With all the hype that reality TV and movies have created about finding your dream wedding dress, it's easy to see why there are so many myths out there. We’re here to set the record straight about the shopping process, so you’ll feel ready to take the bridal fashion world by storm. Check out some of the most widely-held myths about wedding dress shopping, and our clarifications:
You’ll find your wedding dress at the first store you shop at.
You don’t get married on your first date, so you might not buy your dress at the first store you visit. According to a WeddingWire survey, more than 50% of brides visit between two and five stores before finding “the one.” This is actually a good thing because different stores carry different designers, so you’ll get to try on a variety of styles and find out what works for you. If you do happen to find your dream gown at the first store you visit, more power to you!
You should know exactly what kind of dress you want to buy.
You’ve probably browsed Pinterest and Instagram for bridal fashion inspiration, so you might think you know exactly what you want. Spoiler alert: you’ll likely end up with a gown you never pictured yourself in. Dresses look very different when they’re on a hanger versus on your body, so don’t get frustrated if the dress you always dreamed of wearing doesn’t look so great on you. According to a WeddingWire survey, over 50% of brides try on between three and 10 dresses before meeting their match, so it’s completely normal to have your expectations thrown out the window. A tip from us: let the stylist pick a few things out too! They’re experts and know exactly what will flatter your figure.
It’s a good idea to bring a big entourage with you.
Despite what you see on TV, you should keep your dress shopping squad exclusive, especially when you’re first starting out. More people means more opinions, which isn’t necessarily a good thing early in the process. Bring your mother, maid of honor, or another close friend or relative the first time you shop. If you’re worried about certain family members or your mother-in-law feeling left out, bring them back to the salon when you’ve narrowed things down to a few dress options. That way they can feel like a part of the process but you’ll have a better sense of what you like.
You should only be shopping for one dress, and it should be white.
This is just plain false. If you want two dresses for your wedding, feel free to buy two! Outfit changes are on the rise and it helps transition the subdued vibe of the ceremony to the celebratory nature of the reception. In fact, bridal designer Hayley Paige changed into four different dresses at her wedding! You don’t need to get that many gowns, but changing up your look is totally acceptable. The same goes for wearing white! If you feel more comfortable or look better in a certain hue, wear it. The days of all-white wedding ensembles are far behind us.
Wedding dress sizes are the same as regular dress sizes.
Designers use their own charts to determine sizes instead of the standard ones, which means you’re probably going to end up wearing a larger size than you usually do. Don’t let this get to you. All that matters is how you feel in the dress, not the number that’s on it.
The dress photos you see online are available in the stores right away.
When you see photos of beautiful gowns online from the bridal fashion runways, they’re not usually available right away. Typically designers show gowns that they plan on selling in stores a few months later. They’re shown early so editors and buyers know which styles salons will order to carry in their stores and so editors can stay on top of the latest bridal fashion trends.
You’ll be able to walk out of the store with your dress the day you find it.
Buying a wedding gown isn’t like buying an outfit off the rack at a department store. It will likely take a few months to come in. The dress you tried on in the store is a sample size, so your bridal salon consultant will send your measurements to the designer, so you'll receive a gown in the size that fits your body best. Since this process takes a few months, it’s important to start shopping early so you have plenty of time for alterations when the dress arrives to the store.
Your dress will fit you perfectly when you put it on for the first time.
It would be bridal fashion magic if your dress fit you in all the right places when you put it on for the first time. When it comes back, there will likely be things you’ll have to change, such as taking in a few inches around the bust area or shortening the hemline. Plan on having about three alterations appointments, give or take a few.
Alterations are a speedy process.
Shop for your wedding dress about seven to eight months before your wedding because the alterations that follow won’t be done in the blink of an eye. Wedding gown tailors are experts in their craft and they’re going to work tediously to make sure your gown fits you perfectly, so give them time to do their job.
You’ll cry when you find “the one”.
We’ve all seen our fair share of hysterical brides-to-be when they put on the dress they love, but it’s totally OK if you don’t have an over-the-top reaction. Feeling comfortable and confident in your dress is a perfectly acceptable way to feel when you find “the one”. There’s nothing wrong with you if you don’t burst into tears, so don’t second guess yourself. If you love the way you feel and look, that’s all you can ask for. No tears, no problem.