When & How to Shop for a Wedding Dress—This Year and Next – by Bazaar Bride

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Dear Brides,

we want to share with you this very interesting article by CARRIE GOLDBERG and HEATHER HALL published by Bazaar Bride. From doing your research to making appointments, alterations, and beyond, all these precious infos can help you to find your perfect dress in the perfect way!

“The concept of wedding dress shopping is exciting, full of fantasy—yet no easy task. It’s a moment most fashion lovers dream of, but it’s a whole new world, different from off-the-rack shopping at brick-and-mortar stores and more detailed and labor-intensive than online shopping. As a result, getting started can be daunting, and the process is (admittedly) not always glamorous.

Even for the shopping obsessed, that aforementioned complexity combined with a global pandemic creates a slew of challenges most planning small weddings in 2020, and larger events in 2021 and into 2022, weren’t expecting. Enter: wedding dress shopping mistakes that most brides make. From not doing one’s research to not going with your gut, some mistakes are minor (read: Leave your black lace underwear at home and opt for a nude seamless pair that perfectly matches your skin tone), while others can lead to buyer’s remorse.

This is an endeavor that requires expert advice; whether you hire a stylist well-versed in bridal, haute couture, and all things formal, or whether you go it alone with the help of a curated group of friends and family. To help you seamlessly navigate this shopping process, we’re breaking down how to get started and when to shop, and flagging all the mistakes brides make on the hunt for their wedding gowns. Our goal? For you to not only land on the dream ceremony look, but to enjoy the time you spend shopping for it too.


We’ll say it a little louder for the brides in the back: Don’t go into this process blind! In pandemic times, this applies more than ever before. On the upside, you have time to do the research. Use your weekends at home to scour designer websites, online publications (like BAZAAR Bride), Instagram, and more. Get a solid understanding of the elements you love—be it a neckline, a silhouette, a textile, beadwork, et cetera. Walking into your first appointment with a baseline understanding of which brands, gowns, and styles you love will be extremely helpful when it comes to starting your search; it also gives your consultant a road map to determine what you should try on first.

Don’t stress: You don’t have to know exactly what you want upfront, but consider your venue, dress code, the season you’re getting married in, guest count, and preferred silhouettes so that you have somewhere to start and build from. Also, keep it simple: If you love sleeves and dislike super-fitted, mermaid silhouettes, that’s a start. If you’re planning a wedding with a large guest count and prefer to don a ball gown to stand out in a crowd? That’s a fine jumping-off point as well.

For those who love fashion and already have an idea of their dream wedding dress, manage your expectations. You might have a mental picture in mind, but that imaginary gown may not exist in real life exactly as it does in your head. Our tip: Go into the shopping process with an idea of what you are looking for, and keep an open mind. If you’ve had your eye on a specific brand or dress, get in touch with the store to ensure it will be in-house at the time of your appointment.

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