Right after the engagement ring goes on, the bridal magazines come out. What are they filled with but page after page of wedding gowns! It’s one of the biggest moments of the wedding, and one of the most fun parts of the preparation.

For a shopping experience that’s low-stress and high-success, follow these tips:

Before the Appointment…


1) Make an Appointment (but avoid busy times like Saturdays)

Making an appointment ensures that the staff will be available to help you find and try on dresses from among dozens or even hundreds. Saturdays can be busy though, so if you want more personal care, opt for a weekday.

2) Eat a Light Meal and Bring Water

Make sure you’re not hungry (and crabby) when shopping, and if you have more than one appointment, consider planning a stop for lunch or snacks with your entourage.

3) Get an Idea of What You Like… But Keep an Open Mind

Get out those magazines and see what speaks to you! Some brides also do a low-stress trial-run where they try on dresses just to get an idea of which style or material they feel drawn to. At the same time, don’t let your preconceived ideas take over your judgment (or budget). Just because you love an Enozoani from an ad doesn’t mean it has to be yours. Bring in ideas and the staff at the bridal shop will help you find something you adore that is within your budget.

4) Decide on a Budget and Stick to it

Sticking to your dress budget means sticking to your overall wedding budget, and just know that if you need extra money for a dress, it will have to come out of another line item. If you’re worried about being sucked in, remind yourself how far the cost of that dress would go toward an anniversary vacation or in your monthly budget – that may sober you right up!

5) Bring Appropriate Undergarments

Be prepared for trying on all types of dresses. Think strapless bras and flesh-tones.

At the Appointment


6) Bring People You Really Trust

Be careful with the people you invite to shop with you. They should be people whose opinion you actually want to hear, and people who will be ok if you disagree with them. Don’t feel pressured to invite everyone, because more people means more opinions.

7) Don’t be Afraid to Disagree with the Salesperson

They can very persuasive! If someone is pushing a dress that is too expensive, or that just doesn’t feel right, or you’d like to think about, remember that they won’t be at your wedding. The dress has to be perfect for you, and you alone. At the same time, be open to their suggestions for shapes or necklines that might suit you and you may not have considered.

8) Don’t Get Too Swept Up

With all the emotions, opinions, and pressures of pleasing everyone (especially if you have shopping helpers visiting from out of town), you may feel like you have to make a choice that day. But again, it has to be right. Keep perspective, use your head, and don’t jump on a purchase because you’re too swept up in the moment.

9) Don’t Feel Like You Have to Cry

Not everyone does. Don’t feel like you need to fit into any sort of mold; It’s your day that you’re planning for, not anyone else’s.

Looking for the perfect venue to go with your perfect dress? Earle Brown Heritage Center is a beautifully restored historic locale for Twin Cities weddings that are unique and perfectly suited to each bridal couple.