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Dress-Shopping Mistakes

Buying the most important dress you’ll ever wear doesn’t come with a handy manual. But there are certain typical missteps you should try to avoid.


With so much to consider, from shape and fabric to cut and size, the process of shopping for your summer wedding dress can be simply overwhelming. But rushing through the experience can leave you regretting your decision when the big day finally arrives. Don’t settle on a particular style, or even color, too early in the process. Go past initial online searches and your first fitting. Instagram and Pinterest are great resources nowadays for discovering new gown ideas. Seek out designers, blogs and salons where you can see the dresses on real people. Remember the perfect dress probably won’t be one of the initial ones you try on.


It’s tempting to purchase as soon as you’re engaged. After all, gowns may take anywhere from 4 to 10 months to complete. Shipping time, multiple fittings and alterations can add to the lead time. Even so, don’t order a dress too early. This is a huge investment, often running well past the $1,000 threshold, so there’s no need to purchase before you’re ready — either personally or financially. Purchase too early and you might miss out on a dress that better fits your pocketbook (and taste). Take advantage of sales opportunities. Savings here can be put to use elsewhere on your special day.


Every bride wants to surround herself with friends and family as a wedding day approaches. Moms may provide valuable insight, while gal pals are always there for emotional support when planning becomes overwhelming. But you’ll want to cull the group down to a trusted confidant or two when deciding on a dress. This isn’t the time for sweeping group discussions, or someone telling you only what you want to hear. (You’ll also want to check how many guests are allowed in the room at your bridal salon beforehand; many limit it to only a handful of guests, including the bride.) Your mother or a trust bridesmaid can help make the experience is as relaxed as is possible — while also giving you clear, considered advice.

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