begin planning their wedding. One of the first tasks you might do when you start planning your wedding as a newly engaged bride-to-be is shopping for your wedding dress. This is one of the more fun parts of wedding planning, in our opinion, and is one task that should be done early in your wedding planning.
Your wedding dress can help set the tone and mood for your wedding day. If you have not begun shopping for your wedding dress yet, you may not know where to start or what to expect when you visit a bridal store for the first time. We are going to share our top seven (7) wedding dress shopping tips for newly engaged brides. So if you are newly engaged and ready to shop for your wedding dress, you won’t want to miss these tips to help you prepare to find your dream wedding dress.
Video: Wedding Dress Shopping Tips For The Newly Engaged Bride
If you are newly engaged and ready to jump into shopping for your wedding dress or bridal outfit, be sure to watch our video so you can learn all the wedding dress shopping tips for newly engaged brides.
Tip One: When To Start Shopping
The first thing you should know as a newly engaged bride who is shopping for their wedding dress is when to start shopping. Brides should know that wedding dresses take six to eight months to order, so keep this in mind as you are choosing your wedding date and wedding venue. You want to be sure that when you start wedding dress shopping you have enough time before your wedding date.
You should begin wedding dress shopping a minimum of one year before your wedding date so that when you place your order for your bridal dress, there will be plenty of time for your dress to be manufactured and shipped.
If you are a bride who wants to get married sooner than a year from now, know that it is possible, but you will be limited on dress options. Be sure to let your bridal stylist know what your wedding date is before you start shopping so they can let you know what styles can be ordered in time for your wedding.
We recommend ordering your wedding dress at least a year before your wedding date so that you have the six to eight months of manufacturing time, time for shipping, and time for alterations, which typically take a couple of months. You want to leave a little buffer of time in case your gown runs late on shipping- this doesn’t happen often, but better to have your dress arrive early than be stressed about it arriving in time.
Tip Two: Research Bridal Stores
Tip number two when you begin to shop for your wedding dress is to do your research on which bridal stores you would like to visit. We do not recommend going on a marathon of stores and wedding dress searches. Research a couple of bridal stores that carry the dress designers and styles you like and choose these stores strategically. Choose bridal stores that have a great reputation and carry the styles of wedding dresses you are interested in trying on.
When shopping for your wedding dress, it’s not about the quantity of stores. It’s all about the quality of bridal store you choose and depends on that store having the right selection of gowns for you. We typically recommend choosing your top 3 bridal stores. That will give you enough selection and styles of dresses to shop. If you keep going to additional stores, you are just going to see the same selection of dresses and overlapping designs.
Tip Three: Make Appointments
After you have selected which bridal stores you want to shop for your wedding dress, the next tip is to make an appointment with those stores. Once you have picked the bridal stores that fit your needs, you definitely want to get an appointment booked to shop for your wedding dress. Keep in mind that weekend appointments will book up faster than weekday appointments and many bridal stores may be booked for a month or more in advance.
Book your appointments early so that you can enjoy your shopping time and not be stressed about juggling appointments or squeezing appointments in at the last minute.
A little bonus tip here- if you are having a bad day and you don’t think it’s going to be a productive day, you should cancel that appointment. You will be doing yourself and the store a favor by not shopping on that day when you aren’t feeling great. You want your wedding dress shopping to be as productive as possible and a good use of your time. You want to have a positive experience as you select your wedding dress, so come with a good mindset.
Tip Four: Wedding Wellness
Our next tip for newly engaged brides shopping for their wedding dress is about wedding wellness and getting in shape before the wedding. At Lovella, we hear from brides all the time that want to get in shape or lose weight before their wedding day. We understand that all brides want to look and feel their best on wedding day, but would recommend that you do not wait to lose weight before ordering your wedding dress.
The mindset here is that you should find your dream wedding dress when you are feeling your least beautiful. And that may not make sense upon first reading, but if you pick a wedding dress that makes you feel beautiful and confident when you may not be at your ideal weight or feeling your best about yourself, then it will only be better on wedding day. Whether you lose weight or not before the wedding, you know that you will feel beautiful and confident walking down the aisle on wedding day because you love the wedding dress you have selected.
No matter what your goal is before the wedding, know that the alterations process can work wonders and dresses can be tailored to fit your body.
Tip Five: Bring Photos
The next tip that newly engaged brides should know about when shopping for wedding dresses is to bring photos with you to your bridal salon appointments. Share with your bridal stylist photos of dresses that you like or styles of bridal gowns you want to try on. This will help your stylist better understand your taste and what is visually appealing to you. From there, be sure to have an open mind because each dress you try on will lead you to the next until you find the one wedding dress you love.
Trust your stylist and the process. Even if you try on a dress and decide you hate it, that gives your stylist another tip to use, whether that means to choose another silhouette or a different style wedding dress for the next one to try on. And you never know, you might end up surprising yourself and falling in love with a dress you didn’t think you would like until you were wearing it.
Tip number five has two parts that brides need to know. In addition to bringing photos of dresses you want to try on, you also need to come with a price point or budget in mind. As a bride just beginning to shop for your wedding dress, you may think that your budget is going limit your options but this is not always the case. At Lovella, we have all of our designers listed on our website and that includes a price range for each designer. Many other bridal stores will have a price range listed on their website so when you begin doing your research, you will start to get a sense of what designers and styles of wedding dresses will fit your budget. If prices are not listed online, be sure to call the store and ask what price point their collections start at so you can know before you shop if that particular store is a good fit for you or not.
Knowing that price range you are looking at will tell your bridal consultant how much you are willing to invest in your wedding dress and will help guide your selections.
To learn more about the cost of wedding dresses, be sure to read our past post all about wedding dress cost and pricing.
Tip Six: Undergarments
The next tip that brides should know before wedding dress shopping is that what you wear to try on wedding dresses matters. We always recommend wearing nude undergarments to your wedding dress shopping appointments. If you come in wearing brightly colored or even black underwear, it could show through the fabric of the wedding dresses, especially if you are taking photos of the dresses as you are trying them on and that can be really distracting.
Along with wearing nude underwear, we also recommend wearing a strapless bra so that you are ready to try on any style wedding dress and not have to worry about bra straps sticking out and taking away from the overall aesthetic of the wedding dresses. If you are comfortable, you can also go bra-less during your appointment as many bridal dresses have built in bra cups.
For any brides who are shy or modest and are worried about trying on wedding dresses, be sure to read our past post with Tips For Shy Brides Trying On Wedding Dresses With A Bridal Stylist.
Tip Seven: Shopping With Guests
Our last tip for brides who are ready to start shopping for their wedding dress is all about your entourage. Choose the guests that you bring along to your wedding dress shopping appointments wisely. We know that many people get excited to help a friend or family member shop for their bridal dress, but too many people and too many opinions can be overwhelming.
Be sure to bring guests who know your style and are going to be supportive of you on this journey. Don't feel obligated to get everyone's opinion. The guests you bring with you are going to shape your experience while you are in store shopping for the dress.
More Wedding Dress Shopping Advice
We hope these wedding dress shopping tips will be helpful for all newly engaged brides. For more helpful wedding dress shopping advice, be sure to read our past posts:
- What To Expect When You Visit a Bridal Store For The First Time
- How Much Do Wedding Dresses Cost?
- 4 Things Brides Need To Know About The Price Of Wedding Dresses
- The Complete Guide To Wedding Dress Pricing & Costs
- Wedding Dress Shopping Appointment Checklist
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.