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Etiquette

Dress Shopping Neurosis - Warning: 6 miles long

Please re-read the title - I'm not kidding, you're about to come in contact with a full-blown neurotic.

Thanks to Priceline, I managed to land some excellently priced tickets to go back to PA to go dress shopping, but I wasn't expecting Priceline to actually WORK and I had to commit to buying them before I knew if it WOULD work, so I feel like it's been totally sprung on me, even though that makes no logical sense.

I'm worried about a bunch of aspects of dress shopping, and Brie suggest on Twitter that I stop spazzing out like a lunatic there and bring it to you guys - surely someone has thought of each of these before and can explain it away OR? NO ONE has thought of any of them and can tell me I'm being insane.

Things About Dress Shopping That Are Stressing Me Out:

- I have next to no ideas of what I want, with regard to style, etc. I flat out LOVED some stuff when we first got engaged but everything I bookmarked then looks stupid to me now. I have no ideas and no preferences going into it. Is that going to annoy the dress ladies?

- You know how most stores only carry sample sizes and if you're bigger than that, they kind of have to pin them on you? While I logically know I'm not a 6 or 8, after a series of dresses I am too fat to wear has been pinned on, I feel like I'll start to feel like butt. Does that happen?

- Also, you know how when you find something you like in a store and you try it on and it looks like STRAIGHT UP POO it kind of brings you down a little? I'm worried trying on a dress that is totally unflattering is going to make me feel ugly, which will put me in a bad mood and ruin the whole outing for me and my mom. Please tell me unflattering wedding dresses are totally different than unflattering jeans.

- I'm not at the weight I want to be for the wedding, but hey - life happens and I've got time. However, I also don't trust myself to order a dress smaller than I am in hopes I'll diet into it because, come on. No I won't. But I want to leave room for my good intentions. Are there certain dress features I should look for that will make it easier OR more difficult/expensive to take in later?

- Last question. I am going to a couple of different stores, at least, and don't intend on taking an entourage, but will likely have two people with me at each one (you know, mom, sister, grandmother - I'm the first everything to get married). In your dress buying experience, do people you bring with you err on the side of being brutally honest, or fall more on the 'omg all wedding dresses are beautiful' on you side of things?

Sorry for the ridiculously long post. I'm an extremely high strung person, and my mom tends to cater to my moods and whims and such. If I go into it all paranoid and nervous, she's going to tiptoe around me and no one will have ANY FUN. If you can't tell, I'm not really looking forward to dress shopping, but I hope with some questions answered I won't feel so "walking into the unknown."

Thanks, pals.
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Re: Dress Shopping Neurosis - Warning: 6 miles long

  • Addendum: Brie called me neither a spaz nor a lunatic (out loud, at least).
    On bed rest since Groundhog's Day and every day since has been exactly the same.
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  • I felt the same way. I felt fat and ugly and pale in everything at first.. but I found a few dresses I love and now I am kind of sad I found my dress and cant try any more on.

    I don't know how you feel about davids bridal- but they have pretty much every size.. so you could go there atleast to see a syle you like?

    Also I don't know what size you are but in my experience the samples they had were 8-12

    Goodluck!
    Oh and I would suggest if you wear make up on a regular basis, be sure to wear it dress shopping!
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  • I love you Teej, but I can't read all that. 

    Simmer down.  I went dress shopping, I'm probably 10 times bigger than you and I found a dress.  You will too.  I was nervous as hell, but it turned out to be a good experience. 
  • My sisters told me everything was beautiful on me, but we're very non-confrontational in my family.

    I'm usually a 6 or an 8 dress size and almost all  of the samples were too big for me (like a 10 or a 12)...so they won't be super-small. A few "runway samples" fit perfectly or were slightly snug, but only about 10% of the dresses were runway samples.

    Don't worry about not knowing what you want, you'll narrow it down pretty quickly when you start trying stuff on. And in my experience, when a wedding dress doesn't look good, it feels more like the dress' fault than your body's fault (ie it's way more forgiving than trying on jeans or swimsuits). And the dress ladies should be able to recommend stuff for your body type.

    Try starting at a store with a smaller selection if you don't know what you want so that you won't be overwhelmed.

    And you're beautiful (even though your hiding your face in that silly sig pic) so don't stress out!!

  • I am not a size 6 or 8 and every store I went to had dresses in my size. 

    Yes, some dresses were not at all flattering on me, but that was okay.  They just weren't for me, and most dresses looked nice, even if they weren't "the one". 

    I didn't have a good idea of what I wanted either, but that is why you make an appointment.  I was at the first dress shop a good four hours trying on dresses and looking around. The dress consultant was very helpful.

    I bought my dress one size smaller then I fit into right now.  They can take it in 2 sizes and because it has a corset back, it is a little "adjustable".

    I took my mom an dmy daughter dress shopping and it worked out well.  My daughter thought all the dresses were beautiful and my mom was honest. 

    Hope this helps!
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  • -I think going into dress shopping with no real direction is sometimes the best way.  Then you don't try on a million of one style just to realize none of them will look good one you.  So having no predetermined style is sometimes a blessing because your first trip in the dressing room can be open minded and then sort of drift off into a direction from there.

    -I wore a size 14 dress on my wedding day and did not feel frustrated trying on sample sizes.  They really do give bigger girls a pretty go variety to try on as well.

    -Just give yourself a pep talk before every store and know that the right dress is right around the corner.  I never once felt like "poo" and I HATE - actually I LOATHE clothes shopping because of the dressing room.

    -A lot of detail at the top of a dress will make alterations more expensive if they have to take it in a lot.  Just keep that in mind.  I would definitely order what fits you that day though.  Trust your instincts. 

    -You will know.  Of course mom's and grandmas like EVERYTHING, but you'll know by the look on their face if you've found the dress that really, really live.  Sisters are very good for being the voice of reason and honesty. 
  • In Response to Dress Shopping Neurosis - Warning: 6 miles long:
    [QUOTE]I have next to no ideas of what I want, with regard to style, etc. I flat out LOVED some stuff when we first got engaged but everything I bookmarked then looks stupid to me now. I have no ideas and no preferences going into it. Is that going to annoy the dress ladies?
    I had no idea what I liked when I went shopping, and the lady took a look at me and knew which styles would be flattering, so we started there, and I built on the little details that I decided I liked as I tried on each one.  It's their job to help you, so don't feel bad about asking.  This is of course dependent on having a kind and knowledgeable assistant.

    - You know how most stores only carry sample sizes and if you're bigger than that, they kind of have to pin them on you? While I logically know I'm not a 6 or 8, after a series of dresses I am too fat to wear has been pinned on, I feel like I'll start to feel like butt. Does that happen? Posted by temerityjane
    I am not a sample size either, so they had to do some pinning and pulling.  If they are skilled at doing this, for most of the dresses I found that from the front you can't even tell that it's not the right size.  Honestly.  And while it motivated me to get my butt in shape, it didn't make me feel bad.  I still felt absolutely beautiful while trying on the dresses I loved.
    [/QUOTE]
  • 1. Tell the consultants you don't have a style preference and want to see a broad range of things. Some of the more experienced ones will have a good eye for what will look good on your body - I've heard plenty of stories of brides being forced to try on a dress that was totally not their style because the consultant insisted it would look good and loving it.

    3. Do your make-up and hair before you go. Personally if I go shopping (in general) without making any effort, after about 2 outfits I start focusing on how bad I look rather than how the clothes themselves look. I made sure to look cute for dress shopping precisely to avoid this problem.

    5. I got really lucky on this. The people who came with me the first time knew it was just a preliminary visit and were honest so that I'd have a better idea for the next trip. The friend who came on the second trip was really objective about the pro's and con's of the dresses I was deciding between but kept her opinions to herself. I think this one depends on the people you bring, but if you know them acting one way will bug you, say so upfront.

    I have no advice for 2 and 4, but hopefully someone does so that you can enjoy the whole thing instead of stressing too much :)
  • 1.  I went in "knowing" what I wanted, and then finding out I didn't really like that style on my body, so I ended up buying something totally different.  I think going in not knowing will actually serve you well because you'll be more willing to try on dresses that might not look stunning on the hanger, but will look stunning on your body.

    2.  I shopped at DB so as to avoid not being able to find dresses that fit me off the rack, so I can't attest to how that would make me feel.

    3.  I didn't get down when I tried on a dress that I found totally unflattering.  I just took that constructively and turned to other styles of dresses.

    4.  I have no idea about this one, sorry.

    5.  I think this will depend on the person you bring.  I know my sister is the blunt type of person, so I didn't bring her.  Mr mom is the type of person to tell you what she thinks, but sugar coat it a bit if she knows that's what you need to hear.

    Have fun dress shopping.
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    And betrothed, I'm disgusted with most of the comments that you have posted. I don't think I've ever read such judgmental comments in my life. I'm so lucky that the girls I speak to on theknot are nothing like you...I would've never come on here for ADVICE if I would've encountered a big a bitch as you. I genuinely feel awful for your children or your future children, and I think it would be irresponsible of YOU not to invest in their future therapy sessions starting now. Because trust me when I tell you honey, they're gonna need it. ~jcaruncho2010
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  • Try on everything- even styles you don't think you'll like. If a dress lady gets annoyed, punch her. It's her job to stand there and help you. 

    I'm not "sample size" material either, and it didn't get me down. Unflattering wedding dress is totally NOT the same horrible experience as an unflattering pair of jeans. Unless you try on a dress you just know will bring out the worst in you. Then honestly I think it's on your own head. Unless you were looking for giggles. I did that a few times and it was funny- not heartbreaking. 

    I don't know much about the technical aspects of alterations so I'm staying quiet on that.

    Who is accompanying you on this trip? Just your mom? You want more help? PA isn't that far from me....
  • I think your concerns are valid, but I know for me, I didn't have any of those experiences.  It's totally normal to worry about the dress sizes and how they will or won't fit, etc but I think wedding dress shopping is quite different than regular clothes shopping.  It's not like you're just out shopping for the day and you don't find anything that fits.  You're shopping for your wedding dress.  It's okay if it doesn't fit, it's not really meant to.  They take your measurements and order the dress to fit you.  It's okay if you don't find anything.  Sometimes you may have to look for a while.  It should be fun and exciting and you really should go in with that mindset.

    When I tried my dress on, it was a size 8 but I was a size 12.  They couldn't zip it up in the back, but we all cried when I came out in it because even though it was too small, I still knew it was the one I wanted and perfect for me. 

    Even dresses that you put on and look bad on you, so what?  That's the FUN of it!  Try on all different styles and when one style looks bad, laugh!  Then you know that style isn't for you and you move on to the next style or dress. 

    As far as not knowing what styles you like, try looking online some more before you go to find some things you like.  Even being able to narrow it down to "no strapless" or "no this or that" will help a little.  The best advice I was given though was to try on all different styles, even ones I think I'll hate.  I did it and it was fun!  It's the one time in my life I got to try on big poofy princess dresses and even though they weren't my style, it was fun to put them on and see what it was all about.

    It's really all in your attitude.  It's normal to worry like you are, but you have to go into it with a fun attitude.  Take the pressure out of it.  It's not the same as clothes shopping, it's a fun dress up day where you can put on anything you want regardless of it looks stupid or great.  Tell yourself that!
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  • 1.  First try one dress of a few different silhouettes, and stick with the most flattering.  This will help narrow it down for you.  Now only try on dresses with that cut.

    2.  I doubt you'll feel fat while trying on wedding dresses.  Wedding dresses are so pretty that they actually make you kind of blind to what YOU look like, instead just focusing on the dress.  Also, when I went shopping, all the samples were size 12.

    3.  Again, I don't think you're going to feel down while trying on wedding dresses.  If not, you have the ability to change your mood.  If it looks unflattering, take it off and move on.

    4.  Look for a lace-up back.  It gives your waist (and sometimes hips) plus or minus 2 inches.

    5.  In my experience, they loved everything.  My FMIL was a little more critical than my own mom, but they both were very complimentary.
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  • In Response to Dress Shopping Neurosis - Warning: 6 miles long:
    [QUOTE]Things About Dress Shopping That Are Stressing Me Out: - I have next to no ideas of what I want, with regard to style, etc. I flat out LOVED some stuff when we first got engaged but everything I bookmarked then looks stupid to me now. I have no ideas and no preferences going into it. Is that going to annoy the dress ladies?

    Depends on the lady.  A lot of salespeople loved that I was like, "You know what?  I have no clue.  You pick what you think would look good."  But some were annoyed that I wasn't more specific.

    - You know how most stores only carry sample sizes and if you're bigger than that, they kind of have to pin them on you? While I logically know I'm not a 6 or 8, after a series of dresses I am too fat to wear has been pinned on, I feel like I'll start to feel like butt. Does that happen?

    Keep in mind that these sizes are patently ridiculous.  I was lucky that I was almost a perfect sample size when dress shopping, and even THEN half of the dresses didn't zip past my hips. 

    - Also, you know how when you find something you like in a store and you try it on and it looks like STRAIGHT UP POO it kind of brings you down a little? I'm worried trying on a dress that is totally unflattering is going to make me feel ugly, which will put me in a bad mood and ruin the whole outing for me and my mom. Please tell me unflattering wedding dresses are totally different than unflattering jeans.

    Yes, because unflattering wedding dresses are hilarious.  Bring a camera.  I tried on some that were AWFUL, but it is like wearing a ridiculous costume instead of just some sad jeans that give you a muffin top.

    - I'm not at the weight I want to be for the wedding, but hey - life happens and I've got time. However, I also don't trust myself to order a dress smaller than I am in hopes I'll diet into it because, come on. No I won't. But I want to leave room for my good intentions. Are there certain dress features I should look for that will make it easier OR more difficult/expensive to take in later?

    Corset backs give you a lot of wiggle room size wise.  Literally and figuratively.  If you're anticipating any size changes at all, don't get a mermaid style dress.  I did and the last year of my life it's been a huge PITA to realize that every nook and cranny of my ass will be showing.  Also, lace can be harder to alter than smoother fabrics.

    - Last question. I am going to a couple of different stores, at least, and don't intend on taking an entourage, but will likely have two people with me at each one (you know, mom, sister, grandmother - I'm the first everything to get married). In your dress buying experience, do people you bring with you err on the side of being brutally honest, or fall more on the 'omg all wedding dresses are beautiful' on you side of things?

    I don't know.  I took 5 people the first time and they were all just shouting opinions and I stopped listening pretty quickly.

    I basically took the group dress shopping thing as a fun thing for them to do and less of a serious "let's actually buy a dress" thing.  After they were done shouting and I'd left them safely in Illinois, I went shopping on my own which was seriously incredible.  If you can get away with that...do it.

    Sorry for the ridiculously long post. I'm an extremely high strung person, and my mom tends to cater to my moods and whims and such. If I go into it all paranoid and nervous, she's going to tiptoe around me and no one will have ANY FUN. If you can't tell, I'm not really looking forward to dress shopping, but I hope with some questions answered I won't feel so "walking into the unknown." Thanks, pals.

    Bring something to drink.  It gets hot.  Wear Spanx.  It helps.  Schedule a lunch somewhere and have a drink.  Also helpful.  And bring a camera, because it will be funny and give you a good perspective on things the next day.
    Posted by temerityjane[/QUOTE]
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  • I think we all worried about these things when dress shopping. I think you should approach it like you would buying a dress for a formal dinner or something. Ask the salesperson to help you choose flattering styles, and go from there. You'll narrow down styles and then begin choosing dresses. I appreciated that my FSIL was honest yet very kind, and we went mostly for fun to just see what was out there. I ended up finding my dress that day (the first one I tried on, in fact).


    Hang in there! It's normal to be worried, but it will pass and you'll find a great dress.

  • Go to a smaller shop than DB and let the sales woman do her job.  She knows her stock and will be able to pull styles that will work for you.

    As for the later alterations, try to find a dress that doesn't have a lot of lace and or beading over the side seems.   I can look to see if I have a picture of the side of dress if you'd like.

    Remember to fit the largest part of your body.

    Dress shopping is not nearly as bad as jeans or bathing suits.
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  • Oh and dresses that are easily altered if you lose weight, probably a corset back with ties.  It could probably just be tied looser without even needing to be altered.  Regardless, definitely buy the dress in your size now, not your intended size then.
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  • I will say about DB that when I was there, while they may have a bigger range of sizes in stock, the girl did NOTHING to help me with the dresses.  And they did not have any kind of clips or anything.  The closest thing was like these things that looked like they went on hangers -- I can't even explain it.  So, the dresses just sat or hung on me, and I had no idea whether it was too big or small because she could not do anything to make it look nice.  I know a lot of girls have bought dresses from DB, and before I went shopping I had some favorites there, but my in-store experience was pretty terrible.  Conversely, at the small boutique where I ended up purchasing, the assistant had clips and accessories galore to help truly fit the dress to me, and she did so without me saying a word. 
  • In Response to Dress Shopping Neurosis - Warning: 6 miles long:
    [QUOTE] - I have next to no ideas of what I want, with regard to style, etc. I flat out LOVED some stuff when we first got engaged but everything I bookmarked then looks stupid to me now. I have no ideas and no preferences going into it. Is that going to annoy the dress ladies?

    It happens that you change your mind, and no, it won't annoy them, unless they're stupid.  Just be open to listening to their ideas and just kind of... throw caution to the wind a bit.Rather than knowing an exact dress you want, know what kind of style you're going for with your wedding, how you want to feel in it-- are you having a more casual or formal affair?  Do you want to feel like Little Bo Peep or Jessica Rabbit? See where I'm going with this?

    - You know how most stores only carry sample sizes and if you're bigger than that, they kind of have to pin them on you? While I logically know I'm not a 6 or 8, after a series of dresses I am too fat to wear has been pinned on, I feel like I'll start to feel like butt. Does that happen?

    I think it happens to everyone because clothes shopping is tough on your psyche.  Just remember to break up the day- keep it fun, and give yourself treats for KEEPING IT FUN.  Dont' freak out.

    - Also, you know how when you find something you like in a store and you try it on and it looks like STRAIGHT UP POO it kind of brings you down a little? I'm worried trying on a dress that is totally unflattering is going to make me feel ugly, which will put me in a bad mood and ruin the whole outing for me and my mom. Please tell me unflattering wedding dresses are totally different than unflattering jeans.

    Wedding dress ARE like jeans- they're not made for everyone.  BUT that is no reason to let it completely destroy you.  You HAVE to realize that or you will make the day no fun.  R.E.L.A.X.

     - I'm not at the weight I want to be for the wedding, but hey - life happens and I've got time. However, I also don't trust myself to order a dress smaller than I am in hopes I'll diet into it because, come on. No I won't. But I want to leave room for my good intentions. Are there certain dress features I should look for that will make it easier OR more difficult/expensive to take in later?

    It's more difficult to let out because there's only so much room.  Order at the size you are now, and then you can take it in later.  Could it get expensive?  Maybe.  That depends upon the seamstress, the beading, and details that are on the dress.  However, worry about that when you get there.  Just order at what you are now and don't think about later.

    - Last question. I am going to a couple of different stores, at least, and don't intend on taking an entourage, but will likely have two people with me at each one (you know, mom, sister, grandmother - I'm the first everything to get married). In your dress buying experience, do people you bring with you err on the side of being brutally honest, or fall more on the 'omg all wedding dresses are beautiful' on you side of things?

    Well, I took my older sister and my mom, but honestly, I knew what I wanted, I know what works and what doesn't, and I ended up buying a dress that they didn't like, but I loved.  You have to know for YOU that it works and be strong enough to deflect criticism and also to be able to cut through the BS.  I'd like to think you could handle some criticism, but I don't think you can.  Just ask them to be nice.  ALSO--LISTEN TO THE REP.  If you get a good vibe from her and she's not just trying to sell you a dress, she's going to be honest about what does and doesn't work for you.  I always was.  It is generally more important for them to make you feel happy and beautiful than to just sell you a dress that you might hate later on.

    Posted by temerityjane[/QUOTE]

    T, if you want, I'll do some searching for you to give you an idea of what could work for you if you tell me some of the things that I mentioned at the very top.
  • Oh WOW. I thought for a moment that you knew me! This is EXACTLY how I've felt recently. In my case, my loved ones (aside from FI) are brutally honest and I do appreciate that. Ultimately, though,  YOU make the choice on the dress.

    What I've been doing to de-stress is working out every morning. I put the pro in procrastination, so I can hardly believe how well I've stuck with the workouts.
    As for the size of the dress, I'd order something that fits you as you are right now. It is always easier to resize a gown later.

    Lastly, this is the perfect place to vent because the gals here WILL be honest. I already made some changes on my wedding planning based on their input.

    Best wishes! I really do understand your concerns, but trust me, the more serene you go into the situation, the easier it will pass ...  Laughing

    -T
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  • You guys are being totally helpful and I really appreciate your experience here.

    I'm not so much worried about not finding a dress, because of course I will - I'm more worried about having a miserable time trying to find one, and when I'm miserable, everyone around me gets to be miserable too. I can't help it, I'm infectious.

    I'm especially glad that so many of you think having no ideas will work in my favor. I just remember that for my prom, I had a deadset idea of what I wanted and none of it worked, while my mother brought me something completely unique (literally unique - there was only one of it on the whole east coast) and random and it looked amazing. So maybe I'll trust my mom to do some dress fishing as well.

    One other thing I THINK I have going for me is that I'm not really in search of "the one" and I'm not an endless shopper. I want to find something that will make me feel like I look pretty on my wedding day (everyone knows that when you feel like you look good, you have a better time), and that could be any number of dresses.

    One more question from you experienced types - Should I buy spanx or something beforehand to wear when I try them on?
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  • I didn't wear Spanx while trying on because I knew I wasn't going to wear them at the wedding. I wore bike shorts under the dress to prevent thigh rub and that's it. Wear what you think you'll wear at the wedding.
  • In Response to Re: Dress Shopping Neurosis - Warning: 6 miles long:
    [QUOTE]I will say about DB that when I was there, while they may have a bigger range of sizes in stock, the girl did NOTHING to help me with the dresses.  And they did not have any kind of clips or anything.  The closest thing was like these things that looked like they went on hangers -- I can't even explain it.  So, the dresses just sat or hung on me, and I had no idea whether it was too big or small because she could not do anything to make it look nice.  I know a lot of girls have bought dresses from DB, and before I went shopping I had some favorites there, but my in-store experience was pretty terrible.  Conversely, at the small boutique where I ended up purchasing, the assistant had clips and accessories galore to help truly fit the dress to me, and she did so without me saying a word. 
    Posted by kate51485[/QUOTE]

    As always with DB, that really depends on your specific store.  When I went, we had a saleswoman with us the entire time.  She clipped me into dresses, she helped me into some, she brought me dresses, and when I described my dream dress, she went and found one and brought it to me and that was the dress I ended up buying.
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  • Yes, absolutely buy Spanx.  The Target brand, Assets, works really well and is only $15.  Totally worth every penny. 

    Plus, they will be helping you in the dresses and it will keep some random saleslady from seeing your underpants.
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  • I'm torn on the spanx.  I can see it working, but my dress actually fit better without them.  They added just a bit too much thickness.

    In addition to "looking cute" that day, bring a pair of heels (if that's what you plan on wearing).  Dresses look a lot different with heels v. flip flops.
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  • I think you will have a good time.  Sometimes having a peanut gallery can help keep you going -- I know when I shop for real clothes by myself is when I get most discouraged.  When I was dress shopping, I tried one on that had sort of a brown crystal thing on it, and when I came out my cousin goes, "OMG what is that TURD SPOT on there?!?!!"  It made everyone laugh so hard.  I agree with Brie that going back by yourself can be helpful too if you need to just have some peace and quiet to think it over.   

    I'm excited to see what you find :)
  • I bought spanx and I ended up not wearing them.  Like AMrs, my dress just looked better without it.  I also ended up not even wearing my crinoline either. 
  • First, I'm a 16/18, and they had sample at Alfred Angelo that fit me. Actually, they were stretched out, so they were a little big. That felt REALLY good. I think David's Bridal would be similar.

    I agree with you about styles. I love nice flowy silk dresses now and think my dress looks kind of cheap (it's shiny satin!) but I'm sure once it is fitted and I wear it I will love it again. Don't worry about the most. perfect. dress. ever. When you go shopping for jeans, you get jeans that look good and fit well. And you don't worry if there's a BETTER pair of jeans somewhere that might be even more awesome. At least I don't.

    I only took my mom dress shopping. She can be really judgemental, but when it comes to clothes shopping... well, she's been shopping with me for 27 years and has made me clothes and stuff in the past, so I trust her judgement. If I hadn't found something that day, I would have taken 1 or 2 of my BMs on my next trip.

    The consultant I had at AA was awesome. She knew my size right away. I told her what I wanted and flipped through the catalogue picking out possible dresses. She brought 6 and I fell in love with the first one.

    I was AMAZED at how easy dress shopping was. I have heard stories about people who look for 3 months and go through 60 dresses, but just calm down and realize that is probably not the norm.
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  • edited January 2010
    Oh yeah, I considered going for a corset back due to the weight issue. But you can also have many dresses ordered with a corset, even if its not in the design, or altered when you get the dress.

    I didn't wear spanx. I wore full coverage grandma panties, but they had me in a crinoline most of the time anyway, so it didn't really matter. If the dress is the wrong size anyway, the spanx won't really help.

    Edit: I'm also considering not wearing my crinoline. We'll see how full my dress is when it is steamed. So don't let them pressure you into buying a crinoline or a bra or a veil that very day. If I end up getting cups sewn in the bra will have been a waste of money too. You also might be able to find a better dress deal online, though after checking House of Brides I realized their "discounted price" was the same as the store's regular price and buying at the store actually saved me $300.
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  • The very first time I went shopping, I just wandered into a really upscale shop with my mom and sister. The salesladies asked me my preferences, but basically just tried a bunch of different stuff on me. They pretty much knew they weren't going to sell me a dress that day, and they were ok with that. They were helping me figure out what I wanted, in the hopes I'd come back later and buy.

    I'll second what others said about DB: they are not my favorite shop ever, but they do have tons of styles in tons of sizes. If you need a confidence boost, you should probably try on some dresses there. In fact, maybe you should go there first to feel better about the "trying on" process and also narrow down what silhouettes, necklines, etc. you like best on you.

    Looking like straight up poo is ok. Don't get yourself down about it. We all look like fools at some point when trying on dresses. Just laugh about it, say, "what a fug dress!" and move on to the next one.

    Good for you for not ordering a size too small. A corset back can be your friend when you're worried about changing sizes. You might also want to avoid a ton of beading at the waist, particularly along the seams.

    I did all but one of my shopping trips alone, but my friends and family were pretty honest--though we also had very different tastes.

    And calm down: I know it's a stressful process, but it can be a lot of fun too. If you start getting burned out, take a break. In fact, if you're hitting multiple stores in a day, schedule in a nice long lunch break with your entourage so you can do something else for a while. I did this and it was a huge help. Take lots of pics and AW them for us!
  • Everyone has had really good advice so far.

    I agree that wedding dress shopping somehow seems less personal because you know that you're not going to wind up with THAT dress.  Sure, you can alter your regular clothes, but who really does that on a regular basis? 

    I tried on some dresses that were awful, but it was how the DRESS WAS BUILT, not you.  You can't get down because of some fabric.

    And I agree, I wasn't a "the one" dress and was happy with something that was flattering in my price point.  Good for you!
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