Wedding Fashion

The Dos and Don'ts of Shopping for A Wedding Dress

10 tips for finding your dream dress

Photo by George Pimentel

Congratulations, you’re getting married! Now it’s time to find “The One”. Whether you’re after a princess ball gown or a breezy beach frock, it’s important to know rules to finding the right dress. We enlisted Andrea Anastasiou, owner of White Toronto, to lay down the dos and don’ts of navigating a bridal salon.


Do make an appointment.

Bridal salons aren’t like regular stores that you can float in and out of. Most require booking an appointment ahead of time to ensure you’re getting all the attention that you need.

Don’t bring more than two people with you.

We know, it’s a very exciting time in your life but shopping with an entourage will only make your decision that much more difficult. It’s hard for most friends and family members to keep what THEY would wear out of YOUR shopping experience. Stay true to your style and avoid pleasing the masses because in the end, you’ll only be disappointed and frustrated.

Do research.

A smart bride is one who knows what’s out there. Before stepping into any salon you should go online to familiarize yourself with different bridal lines, which stores carry them, and what their price ranges are.


Don’t make your first visit to a store a sample sale.

Sample sales are all about scoring a deal so make sure you’ve tried dresses on already and have an idea of what you like before putting yourself in a situation where you have to make a quick decision.

Do have a wedding date and venue selected.

If you’re not sure what kind of wedding you’re having, you’re not going to know what kind of dress you want. Start with a vision and the dress will follow.

Don’t leave it to the last minute.

You should leave yourself at least 8-10 months between buying your dress and the wedding date. Sometimes things arrive and need alterations so you want the store to have enough time to be able to correct any issues.

Do wear proper undergarments.

Salons will often have bustiers and shoes on hand but it’s always a good idea to come prepared. That means wearing a dress-appropriate bra, underwear and foundation garments like Spanx if you think you’ll wear them on your big day. Anything that will help you visualize how the dress will fit and how you want to look on your wedding day is important to bring with you.


Don’t book appointments if you’re running on tight time lines.

Dress shopping appointments should be spaced out so you have the time to really think about your purchase. Give yourself ample time to get to each store and don’t overbook yourself — stores have to handle over 30 appointments and they often run late. Remember that shopping for a wedding dress should always be enjoyable and stress-free.


Do keep an open mind.

It’s your first time trying on a dress like this so be sure to try a variety of styles and shapes to get a sense of what you love and feel great in. Be prepared to ask the bridal consultant for her suggestions as well — they’re experts in their field and may surprise you with options you never dreamed would look great!


Don’t try on something you can’t afford.

It’s always fun to play dress up in dreamy frocks but it’s heartbreaking if you fall for something your wallet can’t handle. Set you budget ahead of time and don’t try a dress on that’s above it:  You’ll forever be comparing dresses to something that’s completely out of your reach making your whole shopping experience unnecessarily frustrating instead of fun and fabulous.