Looking for your wedding gown–it’s the ultimate shopping experience! It’s like being a princess. You’ll have your own consultant to attend you, a private fitting room, and, sometimes, champagne to sip! But while all of this sounds like a fantasy, we’ve heard tons of brides say wedding gown shopping was stressful. And that’s the last thing it should be! By choosing the right squad, you can make sure your appointment is upbeat, productive, and positive! Here are our tips for finding your perfect dress and assembling your crew.

Who to bring:

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You. Yes, it may sound silly but we mean only you. If you are easily overwhelmed and swayed by different opinions, you may want to go on a preliminary search to browse possible dresses and get a sense for your style. Then, once you’ve narrowed down your selections, you can bring in other people, telling them that these are your favorites and that you need their help for your final choice. If, for some reason, you are new to an area and don’t have anyone to bring, don’t worry about shopping alone! Be open with your consultant and tell her that you need her expert opinion. Also, use technology and Facetime or Skype with your loved ones once you find your top two dresses. Shopping alone will let you listen to the most important voice–your own!

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Your mother or mother figure. It’s time to honor the woman who guided you into womanhood–and there’s no better way to do so than by having her come wedding gown shopping with you. Now, we understand that sometimes relationships can be complicated. If you tend to disagree with your mother or are worried you’ll be swayed by her opinions, have a conversation with her beforehand and tell her that you want her love and support. Give her a clear idea of what you are looking for in a wedding gown (for example, if you want a mermaid dress, let her know that princess gowns aren’t in consideration). While you’re out shopping, do let her pick one dress for you to try on so she feels involved. You never know–she may know you better than you know yourself!

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His family. You may not be close right now but, chances are, you will be later on down the road. It’s always a nice gesture to invite his mother and any sisters into your life. Whether they accept or decline, they will appreciate your thoughtfulness. If they do come, take time to introduce them to your friends and family so they feel comfortable while you’re away in the fitting room. There will be years of birthdays, holiday celebrations, and get-togethers in the future so it’s always beneficial to reach out to his fam and start the bonding now.

IMG_0346Your bridal party. You’ll want to be careful with this one. The more people you invite, the more opinions you’ll hear and the more confused you may get. However, if your bridesmaids will be fun and supportive, having them there can add to excitement of the experience. They can cheer you on, take photos of you in different gowns, and provide outside perspective. As with your mother, you’ll want to talk to them ahead of time and share your wedding gown vision with them so they aren’t trying to force you into satin when you want lace! Also, if there is one friend who understands your style more than the others, feel free to prioritize her feedback. And, if you have a big bridal party, it’s perfectly acceptable to only invite your MOH to keep things simple.IMG_0565

Your wedding planner. Depending on her services, some wedding planners offer to attend shopping appointments. If yours does, you may want to take advantage. Your wedding planner will know the ins and outs of bridal dress shopping. Since she’s overseen your venue booking and decor plans, she’ll understand what you need and want in a gown. And, while you’re swept up into the blissful emotion of finding your gown, she will know the questions to ask and the things to keep in mind. She will also know what should be on your contract with the salon and what’s reasonable for alterations fees. She’s basically operates as your own personal fairy godmother, ensuring that your fairy tale is completed with a perfect gown!

With these steps, you will have the best people surrounding you while you find one of the most important gowns of your life! 

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Want to see this bride’s lovely gown in action? Check out this video for gown and wedding inspo!

Viacava Wedding Film from Ella Koonce on Vimeo.

Photography Ella Florence Photography//Assistant Photographer Claudia Gunhus//Hair: Locks by Linz, Lindsey Straub at Mollie Michelle Boutique Salon//Makeup Erin Hunt//Venue Delille Cellars, Remond, Washington//Wedding Gown Francesca by Maggie Sottero//Dress Shop I Do Bridal//Headpiece Arabesque by Halo and Co//Shoes Cara by Badgley Mischka//Veil Tisha Blusher by BHLDN//Bridesmaids dresses: Ersalina Dress by BHLDN//Groom’s Suit: Hugo Boss//Groomsmen’s Suits: Vera Wang//Flowers Fena Flowers Kirkland//Cake Hillcrest Bakery Bothell//Food Alexa’s Café and Catering//DJ Jopa Music//Parking Attendants Red Carpet Valet//Invitations Wedding Paper Divas//Alterations Tracy Gail 

  • Vera Wang

    I enjoyed reading this blog on who to bring wedding gown shopping. Many blogs will cover tips on how to shop for a wedding dress and styles to look out for. Instead, this article has a more personal touch for the bride to be’s who are reading this. After you have decided whom to bring with you when shopping for your perfect dress, check out Papilio Boutique for great styles.