These are the things that no one will tell you about shopping for wedding dresses.

Much nearly-weds treasure the tradition of wedding dress shopping. It is an exciting, sacred ritual that fills them with anticipation and excitement. One dress shopper recalled her experience, saying, “I loved the feeling I got from trying on all the dresses: sexy and beautiful, and a bride!”

But it’s not just about the champagne and a unanimous “yes” to your dress. These spools full of luxurious lace can be quite expensive. And what the hell does it have to do with wedding sizing? A recent survey revealed that more than 90% of brides feel anxious, excited, or both about shopping for wedding dresses. Talk about a storm of emotions!

Don’t worry. We’ll share our knowledge and the must-have tips real brides want when shopping for wedding dresses.

What should I expect from my appointment for a wedding dress?

Let’s get started: Expect the unexpected! 55% of the brides polled said they needed to visit at least two to five bridal dress shops before finding the right gown. Another 8% required that they shop in six to ten stores. Nearly 40% of brides needed to try five to ten wedding dresses before deciding. But that’s part of the fun!

Most boutiques selling wedding dresses in brick and mortar are open by appointment only. A consultant will assist you in selecting and trying on dresses during your hour-long appointment. You can try on the gowns in the sample sizes. These dresses can also be pinnable to show you how a custom-made dress would look. These sample items might also be available “off-the-rack” at a reduced price. If the gown is made-to-order, you must measure yourself before it can be created.

A wedding gown can take six months to make. Some retailers offer rush orders for those who are pressed for time. It would help if you began looking at least one year before your wedding date. This can be difficult for some. The consultant at the store can help you choose a fabric and style that allows for more alterations closer to the wedding date if you are concerned about your body changing.

You should be prepared to size your wedding dress. The fit is more important than the number on a tag. You don’t want to be restricted by the size aspect of your wedding dress. Instead, find a boutique or designer you like and ask them not to discuss it with you. It would help if you focused on how the dress feels and how it fits your unique body.

What should I bring to my appointment for my wedding dress?

A budget is the most important thing you should bring to your appointment for a wedding dress. Knowing how much money you can afford and what wiggle room you have is important. Choosing wedding dress boutiques that fit your budget is a great idea. You don’t have to be a total stranger to the price range for wedding dresses.

You should wear seamless, nude underwear to avoid getting a VPL. To show off the silhouettes of fitted and shape-wear, you might consider wearing Spanx if you try them on.

Many shoppers prefer to bring shoes in their size and with the same heel height as their dresses. This will help with the fitting of the dress and alterations.

You will feel more like a bride if you have your hair and makeup is done on the day of your appointment. Avoid applying any body makeup to your neck or decolletage. Even though the dresses you are trying on maybe samples, it is important not to apply foundation to the fabric.

Who should I bring with me to my appointment for my wedding dress?

There are no set rules about who you should bring to your appointment for a wedding dress. You can make your appointment online, as more bridal ateliers are virtual. This means you could browse designer options at home with your friends and place an order online.

Shopping for dresses can still be an intimate and beautiful moment you share with your closest friends. This is less about inviting your fashion-guru friends (although they are welcome to attend!). It’s more about allowing your closest friends and family to share this wonderful pre-wedding experience.

Both consultants and brides agree that your wedding dress appointment companions should be trustworthy advisors. We all know the story of the negative bridesmaid or meddling mother-in-law who discovers a fault in every dress. It would help to choose the people who make you feel confident, fabulous, and comfortable.

If you don’t want any unwanted opinions or confusion, you can always go it alone. You can still involve your family in the dress shopping process, but you may want to choose a gown on your own and invite them to the fitting. This should be your main line of communication.

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