7 Things No One Tells You When Shopping for Your Wedding Gown


You’re getting married and you have 10,000 things to do before the big day. And since you buy wedding dresses all the time I’m sure you know the rundown. No big deal. EXCEPT… you probably don’t buy wedding dresses all the time, or ever, actually. And you need to get it right the first time. Fear not. I’m here for you. Breathe.

I asked a bunch of brides about their experiences, and teamed up with the wonderful ladies over at Haute Bride, and together we are going to make your life simpler. This is suppose to be fun! Remember?

Here are the 7 things to consider when buying your dress.


  • What styles do you like? Making a Pinterest board can be useful for this.

  • Which designers does the salon carry? Do they have any trunk shows coming up? Trunk shows are a great time to check out dresses that aren’t usually available.

  • It can be tempting to want to try on every dress in the store, but it will get overwhelming. You also don’t need to go with the first one you find.

  • It’s important to choose a timeless style. Something trendy will look good now, but when you are looking through your wedding album 10/20/30 years from now, you want to still be in love with the dress.

  • Let your consultant know about your venue. You wouldn’t wear the same dress for a formal Saturday evening ballroom wedding as you would a Sunday afternoon vineyard ceremony.

  • Don’t forget to ask about extras! Monogrammed hangers look incredible in photos.

Your Budget

  • This is as personal to you as the style you like. Make sure you consider your budget before ever going into the salon.

  • Ask your consultant if there are any additional fees, beyond the price of the dress.

  • Is there a storage fee if you can’t pick it up right away?

  • Also check with the salon to see if they offer preservation services.


  • Bring any shoes and accessories you already have. Some salons let you try some with your dress, but they may not have your size/style.

  • A gorgeous bra and matching French knickers or thong is also a must have. Some dresses are better without a bra. They have built-in support already, and it will won’t be comfy with a bra underneath.

  • Your bustle should be comfortable and practical. You don’t want everyone stepping on it on the dance floor!

  • Don’t be afraid to ask for recommendations from the salon. They will know what works and what doesn’t.

Bridal Salon Policies

  • Almost every salon will require an appointment for each visit. And please let them know if you’re running late or if you have to reschedule.

  • If you are working with more than one salon, let them know if you’ve found a dress somewhere else and won’t be needing their services any more.

  • Ask when the slowest times are in the salon. You’ll get the best experience if you avoid the crowds.

  • It can be really fun to take pictures for reference, but ask ahead of time if you are allowed to take photos inside. The consultants are eager to help you find the perfect dress, but they don’t want to help you find one you are going to buy somewhere else.

  • Read their reviews. Have they been in business for a long time? Do people generally have a good experience?

Bringing Your Wolfpack

  • It’s very helpful to have your friends and family with you, but don’t bring everyone you know. Have you seen Bridesmaids?

  • Make sure one of your bridesmaids knows how to help you put the dress on and take it off. This will be sooooo helpful on your wedding day.

  • Again, don’t be afraid to ask for guidance on this. The salon consultants are there to help you, and your bridal party.

  • The salon might also dress your bridal party, so don’t forget to ask about that! You can get everything taken care of in one place, which usually helps with the price too.


  • Your consultant will help you find a dress that fits you and looks good on you. Don’t be afraid to take their recommendations. You might not like the dress on the hanger, but when you put it on it could be pure magic.

  • Ask if the salon provides alterations in house, as well as the cost and time it will take.

  • You should also ask how many fittings will be necessary, and if the same person will be helping you every step of the way.

  • Also keep in mind that due to the custom fitting of your dress, they may not accept returns. You can always ask before any decisions are made.

  • Some salons will steam the dress ahead of time, so you don’t have to worry about wrinkles! They should also be able to tell you how to transport and store your dress so it stays in pristine condition.

The Finish Line

Hooray! You found the perfect dress and everything is all taken care of. Now find out if there’s a good place near by to go pop a bottle of Champagne and celebrate this victory. You deserve it.

And special thanks to Haute Bride for providing the stunning dress for the photo above.