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how do i start looking for a dress?

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i'm going shopping w/ momz on thursday and until today, i thought i wanted something plain, no train, light and relatively comfy...now i'm all about the 30 pound alfred angelo's and maggie sottero's.


so how do i narrow it down? do i just walk into one of the 23,908,211,094,372 bridal places in the tri-state area and hope something pops out at me?


i have a list of about 15 places to visit w/ my mom...i can't imagine getting thru 5 w/o getting frustrated.smile41.gif


any advice?


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I dunno... I just started looking online first. And figured out what I DIDN'T want... and found styles of what I do want. However I haven't gone to any stores yet to try anything on... maybe once you try on a few you will figure out what works for you and what doesn't.. once you narrow it down a bit it might not be as hard as you think...

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so when I first started looking for dresses I thought I was totally ready...I had cut out pictures of the dresses I wanted to try on and everything(mostly dresses with straps and such)




when I got to the store the dresses didn't look that great on me. Until I tried on the strapless that I'm wearing (and by that time I was tired of trying on dresses) but I knew when I put this dress on it was my dress....it was just a feeling....


it also was only 200 dollars....


So I said yes!!!

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I went through a lot of hell with my wedding dress so here's the advice I posted after I bought it...



1. DO Set your budget ahead of time. Be realistic about how much you have and how much things really cost. Don't forget about the veil, taxes and alterations - come up with a final number.

2. DO Look at dresses online (Knot, Brides, etc.) to see what kind of styles you like

3. DO Go to a bunch of different places, including the big ones like David's adn Alfred Angelo

4. DO try on on different cuts - including ones you don't think will look good.

5. DO take your mom/sister/best-friend with you

6. DO take pictures of you in the dresses before you buy one - something that looks good in the bridal shop mirrors may not be the same in those pictures!

7. DO try on both white and ivory.

8. DO think about weather and location when buying your dress - Will heavy silk be too hot for your wedding in July?

9. DO look for sample sales online (topbutton.com for NYC & LA) and make appointments.

10. DO find a dress that you really truly LOVE!


WHAT NOT TO DO WHEN BUYING A DRESS from my experiences and others:

1. DON'T wait until the last minute (big price increases on those rush orders)

2. DON'T TRY ON DRESSES THAT ARE OVER YOUR BUDGET! (DO try on dresses that are UNDER your budget)

3. DON'T impulse buy. The dress WILL be there tomorrow - go home and think about it for a few days. Take some pictures and look at them at home - really decide you love it.

4. DON'T get stuck on one style ahead of time and limit yourself to only trying on those dresses - it may not be the best look for you!

5. DON'T buy a dress that is either too small or too big - alterations are expensive!

6. DON'T look for dresses after you buy yours! I know there are few ladies who have turned into 2 dress brides because of this!

7. DON'T think nothing is going to look good on you... (and then, oh, I don't know, let's say, try on a dress way over your budget and fall in love with it...)


And here are a few notes:

- You can buy a lot of major brands online for less. Once you know what dress and what size you want it doesn't hurt to check the online sources for their prices. There's a great thread on here listing all sorts of places to look - check them out.

- Bridal Salon mirrors can be deceiving. Check them while you're still in your normal clothes to see if you appear taller or thinner... funny how that can make a big difference in what you think of a dress!

- Always post pictures of you in your dress up here on the forum so we can see it too!

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I agree with Kash, go in knowing what your limit is (yes you will probably go over if) so either set a firm limit of a buffer in case you see something you like just a little out of your price range. Also go in with a VERY open mind, I also was looking for a dress with no train, well that pretty much narrowed it down to like 5 dresses at each store or bridemaids dresses. So I decided to "release my power control" and I walked into a store, told them where I was getting married and what my limit was. They started pulling many different style types for me to try on. Some were ones I WOULD HAVE NEVER pulled off the rack but was still very pretty once they were on. In the end I ended up with a dress with a long train but it was beautiful and so perfect for me.

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Kash gave lots of good advice. . .definitely take that to heart.


I would just agree and say to be aware of your budget. DO not EVER try on anything that is totally over your budget. So you find a dress that you love...and it's 8k. . .just too much heartache and distress there. Don't put yourself in that situation.


Be openminded. Have an idea of what you like, then allow the store staff to make some selections for you...they're usually pretty good at what they do.


Make appointments. A lot of bridal boutiques stay pretty busy (esp on weekends) so make an appointment in advance...then you'll avoid the irritation of waiting around for someone to help you, waiting for a fitting room etc. No sense wasting your time doing all that waiting! :-)


Have FUN!!! You're a bride...enjoy it!!

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