Engaged, now what!? Dress Shopping Tips

Hey, lady. Did you just get engaged? Let us see your ring. It’s fabulous! We know one of the things probably on your mind is what you are going to wear—even though there’s lots of planning to do, figuring out (or at least getting an idea of) your dress is too exciting to not dive into first!

Before you Google your local bridal boutique and tap ‘call,’ we’ve got some tips to make the whole experience as stress-free, fun, and effective as possible:


Wear undergarments that don’t embarrass you.

Seriously. At most bridal boutiques, a lovely salesperson will be helping you into each and every gown, which means you’ll be in your drawers with someone you just met. This may sound awkward, but, believe us, it’s not that bad. Bridal shop girls have the giving-you-space-while-being-in-your-space thing down. After the first dress you try on, you’ll totally forget you’re half-naked. We promise.

bride: Samantha | photographer: Aster and Olive

Wear your hair like you’re going to brunch.

You know how you’ll wear the right jeans when you’re shopping for a sweater so you can get a feel for how things will look? A similar methodology applies to bridal gowns. It’s hard to picture yourself on your wedding day if your hair is post-gym or late-stage hangover chic. So, put your hair up (or brush it) and apply mascara (if you wear it).  In short, do whatever you’d do if you were meeting your besties somewhere fun and low-key. You’ll feel just a little cuter, which goes a long way towards liking what you see in the mirror.


For the love of all that’s holy, please don’t bring everyone you know.

Not only is bringing a large group into a shop SO not a thing right now, but wedding dress shopping is also about what YOU want. This is because each and every friend or family member has their own opinion on what you should look like, which may (or may not) vibe with yours. Several different people nitpicking a look you love is a bummer, so avoid it by bringing along one to three special people who can offer praise and constructive criticism when appropriate. The option of a virtual bridal appointment is actually kind of amazing as far as figuring out what YOU like best. It’s just you, the stylist, and one or two people who ring in. That sort of scenario gives a person room to think without a lot of voices chiming in!

bride: Ivony | photographer: Nate Kim Photography

Be open-minded.

If we had a dollar for every time a bride-to-be fell for a gown style she NEVER thought she’d wear, we’d be richer than Croesus. If your shop’s stylist suggests a lace mermaid gown and you pictured yourself in something else entirely…eh, give it a try. What have you got to lose? Also, bridal boutique salespeople by and large know their shop’s gown collection and very quickly develop a preternatural sense for what a bride will love.

Careful with those pictures.

Because they do lie. We’re not saying taking pictures isn’t awesome and helpful, but they are an unreliable source of information. So many things factor in—lighting, angle, how you are standing. The best way to determine if a gown is for you is to listen to your heart, pay close attention to how you feel in the dress, and take a long look in the mirror.

Have more questions about gown shopping? Follow us on Insta and ask in the comments section of any of our posts. We’re always happy to help!