DO… make an appointment, preferably in the morning, so that your consultant is fresh and ready to go. If possible, make your appointment on a Sunday or a weekday, because Saturdays are typically busy and crowded.
DON’T… wait until the last minute to start looking for a dress. Rushing the process is a recipe for disaster—it may take a few tries to find your dress, and there needs to be time for alterations and fittings as well.
DO… look nice for your appointment. No need to go overboard (go with light makeup so that it won’t rub off on the dresses), but you should feel pretty going into the appointment so that you can feel pretty when you find your dress! This also includes undergarments, nothing like a ratty old bra strap to ruin the elegance of your wedding dress.
DON’T… bring everyone you know to the appointment. The more people you bring, the more people you must please. Ultimately, this is your wedding dress, so your opinion is the only one that matters. Bring a few trusted friends or family members, but in this case, less is more.
DO… know what silhouette looks best on your body and have a general idea of what you are looking for. That being said, come in with an open mind. Dresses look much different on the hanger than on a person, so there is no harm in trying something on—it may surprise you!
DON’T… try on a dress that is out of your budget! You will want it simply because you can’t have it. Proven fact.
DO… consider the occasion. You’re likely going to be wearing this dress for several hours, sitting, standing, dancing, walking, AND being photographed from all angles. Move around, sit down, and make sure that you will be comfortable in the dress all day. Also, have a friend photograph you in the dress to make sure you like how it looks in pictures.
DON’T… feel pressured to like a certain dress because your consultant or friends like it—remember, this is YOUR wedding dress for YOUR wedding day! And take your time; try on as many dresses as it takes (within reason) until you feel comfortable. Sometimes it is good to leave the appointment without a dress, and come back to buy it a week or so later to give yourself some time to make sure it’s the right one. Also, just because you don’t cry doesn’t mean it isn’t the one!
DO… try on a veil with the dress to help you decide. It may seem cheesy, just because that’s what they always do on the shows, but I’ve heard firsthand from many brides that seeing their dress with a veil was what made their decision.
Mostly, just remember that as important as the wedding dress is, it is still only a dress. Ten or fifteen years from now, you won’t be thinking about your dress but the memories you made while you were wearing it. So, have fun with the shopping experience and don’t overthink it.