wedding planning: finding the dress


Sorry it’s been a while between wedding planning posts. As I’m sure all previous brides understand, things have gotten busy and time has gotten away from me. In this series, I’ve already covered setting a date, setting a budget, choosing a venue and today I’m talking you through finding the dress.

Often spoken about as the most important part of the wedding (which I hope is mostly said in jest as one would think that finding the right groom would be more important), there is a lot of pressure when it comes to searching for the perfect dress to wear on your wedding day. I had a decent experience wedding dress shopping and I ended up ordering the 10th dress I tried on. By the end of the day I was a bit overwhelmed but I think I did fairly well. I thought I would impart the wisdom I learnt from my experience as that’s probably more useful than hearing about me talking what I did (hint: try on a bunch of dresses).

Here are my tips for going wedding dress shopping:

  1. Wear nice white or skin coloured underwear and a strapless bra. You are going to be getting in and out of dresses in front of perfectly nice strangers who work at the bridal store, you don’t want to be wearing your daggies. I suggest a strapless bra even if you aren’t looking for a strapless dress. Even if you are going for one shouldered, straps or sleeves, you don’t want to see your bra. Trust me on this.
  2. Don’t take too many people with you. If you are anything like me, hearing too many opinions is simply overwhelming and I found the experience overwhelming enough as it is. I took my Dad and my sister. Once I had found the dress, I took my other two lovely bridesmaids along with me when I went to try it on again and then order it. That way, everyone was included in some way and I wasn’t left stressing.
  3. There are many shades of white, be prepared for this. I had heard that there are many different shades of white when it comes to wedding dresses, but I didn’t really understand until I was standing in the stores with a variety of white coloured dresses hanging on the racks lining the walls. Some whites look crisp and clean, others a bit more off-white. This can be a little worrying. I then realised that no matter what shade of white your dress is, it will look white on your wedding day as it won’t be worn alongside a million other white dresses. Also, if you want a coloured dress, go for it! It’s your wedding day.
  4. Be open minded. While there’s nothing wrong with having an idea of the kind of dress you are looking for, be open to trying on a dress you wouldn’t necessarily have thought of. Dresses look very different on than they do on the hanger (which can be both a good and a bad thing). While this isn’t true for all sales assistants, I would try on the dresses they recommend as they’ve done this long enough to know what looks good. But this brings us to my next point.
  5. Set a budget for how much you want to spend and don’t try on dresses more expensive than that. I mean it. You don’t want to try on that wedding dress that costs over $5,000 just for fun and then fall in love with it, knowing that you can’t afford it. I would go into wedding dress shopping with a clear budget in mind and be strict with yourself. Tell the sales assistant what your budget is and hopefully they won’t only bring you dresses under your budget. Also try and ask the price of all the dresses you want to try on BEFORE you try it on.
  6. Have fun. Chances are you’ll only be doing this once and despite the fact that it can be overwhelming and stressful when there are just so many options in terms of style, colour and fabric, trying on wedding dresses is fun so don’t let the stressful side of things ruin it for you.
  7. Take a bottle of water. I wish I had taken a bottle of water and some lollies with me. Why? Because it can get hot trying on many big dresses and you want to stay hydrated. The lollies might seem weird but sometimes, I just need a little bit of sugar to perk me up and no, I’m not diabetic.
  8. It’s okay if you don’t have ‘the moment’. You know the one I’m talking about, the one where you instantly know ‘this is the dress’. This doesn’t happen for everyone. I had tried on so many dresses which were beautiful but I didn’t have ‘the moment’ and I was starting to worry that it wouldn’t happen. I then tried on my dress (which incidentally isn’t the kind of style I assumed I would go with, though the select people who have seen the dress thought it was exactly my style) and I felt like a bride. I didn’t get teary and it wasn’t this all-knowing ‘this is it’, but I felt like a bride, I felt happy, I felt beautiful and I knew I wanted to wear this dress which was thankfully within my budget. I think the fact that it was the only dress I tried on that made Dad cry helped. But I’ve spoken to brides who never had this kind of moment and they were all happy with their choice of dress. As long as you are happy on your wedding day, you will look beautiful regardless of the dress.

I said it at the beginning but I’ll say it again. For me, the most important part of the wedding planning process is picking the right person to marry. While the dress was important to me, knowing that DG was the one I would be walking down the aisle to while wearing it was more important. Bu having said all of this, I absolutely adore my dress and I cannot wait to show you pictures!

How did you pick your wedding dress? Did you go to a bridal store, did you get it made or did you buy it online? What’s your advice to girls looking for the dress. 



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