Dress shot at Rancho Mirando, Austin Texas wedding photographer. Click through to see all the beautiful details from this wedding!

First Time Tips for Wedding Dress Shopping

Welcome back to Let’s Cut the Cake! This is our newest series on AJ and I planning our own wedding as a pair of wedding photographers! Over the next year, we’ll be sharing our process and inviting you in on our decision making and witnessing trial + errors! It’s called Let’s Cut the Cake because that’s what AJ and I will be doing on May 16th, 2020!! Can’t wait to have you all along on this crazy long, messy path that is actually planning a wedding.

Last week was all about our engagement session! We traveled to D.C. to do a destination engagement session! We talked about what we wore, how we chose our photographer, and what it was like being on the other side of the camera! You can check out all of our posts and read about our engagement session here!

First Time Tips for Wedding Dress Shopping

Ahh the wedding dress. Just when I feel like I’ve already encountered the most stressful part of a wedding, here’s a new thing to stress about ! While I am excited about the dress, because it’s one more thing that makes this feel real!, I’m nervous.

I’m the girl who will cry at the end of jean shopping because nothing fits right and I’m exhausted and defeated. So I’m just crossing my fingers I’m not that girl during dress shopping.

Thank goodness for friends who just got married and for my angel of a planner. And for all my previous brides who still love me enough to help me through this process!

Disclaimer: I have not gone dress shopping just yet! I will in 3 days so until then, here are the best tips I’ve gotten to prepare! I’ll update you one what I learned afterwards too!

Here are the best first time tips for Wedding dress shopping:

01. Try on every type of dress, even if you know you already hate it. 

There are so many brides and mother of brides who have told me they ended up choosing the opposite of what they wanted! So it doesn’t hurt to try on everything. Even if it just affirms your decision!

02. Don’t go to too many shops in one day.

It’s a process, and a long one. I’ve been told to stop for breaks (and drinks), and to not go to more than 4 in one day! You can always go back or go to more another day.

In my mind too this is a good way to include everyone! I have five bridesmaids and most shops allow only two to three people to join you. So between my planner and my mom, that leaves just one bridesmaid!

am planning on squeezing more people than I’m allowed. I just can’t say no to some of my maids! My friend Paige who just got married in June said she saw some groups that had TEN people at dress boutiques! So at least I won’t have ten..!

03. Really consider having your mom there.

Moms can be tricky during all of the wedding shenanigans, but dress shopping especially. I can imagine if your mom is super opinionated or fights to include herself that you might not really want her there.

But I think it’s such a huge moment that it’s more hurtful to not include her. You can always invite her to just one boutique, maybe your first or second one. And then when you’re more serious about making a decision, you can have just your maids.

That way she won’t be totally blindsided when you mention having the dress. She can still give her opinion like she wants to, but she doesn’t have to steamroll the whole process!

My mama is sweet and luckily totally supportive. However, she does tend to get sticker shock when we talk weddings. Honestly, I don’t blame her, weddings are crazy expensive.

But, my dress was something coming out of my own pocket so I especially didn’t want to stress her out unnecessarily. I wasn’t going to leave her out, but I was worried about that!

I just wanted my mom to be giving her opinion on the dresses themselves, not necessarily the price tag! 🙂 

Ashley, our planner, was kind to tell the boutiques ahead of time that we wanted to be discreet about the prices. I appreciate that not just for my mom, but in general! So it all worked out. 

04. Try on the ugliest dress in the boutique.

Okay, no shade. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion about what wedding dress is fun versus ugly. But I think this advice is just meant to shake off the nerves and expectations a bit.

I was told to not grab the ugliest one until the end of the appointment, when you’re ready to leave and give everyone some amusement.

That’s all I’ve got! Like I said, I’ll report back after my first time dress shopping to give more tips!

Have you been dress shopping already? Maybe you’re already married!! Either way – if you’ve been, do you have any advice for me? I will take it all!

If you haven’t been yet – tell me what you’re curious about! I’ll be the first between you and me to dip my toes in, so i want to know how I can help or what I should be thinking about!

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