The question has been popped, the venue has been booked and now one of the most exciting parts of wedding planning is here: dress shopping! Even if you’re having a dress custom made, it’s a good idea to try on some wedding dresses in person to get an idea of what you like. Bridal shops can be so overwhelming for an unprepared bride, and the internet just adds to this problem with thousands of dresses available to view with a single click. There are so many gorgeous gowns with huge price tags, it’s easy to become intimidated. To help avoid that we’ve come up with the three key things every bride should know before you even step foot in a bridal shop or do your first Pinterest search. Keep reading to check out our tips!

What is your wedding vibe?

Even if you’re unsure about specific dress styles, knowing the vibe you want your wedding to have can be very helpful before picking out a dress. For example, if you’re picturing a formal ballroom affair you’ll probably gravitate toward more luxurious fabrics like satin or silk.

If you’re going for a bohemian vibe you might want more flowy fabrics like charmeuse or a gorgeous lace dress. For a church wedding, you might want a dress with sleeves or one that can be paired with a jacket.


In addition to the atmosphere of the wedding, think about what you’re trying to achieve for your personal wedding look. Are you aspiring to look like a full-blown Disney princess on your big day? Or are you hoping to attain a classic look like your style icon Audrey Hepburn? Again, even if you’re not sure about the exact dress, by narrowing down your wedding style it gives you a starting point for your search.

What is your budget?

Knowing your budget is crucial before you start shopping for a wedding dress, whether you’re shopping online or in person. If your parents or another generous relative is offering to pay for your dress, make sure you’re on the same page about prices and stay within their set budget. If you and your fiancé are footing the bill or taking out a personal loan for wedding costs, have a chat about how much you’re comfortable spending. Experts recommend spending around 9% of your overall budget on attire, hair, and beauty but don’t forget that also includes undergarments and accessories for your dress.

Luckily, having a dress custom made can cut down on alteration costs and is usually less expensive in general than a big box store. If you find your dream dress at a bridal shop, but it’s way out of your budget, we can find ways to replicate it to be more affordable. We can also break down the cost of the dress into two payments, a deposit when we start the dress and then the rest of the payment when the dress is completed 8-10 weeks later. This can give a bride some extra time to save up for her dream dress and make everything more manageable!

Is the site legitimate? 

Unfortunately, there are people out there who take advantage of brides during this important time in their lives, so it’s important to protect yourself from scams. If you’re considering buying a wedding dress online make sure you do some research and check if the seller is using their own photos. Ask the seller if the photo they posted is their work or if they are making it based on the photo. Doing a reverse image search on Google is a good way to check if the photos are posted anywhere else.

Dress Advertised vs Dress Received

(It’s completely missing ling so it’s basically transparent, its nothing like the original lace and it’s such low-quality material it would probably rip or fall apart after a few hours of use… But hey it was only $300 on a knockoff site)

There are many knock-off sites where scammers will steal the photos from professional websites and use them as their own. This ultimately turns into disappointment for the bride when their dress comes and it looks nothing like the dress they ordered because the seller wasn’t the real designer.

You can also check the vendors reviews on sites like Facebook, Google and Wedding Wire for reviews from other brides to verify the legitimacy of a business. Be wary of reviews that are overly positive or that include photos that could be stolen. Reviews that are realistic about the pros and cons of the business and include personal photos from the bride are both good signs of a legitimate review.


Keeping these three tips in mind should help stop you from becoming overwhelmed during the wedding dress search. If you’re ready to start designing your custom dress with us, feel free to get in touch. We can’t wait to help create the dress of your dreams!