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The 19 Things You Should Never Do While Wedding Dress Shopping

Going wedding dress shopping is super exciting - but there are some things you should NEVER do in a bridal shop. We've rounded up what you need to avoid when wedding dress shopping...

Women in wedding dresses

Women in wedding dresses

Going shopping for your wedding dress is so exciting - it’s basically a dream day spent sipping bubbles with your besties as you try on loads of gorgeous dresses.

However, there are some things you should NEVER do in a wedding dress shop - make sure you don’t do any of these things when you're hunting for your perfect gown. 

Ready to start shopping? Here are the UK's best wedding dress shops

19 Things Not to Do When You're Wedding Dress Shopping

1. Don’t Turn Up to the Boutique Without an Appointment

Unless you know the bridal boutique you’re planning to visit allows for walk-ins, don’t just turn up expecting an appointment. So much work goes into the prep for an appointment, including pre-appointment questionnaires and pre-selected dresses for you at some shops!

2. Don’t Skip Your Appointment

If you’ve booked an appointment with a wedding dress shop, make sure you stick to it. As we mentioned above, the staff put lots of effort into prepping for your session, and if you miss it, that’s a big chunk of work they’ll miss out on too. Let them know with as much notice as possible if you need to cancel or rearrange your appointment.

3. Don’t Start Shopping Before You’ve Booked Your Wedding

It’s so tempting to go to a shop and try on lots of pretty dresses, just because. But the truth is, it’s a bit of a pain for the small business owner who has to give up time and resources to someone who doesn’t intend to buy. 

It’s also worth considering that your venue style and season will impact your dress choice too, so it’s really not worth looking until you have that locked in.

READ MORE: How to Deal with Wedding Dress Regret

4. Don’t Bring a Huge Crowd

group of female friends

You don’t need all your female friends, your mum, your mother-in-law, your nan and your next-door neighbour at your wedding dress appointment. Pick three or four guests who you really trust and have the best time with, as if you have too many, you’ll end up with a lot of conflicting opinions and advice. 

5. Don’t Wear Fake Tan

Skip fake tan Thursday that week - you don’t want to be the one who left orange marks in the wedding dresses, trust us. 

6. Don’t Wear Lots of Makeup

Same goes for heavy foundation, cream blusher, dark lipstick - anything that could leave a mark on those pale dresses. Be super cautious!

7. Don’t Go Straight After a Big Lunch

It’s a lovely idea to book afternoon tea with the girls on the same day as your dress appointment, but having a big meal first might make you feel a bit sluggish. Flip it round so you shop first, then have a debrief over cake afterwards!

8. Don’t Go When You’re Hungry

Do make sure you eat something before your appointment, though! So don't skip breakfast - you don’t want to be hangry, and you want the energy to get in and out of those tricky gowns. Has anyone ever made a good decision when they were hungry?

9. Don’t Disregard Other Opinions

Bride in a wedding dress
Pexels/Lucas Mendes

Those boutique staff have seen a lot of brides, a lot of dresses and a lot of body types. They’ll instantly know five similar dresses for you to try based on what you say you like, and they’ll also know which wedding dress styles will work best for you. Listen to their opinions and try their suggestions - you’ll be surprised!

10. Don’t Shop for a ‘Target Size’

We'd strongly suggest ditching the idea of a wedding day ‘target size’ and focus on feeling happy and healthy, which is worth remembering while you're wedding dress shopping. Shop for your body shape and type - wedding dress seamstresses are true gurus who can work wonders with altering dresses to fit perfectly, but if you order a dress in a size that doesn’t fit you, you’ll be adding unnecessary pressure on to yourself. 

Remember - you don't need to lose weight for your wedding.

11. Don’t Pay Too Much Attention to Wedding Dress Sizes

It’s also worth noting that wedding dress sizes are basically meaningless, compared to high street sizes. Wedding dress brands come from all over the world and so many countries have different sizing models that you’ll find the number on the label has no bearing to the sizing structure you're familiar with. Ignore it. 

12. Don’t Judge a Dress on the Hanger

Wedding dresses come to life when they are worn. Don’t write off a potential wedding dress until you’ve tried it on and seen how it fits your body and moves with you.

13. Don’t Just Take Flats

Wedding shoes
Pexels/Agung Pandit Wiguna

To get the best from your trying-on session, you’ll need to bring some more shoes. If you haven’t got your wedding shoes yet, try and bring a pair that are at least similar to what you’re looking for so you’ll get a better idea of how the dress will fall on the day, and how it feels to walk in it. The boutique should have some heels for you to try, so check with them!

14. Don’t Stray from Your Price Bracket

We know - that super expensive dress is SO pretty. But if you try it on, you’ll most likely fall in love with it, and then you’re either going to have to re-work your whole budget (bye bye canapés) or you’re just going to be heartbroken that you can’t have it. So be clear about your budget and stick to it. 

15. Don’t Rush Into a Purchase

Your mum welled up, your mother-in-law gave you the double thumbs up and your maid of honour likes it too... but something about it is throwing you off. Don’t feel rushed into buying something because everyone else loves it. And even if you really like it, don’t be afraid to take some time out to think it over. You don’t always know immediately. 

READ MORE: How to Choose Your Wedding Dress

16. Don’t Forget the Alterations

Wedding dress shopping
Pexels/Los Muertos Crew

This is one of those things couples always forget to think about - remember when you’re trying on dresses that you’ll likely need to pay for it to be altered and fitted to you. Remember that when considering how much you have to spend! It's also worth thinking about how long it might take to get your alterations done - give yourself plenty of time!

17. Don’t Wear Your Fanciest Underwear

You probably won’t be able to wear the sexy bridal lingerie you’ve splashed out on under your wedding dress. Lots of wedding dresses require minimal or quite functional underwear, so go to your dress appointment equipped with a nude strapless bra and flesh coloured underwear, if you can. 

18. Don’t Take Pictures Without Checking

Lots of bridalwear shops have a ‘no photos’ policy - it’s for a variety of reasons, but check with them that they’re okay for you to snap a shot or two before you get your phone out. 

19. Don’t Forget to Try On a Veil

You might not think you want a veil or a headpiece, but you should still try one on! You’ll be amazed by how much it can transform your look, so don’t just dismiss them. 

Ready to start trying dresses on? Make sure you read up on all the things you need to think about before you go dress shopping!