Attire & Accessories Forum

Wedding Dress Shopping In Another State

Hello! I am new to the site. I am getting married (destination wedding) in May. I currently live in Missouri, but I am from California. I REALLY want certain members from my family to be with me when I go wedding dress shopping. So, I have decided to look for a dress while I am in California in September. 

Has anyone purchased a dress from another state? If so, what was your experience? Any helpful tips/suggestions? 

Also, I am not sure if I should make more than one appointment per day to look for dresses. I will only be there one week and the majority of everyone has to work during the week, so I am somewhat bound to the one weekend to look for a dress. Thoughts? 

Re: Wedding Dress Shopping In Another State

  • Hello! I am new to the site. I am getting married (destination wedding) in May. I currently live in Missouri, but I am from California. I REALLY want certain members from my family to be with me when I go wedding dress shopping. So, I have decided to look for a dress while I am in California in September. 

    Has anyone purchased a dress from another state? If so, what was your experience? Any helpful tips/suggestions? 

    Also, I am not sure if I should make more than one appointment per day to look for dresses. I will only be there one week and the majority of everyone has to work during the week, so I am somewhat bound to the one weekend to look for a dress. Thoughts? 
    I purchased my dress in a different state but it was off the rack so I took it home with me that day.

    I did have my mother, sister, SIL, MIL, and another close friend come to my city to go shopping with me the first time I tried on dresses. We went to 2 stores the first day and 1 the following. However, I fully expected to not to buy a dress that weekend. It was more about getting everyone together (their first time meeting) and having a good time together. 
    Dress shopping can be overwhelming the first time you go, so many options! So take your time, try on all sorts of silhouettes, fabrics, colors, formalities. After the first shopping weekend, I went to another handful of stores by myself. It was actually quite lovely just to have the consultant to myself and I eventually found a dress I loved for the price I wanted to pay. 
    I guess what I am saying is, don’t put too much pressure on finding “the dress” in one weekend, especially if you have never tried on dresses before. Have fun, try things on, but don’t make a rash decision. 
    MobKazfullofhope25
  • MobKazMobKaz Chicago suburbs member
    Tenth Anniversary 5000 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    If not making an "off the rack" purchase, (an excellent suggestion), check with the store in terms of how long they will hold a dress for you once it comes in.  My daughter's dress arrived MUCH earlier than expected, and we were not prepared to get it (store it ourselves) or start alterations. 

    Make sure you are aware of a local seamstress for alterations.

    Make sure you have a plan for getting the dress home.

    See if there are any stores in CA with affiliates in your home town.  You could "find" the dress with family in CA and order it to arrive in Missouri.
    fullofhope25ahoyweddingMesmrEweshort+sassy
  • Agree with PPs. Don't put pressure on yourself to find the dress that weekend. You may find your dress, but with the extra pressure, it might be overwhelming. Enjoy the experience of being with family and trying things on. I would suggest that you try on every style/type at the first place to rule in/rule out certain styles. It may help you to narrow things down.
    fullofhope25
  • Thanks guys! EVERYTHING you all have said makes perfect sense! I really want a dress with a mermaid silhouette, but you never know for sure... I’m tall and I think I would look like a giant cupcake in a ball gown. Lol. I also just had a baby four months ago. So I’m trying to lose the last of my baby weight!
  • Thanks guys! EVERYTHING you all have said makes perfect sense! I really want a dress with a mermaid silhouette, but you never know for sure... I’m tall and I think I would look like a giant cupcake in a ball gown. Lol. I also just had a baby four months ago. So I’m trying to lose the last of my baby weight!

    Depending on how much time and how much weight you would like to lost (and what is realistic) you should factor that into what you purchase. A dress with a ton of boning or lace may be really expensive to take in a lot. That is something to ask at the shops about how much alterations might be.
    lovesclimbingshort+sassy
  • ernursej said:
    Thanks guys! EVERYTHING you all have said makes perfect sense! I really want a dress with a mermaid silhouette, but you never know for sure... I’m tall and I think I would look like a giant cupcake in a ball gown. Lol. I also just had a baby four months ago. So I’m trying to lose the last of my baby weight!

    Depending on how much time and how much weight you would like to lost (and what is realistic) you should factor that into what you purchase. A dress with a ton of boning or lace may be really expensive to take in a lot. That is something to ask at the shops about how much alterations might be.

    What @[email protected] said - but a step farther...  Keep an open mind on styles of dress, post-baby-body can sometimes be an adventure depending on how your hormones shifted in this first year (I lost a lot of weight initially then regained a lot because of an untreated thyroid level shift while I know a few people that they ended up on Bodybuilding platforms a year PP, your body is unique to you, the worst that can happen is you purchase the wrong size and have to buy new or have alterations if you drop more weight than expected).  Also, keep in mind things like who is going to do your alterations because some areas can be more challenging than others (and some areas you'd think would be difficult are surprisingly easy!)..  And just like any other bride, a good rule of thumb is cut your budget in half that you tell the shop because alterations, undergarments, steaming/pressing the transported dress out, transport, etc. can all double or more the price causing you to go over budget.  It's easier to go up than it is to go down.  

    I'm highly going to recommend either buying off the rack or going someplace like David's for the simple reason that you can order it from your local store when you get home and they've got alterations people who know their dresses so alterations aren't horrible in-house.  Also, do not get caught up in "this person MUST be there!" when you purchase your dress, that turns this into an emotional sale which never works out well for the buyer because all the sales person has to do is override your sense of reason because you're in an emotional state.  Yes, this is one of the most expensive outfits you're ever likely to wear (not always - there are clearance sales where many brides have picked up their new dress for under $100), however remember that it is still a business transaction, not an emotional one.  The terms at most bridal shops suck, I was told I had to order immediately in February or I wouldn't have a dress before our wedding in October, less than two weeks later when the fog lifted from the less than ethical sales technique my dress was already in.  (Yes, I did order my dress from 5 hours from where I lived because I HAD to have my Mom there, still in the same state, but not even close to where I lived at the time)..  
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    ernursej
  • If you find a dress in CA, it might make sense to buy it off the rack and take it back to MO with you, or to have it shipped to you in MO., and then use an alterations shop that is close to where you live.

    The reason I suggest this is that it might take several fittings with a week or two in between to get it to fit.  My daughter ordered a dress in February and it came in June. She needed it taken in a bit, shortened (she's wearing flats) and bustled. 

    The lace at the bottom over many layers meant that three separate fittings were required: one to pin up the layers, another to pin the lace back on to the bottom of the dress and ensure that it was flat against the dress, and yet another do the bustle. These were spread out over two months. It worked for our schedule, but if your alterations person isn't local, flying back and forth could be a challenge.  We just picked up her dress after the final fitting last Friday, and her wedding is this coming Saturday.
  • I live in New Jersey, but I'm from Ohio. I went dress shopping back home, but I did not have the expectation I would find anything. I set up 3 appointments at three different salons and luckily found my dress.  

    I placed the order in store and they shipped it directly to my house in NJ. Since we could drive, there was no issue with transporting the gown and everything we needed for the wedding. 
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