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Wedding Dress Shopping Try-On Tips | Finding the Perfect Wedding Dress

Mar 10, 2022


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For some, finding a wedding dress comes easy and for others (me) it just does NOT. Wedding dress shopping for me was very discouraging because I just didn’t have a style. The dresses I thought I would love looked terrible on me or were so uncomfortable to wear I couldn’t believe they even existed. It wasn’t the fairy-tale try-on experience I expected. It took 4 trips to different shops before I finally settled on a dress. Some of these tips could have definitely helped my experience be better, and I hope they’ll help you too!

1. Bring a strapless bra, just in case.

2. Bring shoes that are similar in height to ones you might wear.

3. Bring your own veil if you have an heirloom one so you can match the colors.

4. Do your hair and makeup so you feel put together when trying on dresses. (I remember thinking, “maybe I’d like this better if I had done my hair today.” I couldn’t decide if I didn’t like some of the dresses or just how tired I looked wearing them.)

5. Don’t be afraid to leave without a dress. (Even if it doesn’t feel like it, there are so many options for every person’s style/preference and budget. Don’t be afraid to leave and keep looking if you aren’t 100% sold.)

6. Try on at least one dress recommended by the sales associate/person helping you, even if you think you won’t like it. They help women every day and might just know what style would be perfect on you. Be open and ready to try on multiple dresses and styles.

7. Take pictures of yourself in every dress you try on, even if you hate it. They’ll be fun memories for later and can help you decide what you like if you walk away without a dress and want to look back a few days later with fresh eyes.

8. Don’t be afraid to ask for discounts or upcoming sales.

9. When considering your budget, remember that a veil can cost just as much as the dress, and so can good alterations. Dresses that are only available in a size too big can be altered, but don’t forget to factor that cost in. (Plus any belts, shoes, or other accessories you may want.)

10. Consider how long you’ll be wearing this dress and what you’ll be doing in it. For example, if you plan to dance the night away, you’ll want something you can actually move in. Some brides choose dresses they can’t sit down in (really!) and that they can’t walk quickly or move much in. A dress like this isn’t for you if you plan on dancing. Also remember that you may be wearing this dress for many hours, so consider how heavy the dress is. Big dresses are beautiful, but they get heavy very quickly!

11. Put your expectations aside. Chances are that you won’t like styles you thought you would, and it may take longer than you expect to find the one! Ultimately, have fun!!! This is one of the most fun times of your life—don’t stress it and enjoy!

A bonus tip: schedule a bridal session with your photographer! This will give you a trial-run on your hair/makeup, bouquet, and getting practice in the dress. (How long do you need to get it put on? After an hour of being in it, is something about it bothering you that you can fix before the wedding day? (This happens often!) Are the shoes a good fit for it?) I wrote a blog post all about bridal sessions and how beneficial (and fun!) they can be. Check it out here.

My passion is in documenting the lives of our families well (mine and yours), and teaching you how to do it too. Follow along as I share photography tips, inspiration, and beautiful portraits.

hey! I'm Karly

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