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10 Wedding Dress Shopping Tips

10 Wedding Dress Shopping Tips

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As a wedding photographer, shopping for my own wedding dress has been an interesting experience! I’ve put together some tips for you to make the experience a little easier!

After seeing so many brides go through this fun, yet at times challenging experience, I finally understand what it’s like myself. From the perspective of a wedding photographer, a dress should not only highlight your best features, but also make you feel confident and show well on camera.

1. Make a list of what you like.

Make sure you download some photos and make a list of different styles that you like, even if they are different from one another. That way you have a starting point to help your consultant. You also won’t feel overwhelmed.

2. Call the salons in advance. I mean way, way in advance.

Make sure you call the salon in advance to make an appointment and find out what they can pull from the back for you, so that when you go in, you will have a set appointment and will not be disappointed in the selection.

3. Allow the salespeople to make recommendations for you.

I know you might think you know what looks good on your body. It’s good to go with a few of your own ideas – but listen to the sales consultant too! As it turns out, I was having a really hard time finding a dress, and once I let the sales consultant pull a couple of options I never would have thought to try on, the experience became amazing. Sometimes we just don’t see the certain aspects of our body that need to be highlighted. It can be difficult to tell how a dress will look on your body when it is on the rack. Trust the experts to help!

4. Go at the right time. Preferably, off peak hours.

Weekends are the peak times for dress boutiques. Even if you have an appointment, it can be busy, loud and rushed. You may not see all of the options that you would otherwise see if you went on a Tuesday during the day or weeknight! Also, if you go at off – peak times, you may be able to have a longer appointment since your consultant won’t have to rush to the next bride!

5. Buy a dress that fits and leave a little room!

I know it can be tempting to buy a dress that is a little snug with the hopes that you will work out and fit into it on your wedding day. You will be beautiful no matter what! It is always easier to take in a dress than to let one out. Buy a dress that is perhaps just right or a little too big for you and then go from there. That way you save money and possible tears.

6. Read the contract or sales agreement fully.

Read the contract three times over and make sure everything is correct. Ask about what happens if the dress is late or the boutique makes a mistake with your order. You want to ensure that you have a backup plan and will be compensated or taken care of in the event of a mishap.

7. Bring only a few people who’s opinions you really trust.

I know it can be tempting to bring the whole family and all of your bridesmaids. This can be a little overwhelming. Everyone will have different opinions and sometimes won’t know how to share them in the best way. When you bring just a couple of people it will be a more relaxing experience for you.

8. Make a list of what you like.

It’s really great if you can come up with a list of dresses you like. That way you are going in with some sort of an idea. You may not end up picking any of those dresses, but it will help give the consultant an idea of where to start. Visual examples are so much easier to go from then pure description alone.

9. Bring accessories.

You may not have all of your accessories yet, but it is still a good idea to bring a few examples to pair with different dresses so that you can see what they look like. If you have an heirloom piece that you are planning on wearing, definitely bring it along to make sure it pairs well with the dresses you are trying on!

10. Go with your gut.

You won’t necessarily cry when you see “the one”, I know I didn’t. I found myself coming back to the dress several times. When I paired it with some accessories and shoes, it became clear to me there was a reason I kept coming back to that particular dress. If you can visualize yourself getting married in that dress, get a gut feeling, butterflies or a great reaction, go with it!

Congratulations and Happy Shopping!


Nicole Sarah 


Need more inspiration? Check out this post for tips to look your best in wedding photos!

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