7 Reasons Brides are Nervous About Wedding Dress Shopping and How to Overcome it [Advice from a Bridal Shop]

So, you’re nervous about wedding dress shopping? While it’s absolutely normal (we hear it from our brides almost DAILY) we’ve rounded up our top 7 reasons not to be, and how to kick those jitters to the curb.

1. “I have no idea what kind of wedding dress I’m looking for”

Is your Pinterest board littered with every gown silhouette, fabric, and style known to mankind? Yeah, us too. It’s totally okay to like many different styles. We like to think of that as being “open-minded” to all kinds of styles. If you can give your stylist a general idea of what you’re looking for, we can usually guide you through the rest of the process. After all–that is kind of our job!

Instead of feeling pressured to pick out an exact style, focus on the vibe / theme of your wedding and how you’re looking to feel on your wedding day. Try to pick out a few “feeling” words to describe what that looks like. Romantic, ethereal, beautiful, chic, glamorous, timeless…words we love to hear to help us find the best dress to embody exactly what you’re looking to feel on wedding day!

2. “I’m feeling self-conscious about my body”

We totally get it. We ALL have those lumps and bumps about us that we’re self-conscious about (even when no one else sees it). And realistically, who among us is actually at our goal weight 1 year in advance of the wedding date? Not many, if we’re being honest. So the thought of trying on dresses in front of others sounds worry-worthy! But here’s why you shouldn’t feel nervous at all: at MaidenWhite, we are all about body-positivity, self-love, and celebrating diversity. We promise to NEVER shame a bride for anything. We handpick our staff based on these core values, and we see so many different bodies on a daily basis. So when we say, we’re here for it, we’re not kidding. The stretch marks, the sagging, the too-big or too-small, the what-have-you’s…there’s nothing that we don’t think is remarkably beautiful about it all.

3. “I’m nervous about what my family will think about my choice”

This is a totally understandable reason to be nervous about wedding dress shopping. There are likely 1 or 2 other people in your life who have envisioned you looking a certain way on your wedding day. So, it can be tempting to choose a look that appeases that. But this will likely be the most important article of clothing you will ever wear, so make it something you love! After all, you have to wear it, not them. And while it’s only one day, the photos of you in your wedding dress will last a lifetime.

We always encourage bringing a small, intimate group of people who love and support your style for an environment that you can decide what’s best for you. Focus on finding something that you love, and that that you look and feel confident / beautiful in. When you’re walking down the aisle smiling from ear to ear, your loved ones will think you are perfect no matter what!

5. “I want to lose weight before I shop for a dress!”

Listen, we get it. Who doesn’t want to be in the best shape of their lives for their wedding day? For some brides, that’s totally realistic. We will absolutely be your biggest cheerleaders on your fitness journey!

Here’s a little tip: if you love the dress on your body pre-weight loss journey, you’ll love it even more post weight loss journey. And if you don’t lose the weight, then you already know you love the dress on your body as is!

If you’re determined and know you will lose the weight, we suggest bringing along some shape wear and taking measurements in that. We do not advise ordering smaller since dresses can always be taken in, but can be difficult or even impossible to let them out.

4. “I don’t know what will look good on my body type”

Here’s why we don’t focus on body type or shape, necessarily (and why you shouldn’t either). Every dress looks different on every single body. And as mentioned above, we all have those things we may not love about our bodies. This varies from person to person even in the same exact body size.

Focus more on what you love about your body, what you want to highlight, and what you would prefer to conceal. Share that with your Stylist so that they can be on the lookout for attributes that align with your vision for yourself. Lastly, be open to trying different silhouettes and styles initially. Even if it doesn’t exactly align with your Pinterest board, give it a shot. Because one thing we know for certain: you never know if you might LOVE something until you put it on your body!

6. “What if they don’t have my size?”

To be honest, many of the wedding dresses you try won’t be your perfect size. Most shops carry a mid range of sizes, with some smaller or larger. At MaidenWhite, most of our collection is comparable to street size 8-12. We have a few smaller, a few larger, and a handful of options sized 20-24. All of our dresses can be ordered up to size 18, and many can be ordered up to size 24.

We recommend calling the store ahead of time to see what sizes are available to try and order. While they might not all be your perfect fit, the Stylists will help fit you into a good selection of dresses with the use either clips or fabric extenders to help you envision the full look.

7. “I made 5 different appointments at different shops because I want to try them all before making a decision”

While this might not make brides nervous about wedding dress shopping, it often makes them anxious. We hear it a lot. And when we’re the first shop a bride has visited, they’re often feeling fresh and full of excitement. But by the 2nd or 3rd appointment, the bride and their party is exhausted and ready to call it. Every dress at that point in time starts to blend together. And now the bride goes home and mulls over 100 pictures of dresses that for some reason, don’t look as good in the photo as they did in person.

The paradox is: you want to try on enough dresses to make sure you’re picking the right one, but trying on too many dresses can make the decision next to impossible. A professionally trained photographer will be able to get all those amazing shots on wedding day to really help you and your dress pop, but it’s likely that your aunt’s iPhone 7 photos just won’t do it justice!

Instead, research the salons you’re looking at visiting before making an appointment. Familiarize yourself with designers carried at your local shops. Call ahead and chat with an associate to understand if they will be a good fit for you. Make an appointment when you’re ready to buy, at a shop that you’re ready to buy from. Then, try on different silhouettes at those select stores and don’t overwhelm your options.

The Takeaway

In conclusion, while all of these are totally valid reasons to be nervous about wedding dress shopping, it’s something an experienced Stylist is more than equipped to handle. And at MaidenWhite, we pride ourselves on truly wanting to match brides with gowns that they look and feel absolutely stunning on. In no time, you’ll find yourself getting comfy with your stylist, AKA new bestie. Happy shopping, brides!