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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 27
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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!

27 Comments

Latest activity by Stacey TC, yesterday at 23:25
  • Stacey TC
    Curious May 2022 Saskatchewan
    Stacey TC
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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鈥檙e in the right dress. 馃榿 And I would suggest taking both of your ideas- go to a salon that carries the designers you love (even if you don鈥檛 go with that designers dress it鈥檚 very likely they have the same style gowns that you鈥檇 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鈥檙e buying the most important dress of your life! 馃榿 good luck!
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  • Amanda
    Featured August 2021 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 fianc茅'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 October 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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  • T
    Newbie August 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
    Curious August 2022 Ontario
    Jenn
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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
    Shelly
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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
    Featured November 2020 British Columbia
    Christiana
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    If you haven鈥檛 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
    Featured 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鈥檙e really indecisive I think limiting the number of dresses is a good idea 馃檪
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  • Shelly
    Curious July 2022 British Columbia
    Shelly
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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
    Shelly
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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
    Shelly
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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
    Shelly
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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鈥檓 also really indecisive and was nervous I鈥檇 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鈥檚 social media pages. I emailed the salon about their price range and found one 1 dress I really liked on the salon鈥檚 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鈥檛 end up the one I got. Not sure if this is 鈥渢he feeling鈥 but I put one on and didn鈥檛 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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  • Christiana
    Featured November 2020 British Columbia
    Christiana
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    I used pinterest a lot to find styles I liked and used that going into my appointments. It also helped me figure out which designers I liked best. I was still open minded during the appointments and tried a variety of styles but I knew the overall vibe I was going for based on all of the dresses I had pinned. 12 dresses isn't really that many so definitely do some research online and go back again to try on some more. Eventually you'll get an idea of which style you like best and then you can narrow it down from there.

    Also keep in mind your venue and the overall feel of your wedding. That might help you make decisions about your dress. For example you probably wouldn't wear a ballgown in a more casual setting like beach or garden wedding.

    Also don't get discouraged if you don't get "the feeling". I personally think finding "the dress" isn't a real thing - not everybody gets "the feeling" and that's totally ok. There will probably be one or two dresses you find that are the frontrunners but at the end of the day it's just a dress and as long as you like it that's all that matters.

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  • Stephanie
    Frequent user February 2022 Ontario
    Stephanie
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    I went to 2 different places and probably tried on about 15 or more dresses. The first store i didn't get great vibes from the stylist. The second place I went they were AMAZING. If you are anywhere near the GTA i highly recommend Avenue 22.
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  • Amanda
    Featured August 2021 British Columbia
    Amanda
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    It's never too early to start looking for dresses!! My dress took 7 months for it to come in when I had purchased it in January 2019 for my August 2020 wedding and it came to the store at the end of July 2019 (I had changed the color of the dress from the one I had tried on in store. In store was Ivory and I chose Ivory/Light Gold and ordered it in my size)

    For myself, I looked online and some of the designers before I went to any of the bridal stores. I looked and looked to see what styles and fabrics I liked and didn't like. When I had gotten engaged back in 2017 about a week later (I was working at West Edmonton Mall at the time) I was walking past one of the bridal stores and saw this amazing dress in the window. I had said to myself that's the one!

    Fast forward a year later, my MOH and my mom went shopping for my dress. That same bridal store still had that dress in stock. I told myself not to try that one on until the end. I probably tried on 15 dresses as well as some dresses that I had previously said I didn't like because of the style (strapless and ballgowns) Even though all those other dresses looked great on, they didn't give me that feeling of "that's my dress". As soon as I put on the last dress (the one that I had seen since a year ago) that feeling came to me and I just knew it was the one!

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  • Jenn
    Curious August 2022 Ontario
    Jenn
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    Pintrest is your best friend. Create a pintrest board and save any and all dress that catch your eye (whether it is the embellishment, the way the back looks, how it hangs, neckline, etc.). If you notice they are mostly the same designer - great! Find a bridal salon that carries that designer. See a dress in particular that stands out more than the others? Even better, call the salon ahead of time and make sure they have that dress as a sample to try on - take it from me if there is one dress in particular that catches your eye, you won't be able to truly consider any other options.

    If there is no commonality between the images you are saving (Designer, style, etc.) that is also ok! Show your consultant your board and they will be able to see commonalities that you may have over looked (lace, material, neckline, etc.) and pull dresses based on your vision board.


    Make sure you share with them your budget.

    When I went looking (3 locations total and went back to the last salon 2x before saying "Yes" to the dress), I enjoyed all the dresses I tried on...but when I put on MY dress? It was just a different feeling, and the reaction I got from my best friend was also completely different.

    Don't be discouraged! Trust the consultant, trust your gut and it will all come together.


    One more piece of advice - if you don't feel like your consultant is listening to you, or you aren't "meshing" with them, try a different salon - I put a deposit down on a dress at the 2nd salon I went to (it was the dress I couldn't get out of my head - hence the advice above!! - but after we left, I reflected on how they treated my mom, and really handled us being there and it left a sour taste in my mouth...so went to a 3rd salon, I got along with the mom/daughter duo very well, and they treated my mom with such respect...and that is where I found MY dress, with no pressure). I realized that I was in love with the first dress, but not in love with how it looked on me or how I felt in it...When I fell for the dress I ended up going with, it was a completely different feeling



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  • Karina
    Beginner September 2021 Ontario
    Karina
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    I had a really hard time choosing between 2-3 dresses I found after going to at least 5 different salons. I had to really break down all pros and cons in order to choose lol. For me my priorities were:
    1) comfort. One of the dresses was a very fitted mermaid and even though it looked fantastic, I knew I'd be too self-conscious about my stomach area, and I'd rather feel my best on my wedding day. So it was easy to eliminate 1 out of 3.
    2) dress needs to feel special to me. I know it's rather vague, but I was debating between the 2, and one of them was the EXACT dress that I wanted even before I started trying anything on. You know, that type of dress that perfectly matches your Pinterest board. The problem was that the dress is pretty simple and reflects my normal everyday style, I could've worn it to a summer party if it wasn't white馃し馃徎鈥嶁檧锔 And even though it match my original vision perfectly, I realized that for my wedding day I wanted something more special and more...fancy? Something I wouldn't have worn anywhere other than my own wedding. Also, what helped me the most is realizing that no matter what I choose, it will look amazing. It's not like I'm choosing between a hideous dress and the best dress in the world and if I make the wrong choice, I'll end up with something bad. It will be great anyways!馃槈
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  • Hank
    Featured September 2021 Ontario
    Hank
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    Are you bringing anyone into the try-ons with you? Not to say you have to accept anyone's opinion, but maybe another pair of eyes can offer some feedback that can sway you towards a certain direction.

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