Simple Wedding Dress Guide

I honestly could do an entire separate blog about the wedding dress shopping experience. If you'd like one please let us know and subscribe to our blog page to stay updated on all new posts.

For now I'll give you a short and sweet version of my guide to shopping for the perfect dress.

wedding dress shopping.jpg

Let's start with some definitions of words you may hear during your appointment:

  • Bodice - top half of the dress
  • Blusher - second layer on veil that covers your face
  • Ruched - gathered material pinned in a way to make the dress appear more flattering
  • Off the Rack - going into a store and buying a dress and walking away with it
  • Special Order - ordering a dress in that could take upwards of a few months
  • Sheath - straight cut dress
  • Trumpet - slim fitting until the knees, then blows out
  • Mermaid - similar to trumpet, slim fitting until mid-thigh
  • A Line - naturally larger "bell" skirt
  • Ball Gown - deliberately larger skirt with many layers
  • Natural Waist - where your hands rest above your hips
  • Umpire Waist - just under the bust
  • Dropped Waist - hip bone or lower

Quick Guide to Dress Shopping

 Photo Credit -  Little Blue Lemon

Photo Credit - Little Blue Lemon

  1. Shop early! Wedding dresses take a long time to be made and ordered. There are several stores that offer off the rack purchases, but be prepared to do some cleaning.
  2. Do not bring a lot of people, leave the entourage at home. The max I would suggest is 3 guests. More then that, opinions get too muddled and the appointment gets too hectic. Most bridal boutiques are small, so they will not be able to accommodate large groups.
  3. Make sure to have your undergarments before you go dress shopping. This is super important because proper undergarments can change the way a dress looks. Even if you are a person who doesn't typically wear undergarments, trust me on your wedding day you want & need to wear something. The dresses are heavy and the scars will not be worth it. This includes bringing your shoes or an idea of the height of heel you'd like to wear.
  4. Have an idea about colours, not just for your own dress, but for your bridal party as well. Remember things need to look aesthetically pleasing in the pictures. There are also many different versions of "white" in bridal.
  5. Do not over shop. Do yourself a favour and have some form of an idea of what you'd like. If you've tired over 20+ dresses, it's time to go back to the drawing board. You may be stuck with a certain style in your head, but you need to try on something different. If you still cannot find what you're looking for and you have the money for it, there is always the option of getting dress made custom to your specifications.
  6. Once you've picked the dress, do not continue shopping. When you got proposed to did you continue going out to singles mixers? No (or at least I hope the answer is no!) So do not continue shopping after you've found the one.
  7. Be prepared to pay for the whole thing in one shot. Some stores allow you to pay for it in payments, others expect full payment upon selection.
  8. Alterations - this is where you take a dress and scale it to fit your body perfectly. This is what is going to make you stand out and look stunning on your wedding day.
  9. Don't question yourself if the first dress you try is the right one. You can try on a few more for good measure, but if it picks you don't fight it.
  10. Be open and honest with your consultant. They are there to help you, if you are withholding information or don't like what they're pulling, but don't say anything they won't know and the appointment will end up being wasted.

Ashlie Callender
Lead Event Coordinator