Going dress shopping is probably one of the best parts of wedding planning. You’ll get a chance to actually see yourself in your dress. Your dream dress! It can get super emotional, really fast. But it can also be fun and great opportunity to share a special moment with your closest girls.

At the same token, dress shopping can be hectic and quite stressful, if you let it. My philosophy is to limit stress as much as possible where you can. To do that, try and be prepared for the entire experience. Once you have your budget together and you know about how much you’d like to spend on your dress, it’s time to find a few bridal shops to visit. If you’re in Houston, check out some local bridal shops

Before Your Wedding Dress Appointment

Don’t take too many people with you. The entire experience is for you. At the end of the day this is your day and your dress. Of course, your friends and close family members would love to go with you so they can see how beautiful your dress will be, but you may want to limit the amount of people you bring with you. Remember it’ll be such a special day for everyone who attends and it’ll be even more special for those who get to see the dress for the first time. Let it be a surprise. This way you won’t have to deal with any stress when it comes to everyone else’s opinions while you’re trying on dresses. Your girls only want what’s best for you, but you may want 

Go with makeup on and your hair done. You’ll get a better idea of what you’ll look like on your big day, you’ll look great for some candid pictures. Not saying you have to hire an HMUA but try not to look like you just rolled out of bed. This way you’ll get a feel of what you’ll actual look like on your big day.

Carry some spanx or shapewear with you. If you plan to wear any on your wedding day, you might as well be prepared when trying on dresses. Just being prepared will eliminate those lumps and bumps that might otherwise make you overlook a really great dress.

Bring some heels. This way you’ll be able to see how well the dress fits with a little extra height, especially if you plan on wearing heels in your wedding day. The length of your dress is one of those details that you shouldn’t forget about. 

Wear an appropriate bra or bring an extra one. Some dresses look better with strapless bras some look better with a backless or sticky bra. Consider bringing a nude or flesh-toned bra. If you have any on hand, you’ll thank yourself later. Try to keep in mind the type of dress you’d love (sweetheart neckline, halter, off the shoulder, etc.), just bring something to go with that.

During Your Wedding Dress Fitting

Try moving around in it. See if you can dance in your dress. Make sure you are comfortable sitting in it. Remember you’ll need to be able to do all these things on your big day so it’s important that your dress can accommodate your natural movements 

Take a selfie! Or have someone take some photos of you in your favorite choices. This way you can look over your options in your free time. You’ll have a pretty good idea of how each dress will fit you (before alterations) and you can show your friends or family members to help you with your decision without all the pressure. 

Be mindful of necessary alterations. Whatever you do, don’t go dress shopping at the last minute, if you can help it. If your dress needs alterations the finished dress could take a month or more to complete. 

After Your Dress Consultation

Don’t be afraid to sleep on it. You don’t have to feel rushed to choose your dress. If you’ve made appointments elsewhere, still keep the appointments and try on more dresses. Even try in dresses you never thought you’d like. You may need to give it some time and think it over to make your decision. However, if you absolutely know that you’ve found THE ONE, go for it! If you know any other newlyweds, ask them for their input too. Everyone’s experience isn’t going to be the same but it’s good to have some idea of what to expect.

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