In the Victorian days, shopping was a luxurious experience. Women visited couturiers who custom-designed and tailored their wardrobe.

While clothes shopping has since drastically change (re: overstuffed clothing racks and fluorescent lighting), wedding gown shopping is one of the last bastions of fine dressing—so get excited because it is so much fun! Of course, you’ll want to come prepared.

Here are the 5 things to bring to your wedding gown appointments…


1.)  Pictures of wedding gown inspiration. It’s the best way to succinctly sum up your wedding gown ideas. Show your consultant pictures from magazines or even pull up your Pinterest page on your phone. It’s the best way for her to understand your vision so she can then edit down the salon’s selection for you. Of course, be sure to keep an open mind and try on your consultant’s suggestions. Worst case scenario, you take it off and move on to the next dress. Best case scenario, you get surprised and find the gown of your dreams!


2.) Proper undergarments. Wedding gowns are expensive and sometimes very complex garments. Your consultant will assist you into them so you don’t get lost in all the layers of fabric and crinoline. The best thing to wear is nude boy shorts and a strapless bra (though you may want to try the gowns without the bra. Many bridal dresses will have support built directly into the bust area, eliminating the need for it). If you are a little shy, don’t worry! Just slip on a pair of leggings or tights.


3.) Your friends and family. But just a few! Instead of bringing all your friends, select a few nearest and dearest to assist you. Two to three people—whose opinions you trust—will make the perfect sounding board. That way you can get some objective feedback, but you won’t be overwhelmed by too many opinions. Try to bring the same people each appointment because they will understand the natural evolution of your tastes and preferences and will be so excited when you find the “one.”


4.) A hair tie. Your consultant will clip the gowns to your dimensions so to make the process easier, put your hair up into a loose bun. You can easily take it out if you want to see how you look with your hair down, but your locks will be out of the way as you transition from one gown to the next. Also, it will give you a clear view of how each gown’s neckline frames your neck and shoulders.


5.) Shoes. Most salons will have shoes to try with its gowns. However, still consider bringing your own in the heel height you plan to wear on the wedding day. You’ll be able to see exactly how you will look in the gown and it will be easy to determine if you need extra length. In addition, you’ll be standing a lot, so it is best to have a pair that are already broken in and comfy. That way you won’t have to worry about sore toes—and you can focus on how beautiful you look!

Happy Shopping!