Wedding dress shopping should evoke excitement but for some, it’s a super stressful part of planning a wedding. While some brides may have had their wedding dresses picked out since they were 10, others have no clue where to start. Me? I wasn’t stressed… until someone asked, “you haven’t gotten your dress yet?” A couple weeks later I headed down to BHLDN in Newport Beach to begin my wedding dress search.
Ever since I was first introduced to BHLDN, I knew I wanted to wear one of their dresses– they are absolutely stunning, romantic and fit my personal style perfectly.
Keep reading for my top 5 tips to help you find “the dress” for your big day and my wedding dress shopping experience at BHLDN>>
1. Choose Your Crew
Don’t bring your entire wedding party or entourage dress shopping with you– there really is a thing as too many opinions. When shopping for my dress I brought just three people– my mom, my sister (and matron of honor) and my aunt. It was nice to have their opinions and insights, but was not overwhelming. Pick a select two or three people who matter most.
2. Be Open to Different Styles
When I arrived to my BHLDN appointment, my stylist, Jill, had a few wedding dresses I had pre-chosen ready for my to try on but she also wanted me to select a few others– including a couple options I would not have selected as my first choices. Jill even mentioned that most brides she worked with ended up choosing a gown they initially weren’t too sure about… you never know how a dress will truly look until you try it on!
Even though I leaned towards more sheath styles, I still tried on an A-line dress to see how I would like it– I felt like a princess in it!
3. Have an Idea of Wedding Dress Styles You Like
While you do want to be open to different gown styles, it’s also a good idea to have some ideas of what you like. Whether it’s fabric (lace, chiffon, etc.), color (stark white or ivory), sleeves or no sleeves and even gown styles and silhouettes– for instance, for my body type I prefer sheath styles to A-lines. BHLDN offers all different dress types so there really is a style for every bride. They have gorgeous romantic styles, boho styles and dresses with exquisite details like beading and lace designs.
I recommend browsing through BHLDN.com to get an idea of what you are most drawn to and what you feel would work best for your body type.
Here’s a quick guide to dress silhouettes:
A-Line: Fitted on top with skirts that widen gradually
Ballgown: Fitted bodice with a full skirt
Mermaid: Fitted through the bodice and hips with a flared out skirt
Sheath: Slim style that follows the body’s natural shape
4. Know Your Budget
Figure out your budget before you start shopping for dresses. Dresses can range from a couple hundred into several thousand. I recommend trying on dresses that fall within your budget– you don’t want to try on “the one” only to be heartbroken by the price tag.
I love that BHLDN offers dresses at a variety of price points… and each one is gorgeous! If your budget is tight, you can even browse through bridesmaid styles and reception dresses.
Remember to keep in mind that accessories, shoes and alterations will add to the final cost of your wedding outfit. Costs can add up quickly!
5. Book an Appointment
An appointment is required at most bridal salons and shops– you can’t just walk in and start browsing as you would in a typical department store. Many shops, such as BHLDN, allow you to book appointments online– it’s super easy!
Once you book an appointment you should expect to receive one-on-one try-on session with a BHLDN stylist, try on a variety of gowns (I tried on eight!), advice on choosing the gown and accessories, and having your measurements taken for the perfect fit. Upon our arrival, we were offered champagne– BHLDN knows how to treat a bride right!
So, did I say yes to the dress?
I did! But I’m not sharing until the wedding 😛
For my married gals and brides-to-be– what are some of your best wedding dress shopping tips? Share!
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These are such great tips! I love those beautiful dresses you tried on, can’t wait to see your final pick!
Such great tips! I got married last summer, and shopping for a dress was seriously super overwhelming
Julie Hood says
You are just the cutest, and that all lace dress makes me want to have another wedding! Haha. Choosing what style you like ahead of time is such a smart idea too. 🙂
Cristina - Memories of the Pacific says
You mention the best tips, Amanda! I got married almost two years ago and this brought so many memories!
Sheila Rhodes says
These are great tips, and I think one of the most important things to remember it is YOUR wedding. While it is good to have the opinions of others for guidance, do and wear what you love because it is your special day. If somebody doesn’t like your dress, it shouldn’t be a problem because they aren’t wearing it! I have worked with a lot of brides who end up in tears because they love the dress, but somebody in their party (Including moms) don’t like what they have picked. It is very sad when that happens and causes a lot of unneeded stress.
My change outfit had a bhldn skirt and it was AMAZING!!!!! Such great selection from them, always!
Aditi Wardhan Singh says
Wonderful tips and such great pics. Sigh! I wish I coudl get married again . 😀
Delia Atenea says
These dresses are so dreamy! You look amazing! They’re so romantic!
Wedding dress shopping is one of the best parts of getting married! You are so stunning!
Laura Adney says
These are great tips! I miss wedding dress shopping
I had no idea what I was doing when I was shopping for my dress. I have learned so much since having gone through it all.
Can’t wait to see what you picked! What an exciting time! I just got my dress online haha. Didn’t really do anything special.
Taylor Mobley says
I am SO excited to see the dress you picked. You look gorgeous in everything of course.
Kari Kriewald says
Such an adorable post! Love all of your tips and you look fabulous in every single dress! xo
Such gorgeous dresses! Can’t wait to see what you picked. My personal favorite is the first one but you look gorgeous in all of them.
Megan Elliott says
These are great tips!! Such gorgeous dresses.
I remember shopping for my wedding dress! So much fun!
I really like the one on one session to help you find a dress! You look so good 🙂
So excited for you! BHLDN has some beautiful dresses, and I definitely eyed several of them as well. I can’t wait to see which one you chose 🙂
I’m not even engaged and I already know I’d be so stressed picking out a wedding dress! These are great tips for me to keep in mind for someday!
These are SUCH great tips for a bride to be! I love this post! Xo
Cathclaire | Fashion + Lifestyle Blog
Looks like you had a great wedding dress shopping experience here! Can’t wait to see what you went with 🙂