6 Things You NEED To Know Before Starting Your Dress Search

You’ve had your engagement party, secured your venue and wedding planner… now, on to the fun part—dress shopping! The last thing you want is your dress experience to be something out of the Bridesmaids movie scene. So, today we’re sitting down with Amber and Dawn of Kinsley James Couture Bridal to find out everything you need to know before starting your search. Happy dress hunting, loves!

Research + Educate Yourself

At first it might seem that all wedding dresses are the same. Before coming in to your appointment, it’s helpful to familiarize yourself with basic styles and silhouettes of wedding gowns. Think about how you want to feel on your wedding day and what look you are trying to achieve. Bring in photos of dresses that fit the look you want, because it will really give your stylist a sense of direction.

Less is more.

Invite only those people whose opinions mean the most to you in your decision making. It’s difficult to put a hard number on it, but it always seems better to keep the count down to 1-3 guests for your initial wedding gown search. That way you don’t get overwhelmed with tons of dresses, tons of guests and tons of opinions. If you’re one who has many friends, invite them all back when you’ve narrowed your search down to 2 or 3 gowns. This way, it’s easier to handle your own emotions after figuring out the majority of your decision and it allows your friends to be happy they’re apart of the decision too!

Don’t forget—being engaged and wedding dress shopping should be one of the most happiest times! There is so much excitement and lot’s of emotions wrapped up into this experience. Only bring the friends or family members who support you and who will also bring positive energy to your appointment.

Be open to customizations and don’t over analyze!

Sometimes your stylist might suggest a small change to make the dress exactly what you are looking for. It may be hard to visualize, but remember that the stylists are the professionals and will not make suggestions they do not feel comfortable with. Small adjustments can make a big difference to make sure that dress fits and looks prefect. Also, try not to over analyze the dress. Dress shopping really is a gut feeling. Trust that! If you absolutely love a dress that makes you feel special, and like a bride, but maybe doesn’t fit your venue, it’s ok! There are no rules.


Think about your budget.

Make sure you have a gauge on what you want to spend before trying on dresses. Make sure you discuss this concept with someone close (or the someone that’s paying for it) and come up with a price range or a maximum budget you’re comfortable with spending on your dress. This step alone will help narrow down your search and help you find the right fit!

Give yourself plenty of time.

Know your wedding date or a close estimate of when the big day is. It’s important to give yourself plenty of time to find the right one so your decision is never rushed. Our dresses take about 5-7 months to be handmade and we give 2 months for alterations. We recommend starting the dress hunt at around 10 months prior to your wedding, but a year is even better. We do offer an expedited process with a rush fee, but it’s better to give yourself as much time as you need to find that perfect dress!

You can say yes at anytime!

Take a few minutes before your first appointment and remind yourself that this is not just a shopping day with family and friends. You are going shopping for your wedding dress! Sometimes it’s easy to lose sight of that, but remember that this is a very special moment. It might take going to a few different stores, and sometimes it might be the first stop. Just be ready to say yes when you find the one you love, because after all, that’s the reason for your search!

Photography: Monica Wang | Dresses and Tips: Kinsley James Couture Bridal