Whether or not you've been dreaming of trying on wedding dresses since you coveted Barbie's white dress, the act of trying them on for yourself for the first time is exciting. It's a big step in the wedding planning, and will probably be one of the first times you truly envision yourself as a "bride."
That said, it can also be an intimidating and mildly stressful endeavor too. The pressure! The anticipation! The desire to look like the rich influencers on Instagram! So to take a bit of the anxiety out of shopping for the dress you'll walk down the aisle in, here are a few things you should know and bring to your appointment to help on your quest. And, remember, if you don't find your dream dress at the first store you visit, or even the first day you look, there WILL be a gown out there that's meant for you!
If you're going to a bridal boutique that assigns you a personal stylist (most do), the first thing he/she is going to ask you is what kind of style you're going for. Things like: What silhouette do you like? Do you like lace? How about sparkles? How do you feel about trains? What's your budget?
And if you haven't really thought any of these things through before stepping into the shop, you might just stare at the poor person blankly — until they awkwardly say, "Well, we'll just start somewhere!"
However, this isn't to say that you should have your heart set on that ONE dress you saw on Pinterest and stop at nothing to make it yours. There's a happy medium here, folks. Study up on dress silhouettes and decide what kind of aesthetic you're going for (especially keeping in mind the season and venue, if you have one already) and then you'll be able to guide your stylist in the right direction. By doing just a bit of homework you'll have a much better experience when it comes to actually trying on gowns.
2. A Positive Attitude
The best things you can bring to your wedding dress shopping experience are positivity and perspective. And here are a few key reminders to help you keep those two in check:
* You will probably feel terrible and ugly in at least one dress you try on. Don't let it get you down.
* You might fall in love with a dress that doesn't look like anything on your Pinterest board. Just go with it!
* You might have to try on dresses at three different salons before you "say yes to the dress." Don't get frustrated and depressed along the way — you're picky and that's okay.
* You probably shouldn't immediately buy the first dress you like (there's SO many other wedding dresses in the sea), but if you know it's the one and you don't want to look at another wedding dress as long as you live, it's cool! It's your day. Your decision.
* Try to resist the urge to try on dresses grossly out of your budget. Chances are you'll fall in love with the $10K gown when your budget is $2K and your mom will have to drag you out of the salon kicking and screaming OR you'll be on Craigslist selling everything you own. It won't be pretty either way.
3. The Right Undergarments
The actual act of trying on dresses is not very glamorous — sorry to break it to you. You'll be in a kinda small dressing room with your stylist and about 8 giant dresses at one time. It's...cozy. So, since you're in close quarters with a complete stranger and you're trying on white(ish) wedding dress, it's important to wear the right panties and bra.
You'll want to wear nude undergarments — and leave the granny panties at home. There's nothing worse than trying on an exquisite dress only to turn around and see unflattering panty lines. Trust us. Instead, our go-to are boyshorts like these from Knixy.
They're made of gorgeous stretch lace, are moisture-wicking, and contain odor-killing technology to boot. And did we mention how cute they are? You can wear these to your appointment (and even on your big day) and feel sexy without showing too much, either.
(Note: Thongs are completely great too, as long as you're comfortable showing your buns to your stylist.)
Also important: Bring a strapless bra.
4. A Supportive, Honest Entourage
Of course moms/sisters/aunts etc. make for a great wedding dress shopping posse, but sometimes the people closest to us are more concerned with making us feel good than telling the truth. So consider bringing one of your bridesmaids (or your most brutally honest friend) to your appointment so they can help lift you up — while keeping it real. This trusted person will tell you if you look like a sparkly walrus in a dress and you'll thank her for it later.
Think you're going to rock giant stilettos on your big day? Then be sure to bring shoes with the same type of heel so you can try them on with each dress. You'd be surprised at how much an extra four inches can alter the look and fit of a gown.
6. A Hair Tie
If you're planning to wear your hair up on your big day, be sure to bring a hair tie or wear your hair in a ponytail to the appointment. That way, your brutally honest friend isn't also stuck on hair-holding duty while you try to get the full effect of each dress.