So, you’ve got the ring ” congrats!

What’s next? The dress, obviously!

Shopping for your wedding dress is one of the most exciting parts of the entire planning process. It’s usually one of the first steps, and a big one for the bride!

You might be surprised to learn that there is actually some strategy behind choosing the perfect wedding dress. Knowing what to consider when shopping makes it easier for the bride to find the dress of her dreams.

Don’t let the word strategy scare you. This isn’t math, we promise! In this case, it’s a simple list of things to consider while dress shopping. This quick list helps brides navigate the shopping process, ensuring they pick the dress that was made for them.

Brides: here are five things to consider when shopping for your dream wedding dress.

  1. Budget

    Before you dive deep into the shopping process, you need to decide what your budget is. There’s nothing worse than finding your dream dress and learning that it’s WAY over your price tag. Having a budget helps you narrow the search and keep your eyes on the options that are within your budget. What can you afford? Are you comfortable making monthly payments, or do you want to pay all up front? Consultants at The Dress Shop will work with you and your budget, finding the most perfect dress for you.

    Also, keep in mind that there are extra costs beyond just the wedding dress itself. You need to factor in costs for alterations and taxes. Also, don’t forget the cost of the the accessories that are part of your whole outfit and look, like veils, shoes, jewelry and garters.

  1. Timeframe

    You don’t want to be rushed when choosing your dream dress, so don’t procrastinate! Instead, follow a realistic timeline. As a general rule, you should make an appointment to start trying on dresses about 10 to 12 months before your big day. That may sound extreme, but it can take anywhere from six to eight months for your dress to come in to the salon after you order it.

    Don’t forget to leave time for alterations. Most brides have two to three fittings to make their dress absolutely perfect ” one around three months out, another around six months out, and the last one about two weeks out. Most of the biggest changes are made during the first fitting, so the last few are for more minor revisions ” like smoothing out the hemline. The Dress Shop has a wonderful team of seamstresses who are dedicated to tailoring your dress to you, ensuring the perfect fit for when you walk down the aisle.


  1. Vision

    What kind of dress do you picture yourself in? Is there a certain style you have in mind? It’s a good idea to make a lookbook to gather pictures of all the dress styles you like. This way, you can present the lookbook to your dress consultant and they can bring those images to life with a variety of dress choices. 

    As you sift through your options, keep an open mind to different silhouettes and fabrics. What you love on Pinterest and in your lookbook may not be your most flattering look. Try different shapes, materials and designs, because what you thought would be your last choice may be just the dress for you!

    Another thing to think about is how it will look from every single angle ” afterall, you will probably be photographed from every angle. This is why bridal salons have big mirrors! Use them to your advantage. You could even ask your consultant or someone from your posse to take pictures so you can see what it looks like through the lens of a camera.

  2. Accessories

    We already noted that the cost of these things should be factored into your budget, but we need to talk about how they factor into the type of dress you choose. Things like shoes, veils and jewelry complete your entire wedding look, so you want to make sure they all match the look and style of your dress. Are you wearing vibrant shoes or a special piece of jewelry? Make sure it goes with your gown!

  1. Fit and Comfort
    Albeit last on the list, the fit and comfort of your dress are arguably the most important details. You’ll be wearing your dress all day and all night, and you will be doing all sorts of moving ” walking, sitting, standing and dancing. Don’t pick something that feels constricting or unflattering. This is why you have those super important consultation and alteration sessions!

Brides, the most important thing to remember is that this is about choosing your dream dress. Don’t let your dress shopping posse influence your decision too much. Start the process early, take your time and keep an open mind. As you shop, use this list to help guide you through the process. Trust us: when you find the perfect dress, you’ll know!

Visit us at The Dress Shop

For all your wedding day attire. From your dress and shoes to your undergarments and accessories. We offer a stunning selection of wedding dresses and more, made by the biggest names in the industry. Contact us today to reserve your appointment at (517) 546-3600.