5 Wedding Dress Shopping Tips: By a Real Bride

Updated: Feb 8

If you're like me, you know what you want but don't know how to get there. But maybe you have no clue! Maybe your childhood dream wedding dress is not the one you want anymore. Here are some tips to find your wedding dress by myself, a real bride!

1.) Have an idea of what you want, but be open-minded.

Yes, that's actually me trying on dresses. No, this is not the type of dress I wanted before I went shopping. It's important to try on styles you may not see yourself in. If you bring in family or friends with, have them pick out a dress for you! You may be surprised what makes you look glowing.

The Pinterest page you envisioned may not be what you walk out with. Still, create your dream board so you have a general idea. Will you go for modern black wedding dresses? Or will you pick something classic and romanic? There are also beach wedding dresses and affordable wedding dresses. And you can't forget about long sleeve wedding dresses! Narrow down your infinite amount of options with a Pinterest board.

2.) Is your bridal party going to help you? Or stress you?

This is a special moment for you, but it can also be stressful. Plan ahead who you want to be there for you. They're supposed to support you, after all. Avoid bringing in a crowd. It can be hectic and there's a general rule of thumb: More people = More opinions.

A real-life example I had was when my party LOVED a dress on me, but I was totally not feeling it. When this happened, I actually ended up going back to Sean Philip Bridals with just two people and deciding from there. It's okay! Everyone still got the experience at the end of the day.

3.) Stick with in-person bridal shops.

Online wedding dress shopping is totally NOT recommended. Wedding dresses are not like your prom dresses. Each designer has a specific style with their signature and high quality materials. Online options will usually be a knock off version. You'll end up with something not wearable.

If you're skeptical about the prices of gowns, you shouldn't be. Bridal shops, such as Sean Philip Bridals, have discount racks. These are off-the-rack dresses you could take home that day! Some dresses even drop to under $500. You just have to visit your options or call your local bridal shop to see what they have available!

Also, pay attention to wedding stores' social media. Oftentimes there are discounts happening during certain months. For example, if a store is having 10% off dresses, that is a lot of money. Think about a standard $1500 dress. With 10% off, you're looking to still save $150 you could use for your honeymoon or a downpayment on the dress.

4.) Customized wedding dresses are the future!

Listen to your consultant when they say, "If you want to add sleeves, you can." They aren't lying! Designers, like Maggie Sottero, customize their dresses. For example, if you are on the short side and need a lot of the bottom cut off, you won't have to pay a ton in alterations. Instead, the company will alter it already for you for a small fee. You could save hundreds!

The dress color can also change. If you aren't a fan of mauve, chances are that your dress can come in ivory. Sleeves can change! If you prefer long sleeves, your dress may already come with that option. Even your level of sparkle can change in your dress. You can look at swatches in-store with your consultant to decide which type of fabric you want.

"With many options come great levels of stress."

While it's great to have options, unless you're a designer yourself, it can be difficult to see the full picture when you're clipped up with fabric swatches and sleeves. Stick to the basics, like altering the length of your dress, or maybe a color change. Going all in, while fun, can be stressful when you're laying in bed at night.

In my own case, I chose to add sleeves and get a different colored dress than the one in-store. And when it arrived, it was totally my dream dress!

5.) Take that Instagram picture when you're done!

I am TELLING you to take the picture! While you may be tired, hungry, and sweaty from trying on gowns, you still want to take a picture with the store's sign. Whether you decide to post it or keep it for memories, you'll be glad you did.

Get a picture with your party and a solo one. This is THE MOMENT you have been trying to achieve. Let your happiness show!


I hope this will help you on your wedding dress search. It can be stressful, but no matter what dress you end up with you'll be glowing and beautiful on your wedding day.


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