Over the last three months of wedding planning, I’ve learned that there are several big ticket items to check off of the wedding planning list to feel like I’m really making headway. The venue, the band, the photographer, the videographer, wedding party invites, and the dress.
Like I mentioned in my How I Asked My Bridesmaids post, I’m not the girl who has imagined what my wedding day would look like for my entire life. I don’t have a wedding Pinterest board, and I never clipped wedding dress images out of magazines. So when Michael and I got engaged, I honestly had no idea of where to start on looking for a dress.
I did know one thing, I wanted it to be a stress free wedding dress shopping experience!
My Wedding Dress Shopping Experience
I get really overwhelmed shopping in person, that’s why I tend to do all of my shopping online! I’ve been wedding dress shopping as a bridesmaid and maid of honor on several occasions. While I wouldn’t trade any of those experiences for the world, I saw that it seemed a bit stressful for the bride. When walking into a bridal boutique, there are THOUSANDS of dresses staring at you. Not to mention a consultant, who means well, but pushes her opinions on you about what type of dresses to try on. I knew that if I went that route I would get flustered and most likely leave empty handed.
I was also in a unique position in that I live in D.C. and my mom and sister, who I wanted to share the wedding dress shopping experience with, live in Louisiana. The only time we were planning to be together within the next couple of months post-engagement was for a family beach trip in June.
Wedding Dress Shopping Online
I went a bit non-traditional and started shopping for wedding dresses online. Once I figured out that I could order dresses online and have them shipped (and returned) for free, I was all in. I had the idea to order several dresses online, ship them to the beach, and have a try-on session at our condo!
Since I knew we are having a beach destination wedding, that helped me narrow down the style of dress. We’re getting married on the beach – no ball gowns necessary.
I ultimately ordered six dresses online and shipped them to my parents’ house since they were driving to the beach.
We planned an afternoon where the boys (my dad, brother-in-law, and Michael) all went golfing, and my mom, sister, and I popped a bottle of rosé in the condo and tried on the dresses! Out of the six, I narrowed it down to two-ish, but one really stood out and just felt like me.
It was the most stress free wedding dress shopping experience! Exactly what I was hoping for!
My mom took the dress back to Shreveport with her. And I’m heading there next week to have a few alterations and additions made to the dress.
If you’re like me and get overwhelmed thinking about shopping at a bridal boutique for THE dress, I shared a few tips on how to have a stress free experience below! Of course I’ll be sharing more about the actual dress I picked after our wedding! 🙂
Tips on How to Have a Stress Free Wedding Dress Shopping Experience
- Think about the type of wedding you’re having (beach, formal, backyard, midday etc.).
- Browse online first.
- Narrow down your options.
- Order online OR pick out several dresses you like online and call local bridal boutiques to see if they have those dresses in stock.
- Relax and try not to put too much pressure to make the “trying on day” the BEST DAY EVER. I think shows like “Say Yes to the Dress” put a lot of pressure on brides and set expectations for the day way too high. That show makes it seem like the shopping experience has to be over the top. It doesn’t have to be!
- Remember why you’re shopping for the dress – you’re going to be marrying your best friend soon!
- Enjoy the experience.