Hi there! Today is the big day. The day I share my experience wedding dress shopping and what I learned along the way! If only you could see my giddiness behind the screen.
Two days and twenty dresses later- I said yes. With my mom and mother in law by my side I wouldn’t have changed anything. Since my mom lives in PA and my MIL doesn’t have any girls, I felt that it was extremely important to have dress shopping be very intimate and almost like a girls day. I knew I didn’t want a large entourage, but I wanted to ensure I was going to share this experience with family and women who meant a lot to me and that I don’t get to spend time with often.
Due to my mom not being in town often, I set up 4 appointments split up in two days. I was not aware of what I wanted in my dress, but I had an idea of what silhouettes I was interested in based on my body shape. On day one, we had two strong contenders. One from each boutique that I loved on and felt beautiful in. I had to walk away since I wanted to make sure that I would continue loving the dresses and seeing if I had an attachment to a specific one. After day one I thought I had a grasp on what I wanted in my dress, but man was I so wrong! So a day went by and we were on our way to two more appointments.
I would like to say that day two started well, but then I’d be lying- it was a rough experience. My first appointment did not go well. I will not name the boutique, but I will simply state that any consultant that puts you into a sample gown and then proceeds to say “This dress is great because it’ll make you look more skinny” and “I’m sure you’ll lose a few pounds” is not doing her job well.
DISCLAMER LADIES: Your body is a swimsuit body. It’s a wedding dress body. It is a crop top body. Your body doesn’t need to conform for your clothing. I’ll get off my soap box now….
I wasn’t going to let one appointment put a damper on my day. We had lunch and one more appointment to look forward to. Since we ended up leaving that appointment quite early, my mom roped myself and my MIL into going thrift shopping to kill time. Honestly, I can’t complain now as I look at my new vase I just scored!
As we went into our last appointment, I described the dresses I liked to the consultant Heather and started pulling dresses to try on. The pictures below were what I liked on the first day, but I pulled things that were so different this time around. Since this was our last appointment, I pulled anything that caught my eye and made me excited regardless of the shape, style, and details.
Boy am I happy I did that because my last appointment is where I found my dream dress! I will admit my actual dress is SO different than what I thought I wanted like my previous contenders. I had my bridal moment. It wasn’t just a moment of feeling beautiful. It was a moment of never wanting to take the dress off. Of feeling so overwhelmed with happiness when I looked at myself in the mirror. My intention was never to say yes on the spot, but there was no way I was leaving there without claiming the dress I fell in love with. Guys, I cried, I laughed, and I smiled so hard. It was a resounding yes in the room from my mom and MIL, which just confirmed my feelings times ten! So thank you to Classic Bride & Formals and my consultant Heather for helping find my dream dress. So although I cannot share my dress right now, I can’t wait to share in just about 365 days!
Now I leave you with the main three points I think are the most important things to keep in mind when you’re prepping to go wedding dress shopping. These aren’t your normal pointers: stay in budget, undergarments, and timing, so keep reading for some lessons learned!
First and foremost, at each boutique I made sure to stay open-minded for each dress a consultant or family member pulled. The hangers don’t do them justice! Throughout the process it was so important to take time to learn more about wedding dresses. The more dresses I tried on the better I got at articulating what I liked about the dress and what I didn’t. Spending the time understanding the shape, style, and details of wedding dresses honestly made my experience go so smoothly. I did not know much walking into each place, but I left almost everywhere feeling confident and happy.
As you continue to learn, be vocal. This is your time to shine. You’re not hurting the consultant’s feelings. You can appreciate a dress and find it beautiful and it just not be for you. That’s okay. I held back at first to not hurt feelings when I didn’t like something, but at the end of the day- they’re dresses! It’s a big investment, a big decision, but most importantly, it’s a big moment you’ll never forget.
Secondly, do not get discouraged when it comes to the bridal sizing. I literally said yes to my dress in a size 10 sample and I ordered a 20 due to my bust. The number means NOTHING. All that matters is that you found your dream dress which will end up fitting you like a glove! I got stuck in two dresses and instead of immediately putting myself down, I simply asked for helped and said “next”. This is an exciting experience so do your best to remind yourself that your body is the perfect wedding dress body!
I want to note that I don’t think I had my bridal moment in my first two contenders because I was battling the idea of whether I loved the dresses because I fit in the sample or because I truly loved the dress itself. Keep this in mind! You should love the dress regardless of the sample size you’re trying on.
Lastly, stop comparing. Stop comparing what you look like in a dress to others. Stop comparing your wedding planning process. Stop comparing the timing of you buying your dress. I bought mine a bit over a year to my wedding and I still feel confident in that decision. As you go through this experience, just remember that you’re planning the perfect wedding for yourself and your significant other. Your dress is only one part of the big picture. Please stop putting so much pressure on yourself. Some find their dress on their first trip, for others it takes days or months and that’s okay. So enjoy this exciting time with good thoughts, a glass of champagne, and a little wiggle of that ring finger!
See you next time and congrats to all my brides out there! Let me know how long it took you to find your dress.