Wedding Dress Shopping Tips


Bridal Shopping Tips

You found your boo - You set your date - Now let’s make your Pinterest + Instagram saves a reality + get you the gown of your dreams! Choosing your wedding gown can be tricky, challenging + super fun, below we have outlined some tips to help your prepare for your best bridal appointment!


  1. Establish A Budget

    You are picking out [ possibly ] the most expensive article of clothing to wear on [ arguably ] the most important day of your life to date. Set a budget + be upfront with your consultant about it. Our goal is never to make you go over what’s comfortable for you! Make sure to factor in extra costs such as customization’s, alterations + accessories. Pro tip: Don’t try on a gown that’s outside of your budget - this rarely ends on a happy note.

  2. Timing Is Everything

Did you know it often takes 4-6 months for your bridal gown to be made + arrive to us in Kansas City? Add in 2-3 months for alterations + you’re looking at a healthy 9 months. To avoid the possibility of rush fees, the potential that your gown could get discontinued + all of the stress that comes along with time constraints - give yourself a head start! We recommend booking your bridal appointment 9-12 months out from your wedding date.

3. Choose Your Entourage Wisely

So we have your best friend from grade school, your maid-of-honor, your fiance’s mom, your mom, your aunt that basically raised you, your grandma, your sister, your bridesmaids, etc. Sure, bringing in a huge group sounds exciting + although you want to include everyone in the experience, keep in mind it could get overwhelming with everyone’s opinions in play. Plus, having to control a few too many bridesmaids might get a little exhausting. Set yourself up for success + choose 3-4 guests who’s opinions you truly value + respect. Pick a small support group that will be 100% team bride + let your gown be a surprise for everyone else!

4. Eat + Hydrate

We want you to look + feel your absolute best while shopping. Having a balanced breakfast or lunch before your appointment is essential for a happy + healthy bride. It can be really exhausting trying on gowns ( + a little bit of a workout, tbh ). We want you to feel motivated, excited + energized! Be sure to fuel your body before your appointment to keep that positive bridal energy flowing.

5. Wear Proper Undergarments

Wearing the correct foundation garments can make all the difference when gown shopping. Find undergarments that blend well with your skin tone to wear while trying on samples. Remember that when you say yes to the dress, you will be measured in your bra + underwear to get the most accurate measurement possible for ordering. Wear something that is supportive, comfy + that you’re comfortable hanging out with a consultant in!

6. Be Open Minded

We want to see all your saved Pinterest photos + all those Instagram saves. Be prepared to show us your saved inspiration, even if it might not be exactly what you envision. Things change once you start to try on + sometimes things look different in real life! Our goal is for you to feel so confident in your gown that you don’t want to take if off. Don’t be afraid to give it to us straight + tell us all your likes + dislikes, it helps us determine what to show you next. Be open, speak up + trust yourself + your consultant (we’ve done this a few times)!

7. Do Your Research

Schedule appointments at shops that fit your vibe! It’s true - trying on wedding gowns is super fun, but it’s also exhausting + can be discouraging at times. Do your research + book appointments at stores that you connect with + that carry designers you love. Dead set on wearing a purple dress? Tell the shop that when scheduling. Being transparent ensures the shop is a good fit for what you’re looking for. Ultimately, there’s no point in visiting a bridal shop that doesn’t carry purple gowns if you’re sure that’s what you’re looking for!

8. Forget About Sizing

Bridal sizing is often mean + is based on traditional European size charts. This means that often, your gown will be 1-2 sizes higher than what you’d typically wear. Even if going up in sizing sounds downright horrifying, remember that no one will know what the number on the tag says except for you + your consultant.

9. Order Based On Your Current Size

Simple. It is always always always easier to alter your gown down than to let it out. Order your gown based on the measurements you are today - if you lose some lb’s, great, your seamstress will happily alter your gown down and if you don’t, your gown will fit close to how it did when ordered!

10. Don’t by Afraid to say “Yes”

When you know, you know, right? It’s just like with your fiancé! You didn’t shop around for other options after you found him - think about your wedding gown the same way. Commitment isn’t scary [ you’re getting married, after all ] + once you find the gown that makes you feel gorgeous, don’t be afraid to say “yes” to that baby! If you’re still feeling scared, just remember that 50% of brides buy their gown at the first shop they visit + 25% of brides buy the first gown they ever try on, so you aren’t alone!

Ready to slip into some gowns?


Post written by: Karen Boehm // SW Bridal Consultant