Planning your wedding dress shopping strategy and getting all stressed up with nowhere to go? It's time to take a step back and look at your priorities. We've compiled a few tips to take back the dress shopping experience and de-stress the whole damned thing. Go from stressed up to dressed up in an outfit about which you'll feel awesome. Here are some tips to de-stress wedding dress shopping.
Don't count on tears
If you're a watcher of those shows where the tears must flow before the dress is chosen, this can be a hard one to manage. Try to remember that you may not be driven to hysterics by your outfit and that's totally okay. You want to feel like yourself and confident. Oh, and most of all, comfortable. Don’t second-guess yourself once you've landed on a dress you like. Just move on to the next phase of planning.
Here's a snippet from a great post, There is no THE DRESS: getting over the fantasy, and accepting the awesome reality:
A wedding dress has somehow gone from being the nicest dress you already own, to being the single most important and meaningful piece of clothing you will ever wear. That's a lot of emotional baggage to wrap into one garment!
You'll get pulled in lots of directions trying on dresses and the pressure may get your head in the wrong place. Imagine dancing in your dress, sitting in your dress, and wearing it for lots of hours while keeping a smile on your mug. Make sure that comfort is top of mind.
Have (and stick to) a budget
Don't let family, friends, and especially salespeople push you into a budget with which you're not comfortable. Be firm in your budgetary needs and you'll feel a lot less stressed once you're looking at your receipt.
Give yourself as much time as you can
Just in case you decide to commission a custom dress, change your mind later in the game, or just don't want to feel guilty about taking your time making decisions, start shopping as early as you can. This is especially true if you are going with a more traditional bridal gown store. Aim to order your dress or outfit at least six months in advance. If you don't have this much time, that's cool too, just budget for some rush charges.
Don't limit yourself to specific wedding dress shops
We've partnered with some amazing non-wedding dress shops, Etsy sellers, custom designers, vintage and secondhand stores, and other non-bridal boutique venues to find dresses. Don't feel like a David's Bridal-type store is your only option. Plus, custom designers are often very offbeat-friendly!
Don’t invite too many people to your fittings, if you can avoid it
Reiterating the “pulled in many directions” narrative is applicable here. Having many opinions will just dilute your own, which is the one that really matters. Know what you want, do your research, and feel free to pull in a couple of trusted pals to help. Or don't! Shopping alone is allowed.
Don’t be afraid to ask questions at the fitting
I tend to become Miss Polite at stores and it hinders my ability to articulate my actual worries. Don't be like me. You're paying a lot for their time, so make sure you get all your questions answered from budget concerns, delivery information, and anything at all about the dress itself.
Don't worry if you find you're more drawn to something you didn't expect
Maybe you're more drawn to something offbeat and maybe you'll discover you're more traditional than you thought. Don't be married (haha) to your mind's eye of what you should look like.
Additionally, don't be pushed into dressing in a way that isn't you. If you'd rather rock a suit with a veil, that's what you need to do.