What Should I Expect When Wedding Dress Shopping For The First Time

What Should I Expect When Wedding Dress Shopping For The First Time

What Should I Expect When Wedding Dress Shopping For The First Time. Mobile Image

Feb 17, 2022

Are you a bride and just getting started finding your dream wedding dress? Are you about to start shopping for your wedding dress? You’re going to want to pay close attention today if you're at the beginning of your bridal gown shopping process. Along with our Wedding Fashion Expert at Lovella Bridal, we’re talking about what to expect when you go wedding dress shopping for the first time.


We’re back with more wedding dress shopping advice today! We love talking about all of the wedding dress things that no one else will tell you. We love giving you all of the advice when it comes to finding your dream wedding dress. Here on the blog and on our Wedding Fashion Expert YouTube channel, we’ve covered so many topics when it comes to wedding dresses and your bridal style. And, today, we’re taking back to the very beginning of the process. This blog post contains everything brides need to know for when they go wedding dress shopping for the very first time. 


We’re Here For You


Remember, we love helping brides find a wedding dress that makes you feel beautiful and confident. We also love helping to make the process of finding a dress and the shopping experience stress-free. Please let us know your questions and comments. Your question about wedding dress purchasing could be our next video and blog post! 


We wanted to give you advice on what you can expect when you go wedding dress shopping for the first time, because the whole process can be overwhelming. It can be intimidating and scary if it's the first time you're shopping for a bridal gown, much less planning an entire wedding. Often many brides have no idea what to expect, they don't where to start or what the process will be like, so we’re here to help by breaking it all down for you. 


Video:  What To Expect At Your First Wedding Dress Shopping Appointment


Before we get into all of the advice, we wanted to share our video with you about what brides can expect at the beginning of their wedding dress shopping. Our Wedding Fashion Expert is breaking it all down so that you can shop for your dream dress with confidence and avoid overwhelm. 




How It Works


Your wedding dress is the most important article of clothing you will ever wear in your life. As such, you don't just walk into a store, buy it and leave with it. Wedding dresses don’t work like shopping for regular, everyday clothing.


Most often when you go shopping for a wedding dress, you'll try on a bunch of different dresses. When you find “the one” then you place an order for your bridal dress. After you order, it takes months for it to arrive in the store. You will go back to that store over and over and over again leading up to your wedding day for appointments such as alterations and accessories shopping and more. 


The timing of wedding dress purchasing and order is really important to consider when you're picking which bridal stores you want to visit to find your dress.


For more on wedding dress ordering and purchasing, be sure to read our advice on when to start shopping for your wedding dress


Research Your Options


Before you go wedding dress shopping for the first time, you'll want to research the bridal stores within your area that are reputable and that carry different dress designers you’re interested in considering. 


Keep in mind that, dress designers limit their inventory to only certain stores within certain geographical areas so there isn’t overlap of designs and your market isn’t oversaturated with just one or two designers. The designers and the stores want to make sure that there is even distribution of dress styles across regions.


For more on finding the right store for your wedding dress, be sure to read our advice on how to pick the right store to shop for your wedding dress


Quality Over Quantity


Our best piece of advice for when it comes to finding a store to start your wedding dress shopping is to remember that it is not about the quantity or number of stores you go to. Rather, it's about the quality of wedding dress stores that you visit. Does the store have the right inventory that you're looking for? Do they have the styles that you think you might be interested in?


After a while,  if you keep shopping for a dress and going to more and more stores, eventually you're going to see the same dress inventory and the same styles over and over and over again. This is when overwhelm and confusion come in for most brides. Too much dress shopping makines finding a wedding dress and making a decision difficult.


Pick 3 Stores


At Lovella, we recommend that brides pick three bridal dress stores to make appointments and begin their wedding dress shopping. Narrow it down to three wedding dress shops once you've done your research on your bridal style and the designers that you’re interested in trying on.


Picking just 3 wedding dress shops in your area will help avoid the overwhelm and confusion that often comes from looking at too many dresses in too many different places.


Bring Inspiration Photos


Prior to going wedding dress shopping and as you’re researching which stores to visit, be sure to save inspiration photos of the wedding dresses that you love. 


Of course, you will have no idea exactly what you will like on your body before you actually try on the wedding dresses in the bridal store. But, it is a good idea to have photos of wedding dress styles and designs picked out in advance. It will be very helpful to your bridal stylist at that first appointment for them to know the styles that you're open to considering. 


Bring your inspiration photos of everything that appeals to you to your first wedding dress shopping appointment so that your bridal stylist has an idea of where to start. Based on your inspiration, they will bring you wedding dresses to consider and try on. 


How It Works


Every bridal dress shop runs its dress shopping appointments differently and the exact details vary at each store. However, most dress shops organize their appointments in a similar fashion as we do at Lovella. 


When brides come into their dress shopping appointment at Lovella, we do the shopping for you. This means that you get to sit back and relax while we go into the back of the store and pull out a selection of wedding dresses that we think you might like. 


First, you will show us your wedding dress inspiration photos and tell us what you love and what you don’t love. You will also tell us a little bit about your wedding, as well as your budget and what you’re open to investing in your wedding dress.


Once we have a good sense of what you love and don’t like, at Lovella, we start with two wedding dresses. This means that we will bring you out two (2) wedding dresses to consider and try on. We start with just two dresses because want your feedback on each wedding dress. Based on your feedback on each gown you try on, we will keep bringing you out new and different dresses until you find the wedding perfect dress. 


Keep in mind that there are many different variations of how the wedding dress shopping experience is organized within each different store. How the process works in other stores may be different from how it works at Lovella.


Browsing Dresses Hanging on Racks


At Lovella, we don’t recommend that brides go alone, by themselves, and browse the wedding dresses hanging up on the racks in the store.


When you see a wedding dress hanging on the rack, you have no idea what the dress looks like on your body. A wedding dress on a hanger does not do that dress justice. When a wedding dress is on a body, it comes alive. 


Brides should never judge what a wedding dress looks like when it is hanging on a hanger. Most wedding dresses have no hanger appeal. 


Trying On Is Never A Waste


If you’re trying on lots of wedding dresses and you don’t seem to be finding “the one,” try not to get frustrated or discouraged. If you are trying wedding dresses on that you don't like it's not a waste of your time. Rather, you are learning from each bridal gown that you put on your body. 


When you try on many dresses, it means that you are very clear on what you don’t like. This clarity eventually will get you closer to your dream wedding dress. With each wedding dress that you try on, your bridal stylist at the store is gathering all of your data. They are listening to the information about what you love and don’t love about each dress. Your feedback is so important. 


Your bridal stylist is only as good as your feedback on each wedding dress. Communication is everything between you and your bridal stylist so that he or she can help you find your dream wedding dress. 


Open Dialogue


If you're not comfortable in the bridal dress store for any reason, then that store isn't a good fit for you. Even if you’ve heard good things about a store from a friend or if the store has a great inventory, if it isn’t for you, that is OK. 


In addition, finding a wedding dress is all about your open communication and feedback with your bridal stylist at the store. If you’re not getting along with your stylist or you aren’t vibing well, it’s okay to ask to work with someone else. No stylist will ever be offended, as they only want what is best for you. 


Communication and open dialogue is so important. If you’re not feeling comfortable, you won’t communicate and that’s not good for you or for anyone. 


Consider Your Guests


When you go wedding dress shopping for the first time, it's also important to consider who you are bringing with you to your appointment.  Your guests are going to make or break your wedding dress shopping experience. Choose wisely who you bring to your appointment with you. 


For brides who may want to include children in your dress shopping appointments, please note that many children do not have the attention span to make it through an entire appointment and for it to be an enjoyable experience for everyone involved.


Be sure to read more on who to bring to your wedding dress shopping appointment and understand of who going to be paying for the dress


How Much Do Wedding Dresses Cost? 


How much to invest in a wedding dress is a difficult question for most brides who are just starting out in their wedding planning experience to answer. Early on in the shopping process, most brides don’t know how much dresses cost. 


How are brides supposed to know how they want to spend on their wedding dress in the beginning when they have never done this before and they have no concept of what the dollar is going to buy? 


We always first recommend that brides do research online and in your area to see the starting prices of wedding dresses that you’re interested in. Look at the prices of the dress in your dress inspiration photos. 


From there, you will start to understand dress pricing a little more and you’ll be able to get closer to a price that feels comfortable to you. 


The Cost Of Wedding Dresses


We get many questions about the cost of wedding dresses and how much is the right amount to spend on a wedding dress. Spending on your wedding dress and indeed your wedding overall is a very personal decision and will vary from bride to bride.


Most wedding dresses that are of great quality and fit, and there is no compromise on materials - meaning there is no lack of lace or beading - will have a starting price tag of about $2,000.


Wedding dresses that are originally priced for less than $2,000 are where brides will see differences in the quality and the fit of the dresses. 


At Lovella, we typically recommend a starting price point for wedding dresses at $2,000.


If You Want To Spend Less


Yes, there are most certainly wedding dresses available for less than $2,000. Not every bride needs to spend over $2,000 to feel beautiful and confident. 


If brides want to spend less than $2,000 on their wedding dress you definitely have options. Our best option is a sample sale dress. You can get a great quality wedding dress for less than $2,000 by purchasing a sample dress.


For more on wedding dress samples sales, be sure to watch our video on wedding dress sample sale secrets that brides need to know


What If You Don’t Know How Much To Spend


We completely understand that knowing what to spend on your wedding dress and what is reasonable to you can be confusing at first when you're just starting out on your wedding dress shopping process.


If you don't know how much you want to spend on a wedding dress, we recommend that you go to a bridal dress store and try on dresses at all different price points. 


For example, you can ask your bridal stylist if you can try on a $2,000 wedding dress, a $3,000 wedding dress, a $4,000 dress and so on. 


Trying on bridal gowns in all different price ranges will help you see the differences in quality and fit among bridal dress styles. It will help you learn about what you are comfortable spending on your wedding dress and help you so that you can understand why certain dresses cost what they cost. 



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.