The Do's and Don'ts Of Wedding Dress Shopping

Image of bride wearing wedding dress and holding a pair of shoes on her wedding day.

For some brides, planning a trip to the local bridal salon may be a bit overwhelming. Questions such as "Where do I begin?", "What should I look for?", or "Who and what should I bring with?" may pop up. Having years of consulting and personal shopping experience, Sue and Taylor are happy to offer several suggestions on what to do and what NOT to do when shopping for your dress!

WARNING: We've seen it all. Some of the following tips WILL be pretty blunt, and it's only because we believe we know what works best. These are certainly meant to help and not hinder you!

1. DO make an appointment ahead of time. Always. If you especially plan to visit salons on weekends, they will most likely be booked solid to accommodate as many customers as possible and may not accept walk-ins. If you're unsure about being able to keep an appointment, inquire about the salon's cancellation policy and do your best to give advance notice if you're unable to make it. A set appointment is still better than none!

2. If you do decide to take the chance to walk-in without an appointment, DON'T be surprised if the salon doesn't allow you to view their showroom or try anything on. Not only will they already be working on their own set schedules--they also want to ensure that all customers enjoy the same, full, positive experience and answer all questions!

3. DO complete a little research ahead of your appointment by brainstorming the styles or designers you want to try out. You can also call the salon to see if they carry a specific dress or have something similar to it. This may save you and your consultant a bit of time!

3. DON'T bring a large party with you. It's okay to have a few VIPs such as your mom, future mother-in-law, siblings, or whoever is paying for the dress, but you do NOT need to bring your whole bridal party, every aunt or grandparent, your dentist, etc. It makes the process of selecting and viewing dresses confusing and difficult, especially when there are so many differing opinions flying around. It's best to stick with a small group that know you and your style best.

4. DON'T bring children or food with you. We're being dead serious here. It's EXTREMELY inconsiderate to the salon if you're bringing in ANYTHING loud or messy. Eat a healthy meal ahead of time to give you the energy to properly move and think through your appointment, and leave the kids at home or with a babysitter. #sorrynotsorry

5. DO bring undergarments and a pair of shoes that closely match with what you may wear on your wedding day. It helps give you a better idea on how everything will look and fit!

6. DO keep in mind that most wedding dresses will run two sizes smaller than your actual size. So if you're typically a size 8, you will need try on dresses in a size 12. In addition, DO keep in mind that the final size of your dress choice will be based on your largest measurement. The dress can always be taken in rather than let out!

7. If you're new to trying on dresses, DO try on a variety of styles to weed out what you do and don't like. And you've probably heard this one before, but for real, most of the time, brides will end up going with something they didn't even think about! It's always been a delight to see the look of surprise on everyone's faces, and we hope that this fact alone makes the experience a fun one!

8. DON'T take pictures if the salon doesn't allow it. And please, don't be a bitch and try to weasel in a shot or two when you think your consultant isn't looking. There's usually a very good reason for no pictures, and it's one set by the salon owner, not your consultant. Just don't argue it.

9. DO stick to your budget, and do your best to not try any dresses outside of it. It may be tempting to slip on that gorgeous $10,000 gown, but ugh, it sucks when you fall in love and can't afford it. Make it very clear to your party and consultant the budget you are comfortable with so they know what to look for.

10. DO remember that at the end of the day, YOU have the final say on your wedding dress. There are two sub-tips to go along with this. First, DON'T feel pressured by your party or consultant to purchase something you don't love. Your situation may not be like the brides' on "Say Yes To The Dress," where they seem to find and agree to a dress right away. It's a big decision that costs a large amount of money, so logic--rather than emotion--is necessary. Second, DO stand your ground and let your party know that you love and are ready to purchase the dress of your choice. It is YOUR wedding, and you should be able to wear what you want and what makes you happy!

Image of bride putting on and lacing up her wedding dress on her wedding day. 

As a friendly reminder, you are more than welcome to send us any questions or comments or ask for more inspiration via email, FacebookTwitterInstagram, or Pinterest!

We also love seeing your finished projects, beauty tricks, and favorite outfits, as you inspire us too! Tag your pictures with @thechictechnique or #thechictechnique, and either email them to us at [email protected], or message us on FacebookTwitterInstagram, or Pinterest. We can't wait to see what you have been working on!


  1. As a far wedding planner I must day you have covered all the bases. Great article!

  2. Great article with good tips, thank you for sharing!

    With love & style,
    Mira from
    Empowering You through fashion, beauty and a heartfelt content 💖


Thank you for sharing your thoughts! We always love to hear from you!

Popular Posts