Wedding Dress Shopping (My Experience & Tips!)

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I’m gonna go ahead and start out by saying that choosing a wedding dress was very hard for me. I feel like some people go to one store, try on 5 dresses, and find “the one” in like 43 seconds. Well, I went to 6 stores (some more than once), tried on too many dresses to count, and it took months to decide on “the one”.

It might be my indecisiveness, or the fact that I was worried to buy a dress too far in advance of the wedding, but I pretty much had to force myself to stop looking and just pick one! (Sounds glamorous, right?)

In case you are curious and in the Springfield, MO area, I ended up getting my dress at Norman’s Bridal. They are friendly and helpful there, have lots of dresses, and never pressured me into buying a dress. (I went there multiple times before deciding.)

Now that I have my dress I’m so excited to keep planning other parts of our wedding! Expect some fun DIYs soon (assuming they turn out well ;)).

Anyway, along the way I gained some insight about wedding dress shopping, and thought I’d share those thoughts/tips with you.


  • Don’t overshop OR undershop.

I feel like you always hear people saying “don’t try on too many dresses” (which is true and important…confusion can DEF happen when you fall in the wedding dress black hole), but for me it was just as important not to undershop. If you aren’t confident in your choice, and feel like you need to see more of what’s out there, do it! I’m so glad I kept trying dresses on after I tried on the one that ended up being my dress; I needed that reassurance that there wasn’t a better style for me.

  • Be prepared to sweat.

Heavy/thick dresses+changing clothes over and over+standing in the middle of a room with people staring at you+the pressure to choose a dress+emotions of getting married=SWEATY MESS. Enough said.

  • It’s okay to NOT have a big AH-HA moment.

Did I (or my family) cry/shout/dance/scream when I chose my dress? No. Did I feel pretty and comfortable and excited and like a bride? Yes. You don’t have to have a big huge “moment” to choose the perfect dress.

  • You might be pressured into buying a dress.

At a few of the stores I went to, toward the end of my appointment I would start to feel pressure to buy a dress from the consultant. Sorry, but the last thing I need when making a huge important purchase is pressure. I’m so glad I didn’t let their pressure get to me, or I might have ended up with the wrong dress. Take your time and only choose a dress when you are confident and comfortable with your choice.

  • Think about hair and accessories.

I feel like a lot of people say you’ll work your wedding around your dress, but if the style of your hair or certain accessories are really important to you, it is helpful to keep those in mind when dress shopping. I can’t give specific examples (I want to keep my dress super secret from Jake!), but if you have an ornate heirloom necklace you MUST wear on your wedding day, you might try on more dresses that have simpler necklines. There are a MILLION wedding dresses out there, so I think that having more “limiting factors” is actually helpful in narrowing down dresses to try on (and may end up helping you decide on a dress; in my case, it did!).

  • Picture yourself at your wedding.

When I was down to a few favorite dresses, I tried to really picture myself on that day and what I would be wearing. That was actually more helpful than it sounds. I pictured myself feeling comfortable, classic, and pretty, and the dress I chose popped into my head when I thought those things. When I had my dress on, I could picture myself at my wedding wearing that dress.

Saying “yes” to a wedding dress can be stressful, but don’t let it be! Know that in the end you will find a dress that makes you excited and remember that if I can find the perfect dress, you can too. Give yourself plenty of time and patience (and water). And remember that this is the only time that you get to try on pretty dresses and veils and sparkly belts, and truly enjoy it.

In the end, I hope you find a dress that makes you feel more beautiful than Cinderella.

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