Content By Bernice Lam

Photography by Natalia Bostan

29-March-2022

Buying a bridal gown is a huge part of planning your wedding, and it may be one of your biggest expenses. Most brides make a party out of wedding gown shopping, inviting bridesmaids and family to come along as a support team. Shopping for your wedding dress can be a fun and memorable occasion that brings you closer to friends and family. Just be sure that you are not making one of these common mistakes.

Not having a clear budget. 

Wedding gowns can range in price from hundreds of dollars to tens of thousands. The fabric used, the style, the embellishments, and the designer all play a role in the cost of the dress. It is important that you assess how much you can spend on a dress and then stick to that budget.

Only try on dresses that are in your price range. Don't even look at anything else. If you fall in love with a dress that you cannot afford, it will only bring negativity to the shopping experience.

When you are considering how much you are willing to spend, keep in mind that almost any dress you choose will need alterations. Also think about additional items you will need to purchase including a veil, headpiece, shoes, and underwear that is appropriate for the dress. These are all additional expenses that you need to remember.  

Not setting boundaries with your guests. 

In order for dress shopping to go as smoothly as possible, you will need to set expectations for the people you bring along. Ask yourself if you truly want the opinions of your entourage or if you are planning on making the decision alone. Let them know just how opinionated you'd like them to be and make it clear that you are looking for their support, not necessarily their agreement on the dress you choose. This can be particularly difficult if you have someone in your group who is especially opinionated or likes to be the center of attention.

If someone other than you is paying for the dress, that person might demand to have a say in what you choose. You may want to have a discussion with that person before you go shopping to determine just how much control is expected.

Not keeping an open mind. 

Wedding dresses come in many different silhouettes and styles, and you cannot tell how you will look in something until you put it on. You may be surprised that a style you weren't considering is especially flattering. You also may change your mind about your favorite style once you try it. Be open to trying on different shapes and fabrics so you can find exactly what will work best for you.

Being too worried about someone else's opinion. 

Think about the taste and style of the people you are bringing shopping with you. Chances are that the other people in your group would choose different dresses for you than you would choose for yourself. It's natural to want to please everyone, but the most important person to please on this day is yourself.

It's fine to hear what others have to say about the dress you pick, but don't get overly concerned about someone else's opinion. You are the bride, and that means you are the one who has to be happy with your choice.

Not being comfortable with your body. 

If you go wedding dress shopping hating your body, you will not like how you look in anything. It's important that you are able to assess how you look in a dress without obsessing over any perceived flaws or problem areas. Get comfortable with your body and celebrate your own unique beauty. This will make shopping for a gown much more enjoyable and is more likely to lead to success.

Make shopping for your wedding dress a fantastic experience by setting yourself up for success. Avoid the mistakes listed above and be clear about your expectation. Be sure the people you bring with you are supportive and care most about what makes you happy. With these things in place, you are sure to have a wonderful time as you search for the perfect wedding gown.