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Shelly
Curious July 2022 British Columbia

Advice for wedding dress shopping

Shelly, on April 5, 2021 at 00:18 Posted in Wedding fashion 0 38
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Hi everyone, I've started looking for wedding dresses (tried on ~12 so far) and I'm feeling pretty overwhelmed. There are just so many dresses to choose from and everything looks fine. I've only been to 2 shops so far but I'm wondering how everyone else went about looking for "the one"? I have some ideas of what I want in a dress (e.g. no long sleeves, preferably some design/embellishment on top and plain below etc.) but when I actually went to try on dresses I thought they were all nice but I didn't love any of them. My original plan was to try on different silhouettes and find the one I like most but again I ended up liking all of them... although for practicality reasons, I'm ruling out ballgowns and mermaids. How did you guys go about looking for dresses? Is it better to look at the individual bridal salon websites and find dresses you like and then going in with a list of dresses to try on? Or is it better to just let the consultants take the wheel? My wedding isn't until July 2022 but I'm super indecisive hence starting the hunt early!

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Latest activity by Shelly, on April 27, 2021 at 16:05
  • Shelly
    Curious July 2022 British Columbia
    Shelly ·
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    My fiancé also has a WW account so I don't want to post a photo just in case he sees it (even though he never comes on here lol)! BUT if you want to look it up it's the Lottie v2 dress from Made with Love! Smiley heart

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  • Jennifer
    Frequent user August 2021 Ontario
    Jennifer ·
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    Congratulations!!! Woohoo!! We’d love to see it if you’re opening to sharing! 🥰
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  • Christiana
    Super November 2020 British Columbia
    Christiana ·
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    Yay! Congrats on finding your dress!

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  • Shelly
    Curious July 2022 British Columbia
    Shelly ·
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    Update: Thanks everyone for all your comments and advice! I appreciate all of you wonderful people! Smiley heart I ended up finding THE dress! Smiley love Turns out for me (given I'm so indecisive), it was very helpful to use the first 2-3 shops to explore different styles and find ones that I gravitate towards. Then from there, every shop I went to, I went straight for the dresses that fall in line with the style I'm looking for. I ended up going to 7 shops and found my dress at the 7th shop. Even though this is probably more shops than most people recommend, it really worked for me since I was able to choose a "top 1" dress from every shop I went to and then further narrowed down what exactly I didn't love about each dress. So then with every shop I went to, I narrowed down the specifics more and more. I.e. found a dress style that I love but didn't love the neckline. Then found the right style and neckline on the next dress but didn't love the fabric. Then on the next dress found the right style, neckline and fabric but didn't love the back of the dress. Then on the next dress found all 4 things I wanted and bought it!

    One thing I learned from all this is everyone's experience is different so it definitely helps to go for a process you know works from past shopping experiences. For me, it was easier to find dresses that I wanted to try on at each store myself, and then have the consultant maybe give me 1 or 2 suggestions rather than leaving the suggestions entirely up to the consultant.

    Thanks everyone, I'm super excited to wear the dress!!

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  • Jennifer
    Frequent user August 2021 Ontario
    Jennifer ·
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    I would say if you’re indecisive, I would limit the amount of friends & family you bring. They may know you well but also have very strong opinions which may not feel right to you. I find it very hard to disappoint my loved ones.


    I’m a very emotional person and I didn’t tear up or anything when I found “the one”. I felt really good and myself in it which is why I chose it. Also for practical reasons, it was half the price of my original dream dress I found online.
    For me, I never “dreamed of my wedding” my whole life. I think the brides who tear-up tend to have some strong vision for a very long time of their day. It also may be that the dress is not be the most important part of your wedding. Some brides prefer to focus on the marriage more than the day and I think that’s beautiful!
    I’ve had a little remorse about deciding too quickly so I’d say find a consultant that seems to make good selections for you and try to only look at 5-10 more.
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  • Stacey Tc
    Devoted August 2022 Saskatchewan
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    Thanks 😊
    I'm hoping the return process will be smooth once I get to that point 🤞🏻
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  • Shelly
    Curious July 2022 British Columbia
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    That's a great idea! I've heard a couple other people on this site talk about JJ's House but I haven't looked them up myself. I know what you mean about video chat though- even though you get to see the dress it's not the same as the real thing! Good luck finding your dress! Smiley love

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  • Shelly
    Curious July 2022 British Columbia
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    I'm currently obsessed with Eva Lendel's "Less is More" collection (the only dresses I've actually seriously loved). Problem is, the closest bridal shop that carries this designer is in Seattle. Smiley cry I've been looking for other designers that do similar styles and so far I did find one at a boutique store near me, although it's not quite as nice as the actual Eva Lendel ones. I must say I am less overwhelmed now though! At least I know there are dresses I love, I just haven't tried them on yet! Smiley xd

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  • Shelly
    Curious July 2022 British Columbia
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    Thanks for your thoughts Samin! I think you're right. Perhaps there isn't a single perfect dress, just dresses that look beautiful and you can imagine yourself getting married in. I think I watched too many shows like "say yes to the dress" haha! I was thinking you have to cry or have some very explicit emotions for you to know you've found the right dress. Since I started this post, I went to 2 more bridal stores and was able to narrow down my vision a bit more (not necessarily because I like a certain style more but I just had to be practical about it re: style of the wedding + season of the wedding etc). I haven't found a dress that I absolutely love yet but I do have 2 dresses I can imagine myself getting married in. So if I don't find anything I like more I'll try those 2 dresses on again and make a decision. Smiley smile

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  • Shelly
    Curious July 2022 British Columbia
    Shelly ·
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    Wow, they decided only after 3-4 dresses! They must have known exactly what they wanted! (or at least had a very clear vision). I'm indecisive like you and my main issue is I don't have a particular vision of what I imagine my wedding dress to be. Both my ceremony and reception will be outside (same location) on a winery overlooking a cliff. So I'm thinking flowy...lol but that's about all the ideas I have! Problem is, there are so many flowy dresses to choose from (not to mention most bridal dresses are flowy anyway). I think I may just have to decide on a few different styles that interest me most and go down those avenues. Otherwise I'll be trying on dresses forever Smiley xd

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  • Shelly
    Curious July 2022 British Columbia
    Shelly ·
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    Haha! Funny how that seems to happen. You think you want one thing then it ends up being another! I had a bit more success with the bridal shop I went to today. I was able to narrow down what I wanted more and tried on dresses that the consultant pulled, which I thought were ugly initially, but when I put them on they were actually nice. Although I didn't love any of them. I've got more appointments booked this week and next week and will have some of my bridesmaids with me so their opinions will definitely help. Smiley smile

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  • Stacey Tc
    Devoted August 2022 Saskatchewan
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    I'm thinking of ordering through JJ's House they have a virtual showroom where you can invite people and they can comment. I already went to two places in person (one pre-pandemic) and all the stores in my city are hard for my scooter-bound mother to get around, either stairs or not enough space.

    I have 11 in there and then am thinking of ordering the top 2-3 to have a home try on party, just me, her and MOH, so I can have my mother involved without video chat.

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  • Leah
    Curious April 2022 Ontario
    Leah ·
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    Hey Shelly! I felt the same way when I began the hunt. I basically was inspired by a coworkers wedding dress, found out where she got her dress from and scoped out the bridal salon. Ended up choosing a dress from them that checked every box for me. All I can say is you will know when you’re in the right dress. 😁 And I would suggest taking both of your ideas- go to a salon that carries the designers you love (even if you don’t go with that designers dress it’s very likely they have the same style gowns that you’d be looking for) AND let the consultants do their jobs. They honestly have such an excellent eye. I can say also that out of all my friends and myself included, We all bought a dress that a consultant recommended We try on. Most of all- enjoy the process! It should be fun- you’re buying the most important dress of your life! 😁 good luck!
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  • Amanda
    Featured August 2022 British Columbia
    Amanda ·
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    Your dress will come to you eventually! You might have to try on a few but you will find your one! Smiley heart

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  • S
    Newbie September 2022 British Columbia
    Samin ·
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    Hehe can't agree more to overwhelming. Had exacly the same thoughts while trying on. I liked almost everything I put on in the style I had in mind but could also name little things I would change in each. After the second store and 30+ dresses I accepted there is no SINGLE PERFECT dress and I didn't want to go crazy with options given that decision making is not my strongest suit. I could easily imagine getting married in each one of them so I picked the dress I felt the most comfortable and like myself in (not comparing to someone on the bridal magazines). Light to allows for lots of partying while being elegant enough plus matching the style of the wedding we plan to have (intimate and outdoor). Keeping your fiancé's general taste in mind my also be a cute help! Mine is definitely on the simpler side of fanciness. So felt like the right decision. And remember there is no wrong decision. You'll love YOUR dress on YOUR BIG day no matter what and you won't look back at different options you tried on (delete other pictures after you buy haha)
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  • Anne-Marie
    Curious August 2022 Ontario
    Anne-Marie ·
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    It's good you're starting early so you have lots of time!

    I think it is helpful you narrowed down your options and no which dresses are a definite no. Honestly, its a big decision so I don't think its bad to make sure you absolutely love the dress you're going to pick. I think its good to figure out which styles look good on your body shape and then find some Inspo on Pinterest and save some dresses to show the consultants.

    My mom and my sister both chose their wedding dress at the first store they went to. They each only tried on like 3-4 dresses! I am much more indecisive and it makes me nervous for picking my dress because I know I will probably want multiple stores and to try on a bunch of different dresses!

    Good luck!

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  • Tracey
    Newbie September 2021 Ontario
    Tracey ·
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    Good luck with your shopping. It certainly can be overwhelming. This is my second wedding so I didn't want to spend a fortune on this dress. I went to David's bridal. I didn't want lace or mermaid but its exactly what I ended up with. Took 3 great and honest friends.
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  • Shelly
    Curious July 2022 British Columbia
    Shelly ·
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    Great idea- haha who knew dress shopping would be so complicated!

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  • Jenn
    Frequent user August 2023 Ontario
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    Happy to help....and it sounds really odd, but if all the dresses are starting to look the same to you, you may suggest to your consultant that you need a "Palette cleanser" dress - something to try on that, in your mind, is hideous, so that it is completely out of left field - it may also help you narrow down what you like

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  • Shelly
    Curious July 2022 British Columbia
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    Ooh awesome! I've got an appointment at Bridal Gallery next week actually Smiley smile I heard good things about them so I'm excited to see what it's like!

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  • Christiana
    Super November 2020 British Columbia
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    If you haven’t already been to the bridal gallery I had Ariel and she was great. We were able to narrow down the style I wanted in about 30 minutes and she seemed very knowledgeable.
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  • Christiana
    Super November 2020 British Columbia
    Christiana ·
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    Yeah I think I tried on at least 40 dresses over 3 appointments. But I also had a really easy time saying no to 95% of them. There were only ever really 2 or 3 contenders for me. If you’re really indecisive I think limiting the number of dresses is a good idea 🙂
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  • Shelly
    Curious July 2022 British Columbia
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    Thanks for the encouragement, girl! Great point, I will look at more reviews! Smiley love

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  • Shelly
    Curious July 2022 British Columbia
    Shelly ·
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    Hi Kailey, yes that helps! I think just hearing other people's experience makes me feel better about this whole thing. I do feel overwhelmed but at least I'm not worried I'll never find "the one". I'll keep looking and hopefully find one that I wanna wear home haha! Smiley smile

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  • Stephanie
    Frequent user February 2022 Ontario
    Stephanie ·
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    Look up reviews on the certain shops. More specifically the consultants that have repeat good reviews. And dont be affraid to ask for a certain consultant. Its a big purchase. You deserve the best.
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  • Shelly
    Curious July 2022 British Columbia
    Shelly ·
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    That's a great point Christiana, thanks! I think you're right re: finding a type of "feel" you want the dress to have. Even though I'm feeling overwhelmed with the whole dress shopping experience, at least I know what I don't want (i.e. nothing too big or heavy, likely more a casual boho vibe). It's also great to hear 12 dresses isn't a lot. Most of my friends who are already married have said they tried on about 10 dresses before they found "the one" so I was starting to panic. Glad that the girls on here have different stories!

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  • Shelly
    Curious July 2022 British Columbia
    Shelly ·
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    I wish I'm near GTA! I've heard of some awesome shops there. But I'm in Vancouver BC. Ironically, I actually live by the "wedding strip" in New Westminster so there are tons of shops here. I've made appointments at every one basically lol. The 2 shops I've been to so far both had awesome consultants that were really nice and down to earth, although maybe not the most knowledgeable in terms of their stock. I think they both happened to be new or in training (I wonder if it's because they knew I'm new to dress shopping and my wedding is not until 2022 that they give me newer consultants?). Either way, I'm hopeful that my upcoming appointments will be more conclusive, at least being able to narrow down the silhouette or the types of dresses I want. Smiley smile

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  • Shelly
    Curious July 2022 British Columbia
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    Aww that's such a cute story, Amanda! It's so great to hear how everyone found their dress. I really hope I get that gut feeling too at some point. I suppose I've only been to 2 stores and it sounds like everyone tried on more dresses before finding the one, so I definitely feel better about it all! Although one common factor here is everyone has found a dress that caught their eye somehow. I'm hoping that happens for me soon too. I'll keep browsing on pinterest haha!

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  • Shelly
    Curious July 2022 British Columbia
    Shelly ·
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    Thanks Jenn for the advice, this is definitely a lot of food for thought! It's encouraging to hear your journey to finding "the one". I guess my main worry is that I liked all the dresses I tried on but I just didn't love any of them. And even when I looked on pinterest I've liked the dresses I'm looking at but didn't LOVE any of them. And of course the more you look, the more the dresses start to look the same. There isn't anything that's catching my eye per se, but I have noticed I'm liking Galia Lahav dresses more- but they are hella expensive (at least $8k) so definitely out of my budget. I'm trying to figure out what I like about the Galia Lahav dresses so I can maybe find these things on a not so expensive dress but so far I can't see a specific thing I like about the dresses, it's just they look so different from other wedding dresses I've seen and a bit of a "couture" feel to them. I guess I'll show these dresses to my next bridal consultant and see what he/she can suggest!

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  • Shelly
    Curious July 2022 British Columbia
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    That's great advice Karina! I was thinking about making a priority list as well since I had zero clue what I wanted and I'm no closer to narrowing down the type of dress I want after 2 shops. I think for me comfort is also a big thing. Plus it's a summer wedding so I don't want anything that will be too hot and heavy. I feel the same about mermaids re: they restrict your movement so probably not great for my type of wedding or personality (I will likely be dancing up a storm haha). I'll make a priority list too and then narrow down dresses from there. Thanks!!!

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  • Shelly
    Curious July 2022 British Columbia
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    The first shop I went to I went by myself because I wanted to just see what I liked before involving other people (I never really liked shopping with other people so wanted the first experience to be just myself). But my second shop I went with my mom who is so supportive of everything I try on that her opinion is basically non existent lol. I've got more appointments lined up so will bring my bridesmaids to those ones and try to narrow down at least a silhouette or a type of look I want to go for.

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  • Kailey
    Newbie May 2021 Ontario
    Kailey ·
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    I’m also really indecisive and was nervous I’d like everything or nothing. My mum was shocked I picked one on the first time we went lol!


    I found a small bridal salon where I live and looked at the salon’s social media pages. I emailed the salon about their price range and found one 1 dress I really liked on the salon’s social media. When I went to the salon I told the owner my budget, the style I wanted and the dress I liked. She pulled dressed in my style and budget plus one that was a different style. The one I saw on the social media didn’t end up the one I got. Not sure if this is “the feeling” but I put one on and didn’t want to take it off. I figured not wanting to take it off was a good sign it was for me. Hope that helps Smiley smile

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