Attire & Accessories Forum


Hi Everyone!
I am newly engaged, and I am so excited for all the planning that is to come! Despite being addicted to shows such as Say Yes to the Dress (Atlanta and the one for NYC), I feel a bit clueless when it comes to wedding dress shopping. 

Sure, I understand some of the basics that are depicted in the shows, for example: try one of each silhouette in order to see which one looks best on you (time permitting), or bringing in pictures showing a general idea as to what you want etc. 
I feel like the television shows or dress consultants (I've been dress shopping with other friends) don't REALLY explain certain things that would be essential to buying a dress.

For example, 
How far in advance from the wedding should you go dress shopping?
How far in advance should you purchase the dress? 
What types of wedding dresses are appropriate for certain seasons? Does it have to do with the fabric, the cut, etc.? (I am having a fall wedding)
Should you go to a few stores before picking a dress, or is the saying "once you've found the dress, don't bother looking anywhere else" true? 
How do you calculate sizing? 

If anyone could help me out I would greatly appreciate it :)

Re: Clueless

  • itzMSitzMS member
    2500 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers First Anniversary
    How far in advance from the wedding should you go dress shopping?
    You can go as little as 2 months in advance to a place like David's Bridal. If you're planning on a designer gown, 6 months out at the latest.
    How far in advance should you purchase the dress?
    Same as above
    What types of wedding dresses are appropriate for certain seasons? Does it have to do with the fabric, the cut, etc.? (I am having a fall wedding)
    It really doesn't matter.
    Should you go to a few stores before picking a dress, or is the saying "once you've found the dress, don't bother looking anywhere else" true?
    I only tried on one dress as I knew what I wanted. Some brides try 50-100. It just depends on your normal shopping personality. Are you really critical of how you look in clothes, or do you know what looks good on you instantly?
    How do you calculate sizing?
    Most designers run about 2 sizes larger than your street size. So if you wear jeans in a size 10, your wedding dress will likely be a 14. Everything varies by designer and is based off of your largest measurement (hip, waist, or bust).
  • manateehuggermanateehugger member
    2500 Comments 500 Love Its Third Anniversary 5 Answers
    edited June 2013
    Warning: SYTTD can prompt unrealistic expectations. You will try one more than 3 dresses, and it's ok if you don't cry over your dress. I just picked the one I didn't want to take off.

    1. To prep: shop around online a bit to get a feel for what you might want. I liked way too many things (I'm indecisive) so I tried to come up with things I didn't like instead. Know your budget - I will give this one to SYTTD, don't try on anything way over your budget.

    2. You can really go shopping whenever you'd like. Most people recommend you go no later than 6-9 months out. There are only two catches: if you find a dress, you have to be prepared to quit looking - even if youre a year out - and you have to be mindful of potential weight gains/losses that could change how a dress looks on you.

    3. Dresses don't really have to match a season. Your dress should only fit the formality of a wedding e.g. A huge poofy ball gown might look out of place at a casual backyard BBQ.

    4. I personally don't think there is "the dress." There are so many stunning gowns out there. I think you only need to find one that suits you, your wedding, and your budget. Once you've ordered one

    5. Day of: wear full coverage panties! Bring who you'd like, but not too many. I made it a rule with my mom and sisters that they had to let me say something before they got to share their opinion. Have fun shopping! Try on anything and everything. It's not everyday that you get to put on huge elaborate gowns. Don't put pressure on yourself to find one. I ended up with the first dress I tried on, but I put on plenty more before I went back to it.

    6. Don't worry about sizing. It will vary by designer and dress. The consultants should handle that for you.
  • 6-9 months for gowns to come in davids bridal and alfred angelo take shorter time.. 
    some times designer gowns if they are in stock in your size and color will come in even faster 

    most places want a 50-60% downpayment on the gown so they can order it.

    go to a few salons to try on gowns. look up designers that you like. and figure out what salons carry them. the worst thing would to be hit up 4 salons and they all carry the same designers.  i went to 2 shops one that had morliee and venus and another shop that had allure and maggies. i ended up going with my first pick the morliee one shoulder dress that will have another strap added to it.

    also make sure the salon has your size if you are plus size like me call and find out what sizes they have if they only have 2 gowns to try on then skip them. if you are normal missy sizes any shop would work for you but make sure some shops catter to all sizes and some catter just to plus sizes..

    dont bring a huge amount of people with you bring your mom any sisters if you have any grandmothers bring them.. i brought my aunt and my mom and my sister. my second shop ( i did it the following weekend i brought my other aunt mom and sister and did not like anything in the store and went back to the orginal shop 
  • Well....weddingdress 101 is not diffcult..

    for fall, it depends where you in a country. silk, satin,or polysatin(saves you money). I would not

    do a linen dress for fall.  Bright colored, rustic flowers for bouquet.

    Wedding dresses tend to run smaller. Trust,I learned that the hard way.

    Wedding dress hunting should occur six at least before you day just in case you need alteration

    which should be schedule at least four months, sometimes it takes three appointments.

    Fit is depended on body, A line is for everyone, ballroom gown is tradionally for an average or

    model size. Empire is great is for a larger.

    Take very few people with you, four max for dress shopping and make sure you least take

    five gowns in photographs.

    You can buy another gown, but there is no guarantee that they would take it back. You should

    carefully read your contract which should do.  I guess you can sell it, rent it out, or wear

    it to another occassion. Halloween , anyone? Just joking.

    common contract mistakes is the wrong manufacturing number, alterations, or final

    amount due also look at the date of arrival.


  • I just want to reiterate what PDHK has already said... It's not a requirement to cry when you found the perfect dress.  I knew it was the dress because I did not want to take it off! 

    Also, don't bring a huge entourage.  I only bought my mom and FMIL.  My aunts, cousins and friends all wanted to come, but I knew that it would be too overwhelming with that many people.

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