Wedding dress shopping may be one of the most exciting parts about planning your wedding- dreaming of the moment you say yes to the dress. Imagine it now- wearing your picture-perfect wedding dress on the pedestal in front of the tri-fold mirror. You, your mom, and girlfriends all in tears because as soon as you put the dress on, you’re instantly the epitome of modern-day Princess Diana. But before we get into that, let’s rewind a bit. Back to when you and your partner shared the news with your loved ones. Here is a list of 25 tips and things to think about before and during wedding dress shopping.

1. Set a Budget

A budget is obviously super important to any part of planning, unless you won the lottery and a budget isn’t even in your wedding vocabulary. You want to take into account the accessories, alterations, veil, and shoes too. Ideally when you’re shopping, you want to stay under budget on the dress so you can use the remaining funds for these other things.

2. Determine Your Wedding Theme

So you’ve set a date for your wedding and put down a deposit on your venue. This sets the tone for your dress code because you don’t want your full-skirt tulle ballgown snagging on tree branches at your whimsical forest wedding. The climate, comfort, and you may overlook this, but the type of aisle that you walk down will be something to think about as well.

3. Know What Body Type You Are

Certain dresses can flatter certain body types, but the wrong one can accentuate unflattering parts too. Use the diagram below to figure out what body type you are. You don’t have to go by it, but it does show what silhouette’s look best for it.

Resource: Brides

4. Research Dress Silhouettes

This goes hand in hand with #3. You can start online shopping to find what style of dress you like, what fabrics you want to wear, as well as embellishments. Do your research before making your appointment so you aren’t wasting time trying on a million dresses. You can search certain Jasmine styles and silhouettes on our website.

5. Figure Out What You Like

Use social media to see your favorite dresses on #RealJasmineBrides. You can see the dress with the complete look on our Instagram, the way it drapes on the body, and how well it photographs. Screenshot and save them- this will be so helpful during your dress appointments and accessory shopping. You can also check out your local retailer’s Instagram/website to find certain styles.

6. Call Boutiques to Inquire about Your Favorite Styles

Now that you have your favorite silhouettes and styles, give your local Jasmine retailer a call to see if they have dresses that fit the bill. Locate an Authorized Jasmine Retailer here.

7. Keep an Open Mind

If you have your heart set on a dress before you even try it on, don’t set your expectations so high. You don’t want to get discouraged and upset if it ends up not looking good on you. Bridal consultant, Alex, from Coni & Franc Bridal Shop, recalls an experience with real Jasmine Bride, Desiree, “I remember helping this beautiful bride! When she came in she swore she didn’t want a ball gown, then put this dress on and cried lol. One of my favorite brides I ever worked with!” Don’t be afraid to go out of your comfort zone- this is a once in a lifetime moment you’re spending with your partner, make it count!

8. Make Your Appointments Early

Set up your appointments so that you have plenty of time to do your research and know what you like beforehand. It’s best to do your homework before you get to class. You don’t want to show up to your appointment unprepared and possibly wasting an entire day trying on dresses without any luck. This will also give you time to get your accessories and those that will accompany you together.

9. Plan All Appointments in One Day

Some may easily overlook this as it might not seem like a big a deal, but you have to keep in mind that fashion and style is constantly changing. You don’t want to make an appointment for one store and put a deposit on your dress. Then a month later, shop again only to find that silhouettes and colorways have changed, but your deposit can’t be refunded.

10. Shop During the Week

It’s obvious that Saturday would be the most ideal day to look for a dress, but it actually is one of the worst times to shop. With so many brides going on this day, it will be busy and your consultant may not give you her full attention with everything that is going on at the boutique. Weekdays are slower and therefore less stressful so that you can shop for your wedding dress.

11. Invite Your Bride Squad

This is important! Remember to bring those whose opinions you value and trust. Because this is already a bit of a stressful event for you, you wouldn’t want that friend who has an opinion on everything there. This could just lead to not making up your mind for yourself. Bring friends and family who you’d want to share this special moment with and will give you their honest opinion without the extra unnecessary stuff. Make a whole day out of it! Treat them to lunch to show your appreciation through the wedding planning process.

12. Bring Undergarments, Shoes + Accessories

Don’t fret if you don’t have exactly what you’ll wear on your wedding day! Just make sure you bring these items so that you can get an idea how everything fits. Your heels also help the seamstress determine how much length to take off if it’s too long. If you have shapewear, plan to wear it when you go wedding dress shopping so that you can feel how the dress conforms to your body when it is tailored for you.

13. Wear Minimal Make Up

You don’t want to show up to your dress appointment with a full face of make up. Running the risk of getting make up on these beautiful, expensive dresses is not worth it. You will be stepping in and out of the dress, so it will be hard to not let it touch your face. Wearing some make up is perfectly ok- it helps visualize your day-of look. But keep the make up to a minimum. It also may not look right with certain dresses either.

14. Don’t Try a Dress Out of Your Budget

This is a big NO NO. I know it might be hard to resist trying on the most expensive dress in the boutique. To be honest, this just sets you up for disappointment. Of course the expensive dress looks fabulous on you and makes you feel like a million bucks. But once you do try something in your actual budget, nothing will ever compare. Then you will never find a dress unless you get another job to help fund your wedding dress. Stick to your budget.

15. Keep Travel Arrangements in Mind

Underrated wedding dress shopping tip: If you have a destination wedding, somewhere that requires you to take a plane or even drive a long distance, you’ll want to take this into account. If this is the case, a big ruffled ball gown probably isn’t the most ideal silhouette to choose. Nothing is worse than unpacking your wedding dress from its crumpled luggage.

16. Buy a Dress That Fits Now

Be realistic. Crash diets don’t work and you can’t expect to drop three dress sizes like that. The best you can do is stay on track with your eating habits and there won’t be any mishaps when it’s time for your final fitting. Remember, tt is easier to take in a wedding dress than it is to take out. Order a dress in the size that you are now- avoiding sizing issues is the last thing you want when you pick up your dress.

17. Read the Fine Print

Like anything with fine print, you should read it. Maybe most of us don’t (guilty…), but when you’re putting a hefty deposit down on a dress you are going to wear once, it’s essential to read the contract. Does your purchase come with alterations? Is there a payment plan? Is the deposit transferable if you want a different dress? Refunds? All of these are important so that you understand the guidelines of purchasing your dress.

18. Take Pictures

Taking pictures will be so handy when you’re trying on dresses. You’ll want to see how the wedding dress looks on you and obviously see how it photographs with you in it. You can also use these photos to help you plan other details of your wedding like accessories and shoes, and during your hair and make up trial. Also, if you aren’t set on a dress, you can look back at your album of dresses and visualize your day-of wedding look.

19. Don’t Be Afraid to Say Yes to the First Dress You Love

It’s ok to fall in love with the first dress you try on. If you’re constantly comparing all of the dresses you try on to the first one, it’s just a sign you have found the one.

20. Focus on How YOU Feel in the Dress

Just because the price tag is expensive, it may not look that expensive. Instead, channel your decision based on how the dress makes you feel while wearing it. Do you feel like a princess? Beautiful? Amazing? Will your spouse cry when he/she sees you at the head of the aisle? 😉 That’s great! If not, then it probably isn’t the one.

21. Let Salon Make Recommendations

Your bridal consultant is mostly likely experienced and knows what she or he is doing. Listen to their suggestions to silhouettes that look best on you or offering to pick out a belt to go with the dress you chose. You obviously don’t have to say yes to things they suggest, but it could be a possibility you wouldn’t even have thought of.

22. Be Vocal

If you don’t like something, say so! Jasmine dresses can be customized to your liking, so if there’s something you want to add or remove, just let your consultant know. Don’t be afraid to ask if it’s possible to change something it can most likely be altered. We offer beading, adding/removing sleeves, changing altering necklines, and more.

23. Don’t Take it as a Sign if You Don’t Cry

Like most things you see on TV, they aren’t always real. If you don’t cry when you have found your dream dress, that is completely ok! Just as long as it makes you feel special and beautiful, you will know. Tears aren’t always the sign of finding the one.

24. Trust Your Instincts

This goes with the previous tip. Don’t let others tell you that it isn’t the one. Remember, this is YOUR wedding day, YOUR dress. Trust how you feel in the dress and it will be the one you were meant to wear. This is also a reason why you should only bring friends and family that you trust.

25. Stay True to Yourself

This is ultimately your decision. You shouldn’t have to please others by sacrificing your style and taste. Your wedding dress is something that you should feel extraordinary and stunning. And your wedding day is a day you will remember forever, it will be your favorite day. Let your wedding dress help you never forget how you felt. Let it be a reflection of the best you.

We hope that this helps make your wedding dress shopping easier and stress- free. You will certainly shine as a #RealJasmineBride!