Things to Avoid When Shopping for a Wedding Dress

When you are heading out to try on gowns and find the perfect dress for your big day, you're probably excited. Before you head to your first boutique, though, you need to be prepared. The following are things to avoid so you can have the best day of shopping and walk away with a dress you love.

Failing to set a budget

You will see a lot of beautiful dresses (and a few less beautiful ones, too), and it can be tempting to simply pick the one you love the most regardless of the price tag. You don't want to blow your whole wedding budget on just the dress, though! Make sure you have a hard budget for spending set before you begin to shop. This doesn't mean you can't try on the more expensive dresses. If you find that your dream dress is outside of your budget, you can spend some time trying to find a better deal on it. Expensive dream dresses do show up for less at trunk shows, off-rack discount bridal stores, and online auctions. Just make sure you stay within your budget and you will be fine.

Making too many stops

When making appointments at boutiques, don't try to hit them all in a single day. It will take a few hours in each boutique, so try to schedule about two appointments and no more than three for a single day. You can always plan a second day later. It's better to have extra time than to feel rushed while you are shopping. If you have time, swing by a discount bridal shop that requires no appointment to round out the day.

Getting "hangry"

Low blood sugar can make a fun day of shopping into a total nightmare. Go out for brunch or a light lunch before hitting your first boutique. You don't want to eat anything too heavy or salty, since bloat can take the fun out of dress shopping, but you need to take care of yourself. Schedule time between appointments so you can stop for a light snack if needed. It's also important to stay hydrated, so bring your water bottle and keep sipping even as you try on dresses.


Avoid overdressing, since this will just make trying on dresses more difficult. Instead, mimic a casual version of what you imagine for the wedding day. If you plan to have your hair up, twist it into a simple up-do. Leave it down if you plan to wear it down on your wedding day. Wear light makeup—you don't want to smudge the dresses! Also, opt for nude, supportive underwear that will work for trying on different dress designs. Some bridal stores provide bridal bras to try on with different dress cuts, but if not, a nude bra will be the least distracting.

For more help, contact a wedding dress boutique in your area, such as The Steel Magnolia.

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