What To Wear Wedding Dress Shopping
October 10th, 2023 Wedding IDEAS, INSPIRATION AND INSIDER TIPS
What to Wear to a Bridal Dress Appointment
You have found the perfect bridal shop or boutique and scheduled your appointment so you can begin the search for your dream dress. You are eagerly awaiting this iconic moment, but remember: it's not just a sophisticated game of dress-up. This, like anything related to the wedding planning process, requires its own unique form of preparation.
Even something as delightful as exploring wedding dresses can start to feel tiresome after a while, but you can streamline the process if you arrive with the right accessories and a little background knowledge. The goal: to keep stress and fatigue to a minimum so you can truly enjoy yourself.
Because bridal appointments can be so frequently misunderstood, we've compiled a guide that highlights one of the most important considerations for your try-on extravaganza: what you'll wear on your way to (and during) the appointment. Our guidance goes beyond appointment attire to include suggestions for shapewear, footwear, and everything in between. We'll even touch on what your guests should wear and how you can make the most of this exciting process. Keep reading to learn why bridal shopping attire is so important — and how you can find the ultimate dress-shopping outfit to wear to your favorite bridal boutique.
What a Bride Should Wear Wedding Dress Shopping
While you want to look your best for an exciting day of bridal dress shopping, comfort is also important. This could be a long day and, if you're too focused on fashion over function, you are less likely to truly embrace the simple joys of the dress shopping process.
There are also many practical considerations to keep in mind, as various undergarments, shoes, and even hairdos could influence the fit and look of your dress. When in doubt, plan to wear (or pack) the following:
● Easy-to-change clothing. The quicker you can shimmy in and out of your clothes, the better. You can expect to change several times throughout the day, so it's best to avoid cumbersome straps, buttons, or other features that take forever to maneuver. Many brides keep it simple with sundresses or other cute, but casual outfits.
● Undergarments. Do you have any undergarments that tend to show lines when you wear fitted dresses? These are best avoided during your bridal dress appointment. Instead, opt for the undergarments you feel confident will provide a sleek look (without panty lines).
● Bra. First things first: you need a properly fitting bra. If you aren't confident about this, consider taking part in bra-fitting prior to your wedding dress appointment. Not only should your bra fit perfectly, it should also be easy to remove and capable of fitting under at least a few dresses. Keep in mind that many gowns provide minimal support, so there's a good chance that you'll need a well-fitting strapless bra. If you wear one to your appointment, you'll gain valuable insight into which bras will work best when you walk down the aisle.
● Shapewear. Are you thinking of donning shapewear under your dress? Be sure to try this on at your appointment, as this will influence how your dress fits and whether it feels comfortable. Consider bringing a few options that will fit seamlessly beneath different types of dresses. Some shapewear will be more accommodating for a low back, for example, or even with a deep V-neckline or cutouts.
● Minimal jewelry. Beyond your engagement ring and, perhaps, a simple pair of stud earrings, most jewelry will need to be closely tied to the specific dress you eventually select. For this reason, you are better off leaving your most ornate necklaces or bracelets at home.
Shoes to Wear
Shoe selection could play heavily into your final dress decision and, while it's typically recommended to find your dress first and your shoes second, the reverse approach is also possible. As such, you will want to think carefully about which shoes are worth wearing to (or bring to) your appointment.
To get a sense of how different types of wedding shoes might work with different dress silhouettes, bring a few of your favorite footwear styles you might wear on your special day.
Examples could include a favorite type of flats and a pair of strappy heels. Pack these so they are available in the fitting room whenever you need them — but plan to wear something extra comfy to the actual appointment, as you'll spend a lot of the day on your feet. Cute flats are always a wise choice and, if they are a candidate for your actual wedding day, you'll get the perfect chance to test how they feel when you're on your feet and moving around for several hours.
Whether you envision minimal makeup or a glam look for your big day, you'll want to start thinking about the role of cosmetics as you plan your overarching wedding aesthetics. This might mean applying a bit of makeup before your appointment so that you can get a more realistic sense of what you'll look like as you tie the knot. Keep it simple, focusing on anything that makes you feel comfortable, put-together, and most importantly, beautiful. For many people, this means moisturizer, mascara, and, perhaps, a subtle lip stain.
A full face of foundation is not necessary and could be downright risky during the try-on process. Chances are, most featured wedding gowns will include delicate details in ivory, cream, or champagne colors. The last thing you want is to accidentally smudge the bridal boutique's prized dresses with makeup.
Do you envision an intricate updo or do you prefer to wear your hair down? This is an important consideration, as some hairstyles may obfuscate certain wedding dress details. While you don't need to recreate a glamorous style at the salon, you should plan to wear your hair in a bun or up in some other capacity if you expect to show off a beautiful updo on your big day.
Similarly, you'll want to arrive with your hair half-down if that is your intention for your wedding; this will help you determine which dress details might be covered by your lovely locks or might otherwise interfere with your favorite style. Keep extra hair ties on hand, just in case.
Other Items to Consider Bringing
When in doubt, plan to pack light for your appointment. It will be a long day, so hauling a huge bag will quickly get tiring. We've already touched on a few essentials (such as shoes and shapewear) but you may also want to bring special accessories, jewelry, or heirlooms — especially if you are absolutely certain that these will play into your wedding day look. With these on hand, you can determine whether they will complement or clash with your dress.
Inspirational materials can also be helpful. While many brides rely on Pinterest boards and Instagram images, some prefer the tangible appeal of magazines and physical photos. For example: if you plan to wear heirloom jewelry, a picture of your grandmother or great-grandmother wearing the same piece could be deeply meaningful. If you're a fan of bridal magazines, create a collage of favorite dress designs that capture your preferred aesthetic.
Guests' Attire for Wedding Dress Shopping Appointments
Your attire can play heavily into your wedding dress shopping experience, of course, but the same is true for your closest friends and family members. Bridesmaids, in particular, should plan to wear respectful attire in keeping with the significance of this occasion. There is no need to go all-out with the fanciest or trendiest styles, but sweats are also best avoided.
Encourage wedding party members to dress cute, but casual enough to promote comfort during a potentially long day out. Again, footwear is important: look for something stylish, yet walkable — flats are always a safe choice.
Making the Most of the Shopping Experience
Your attire can make a huge difference during your bridal gown appointment, but the right mindset is arguably far more important. This is your chance to experiment and to dream big. Keep an open mind and try a variety of dress styles — you never truly know what works best until you play with lots of silhouettes and necklines. Don't be afraid to check out the latest trends in bridal fashion as well.
Take lots of photos to review later while also taking feedback from your bridal consultant or stylist into account. Guided by your own intuition and a little expert advice, you can narrow your options and find the dress of your dreams.
Our team at Moonlight Bridal is here to support you through the entirety of this meaningful journey. As you start hunting for ideas, take a look at our wedding dress collection online or find one of our authorized retailers to start trying gowns on! If you have any questions, feel free to get in touch.