Say Yes to the Dress–8 Tips for Finding the Perfect Wedding Dress

Yay, you’ve found the perfect partner and agreed to marry them! Finding the perfect wedding dress in St. Louis can be a lot like finding the perfect person to marry: both take time and patience, sometimes you know exactly what you want, and sometimes you find the one you didn’t know you were looking for.

One of the first things many brides do after saying, “Yes!” is start looking for a wedding dress, and starting early is good. With so many styles, designers, and shops, it can be really difficult to find the perfect dress and commit with confidence. I, along with your local St. Louis wedding dress shops and salons, want to help you find the perfect wedding dress so you can say, “Yes!” to your dress, too!

Chaumette wedding
Wedding Dress from Bridal Parlour

1. Keep an open mind

Even if you already have a style or dress in mind, try on different styles and silhouettes. You may be surprised by what you like after you have a dress on, or it may confirm that the dress you liked from the start is the right one!

I was 95% certain I’d found my dress before setting foot in a single shop (an ivory, tea length a-line dress with polka dots), but I still tried on ball gowns, mermaids, sheath dresses before deciding just to be sure. In the end, I went with my original choice, and I felt even better about my decision because I knew the other dresses weren’t for me.

2. It’s ok to have some non-negotiables

I know I just said to keep an open mind, but a couple of non-negotiables are ok to have, too. If you absolutely know you don’t want a strapless gown, stick with that. If you hate tulle, say no. Having a firm idea of what you don’t want can help you find what you do want.

3. You don’t need a full audience

While dress shopping can be a fun experience to share with your bridal party, too many opinions can also make it more difficult to decide on which dress you like best. Bring a couple of people who are close to you and will provide honest (and positive) opinions to help you make the right choice. You can take some photos of you in the dresses to share with friends and family who don’t come along.

4. It’s ok to be picky

Most bridal shops do not accept returns, so don’t be afraid to be picky. Your stylist will help you find a dress that matches your style, and many shops and designers can help you customize your dress, as well. Be polite but vocal in what you’re looking for, and don’t hesitate to keep looking and trying on dresses if you haven’t found the perfect dress yet.

5. Accessories and undergarments are important

If you already have the perfect pair of shoes or plan to wear an heirloom veil or jewelry, bring them with to your appointment. These items can help you see a complete look and get an idea of how to style your dress on your wedding day! It also helps to be prepared by wearing or bringing a well-fitted strapless bra or skin-toned shapewear.

6. Be ready to shop

Arrive to your appointment with a positive mindset and be prepared to make a deposit. You want to really be able to envision yourself getting married in that dress, and going in feeling stressed and full of negative thoughts will not help your experience or decision making process. Eat a light meal or snack beforehand so you don’t get hangry, and be prepared to put money down if you find the perfect dress.

7. Start shopping early

Many shops and custom dresses take 6-9 months to make and arrive in the shop. Don’t put off your dress shopping, because you’ll also need to allot time for alterations.

8. Say YES!

When you know, you’ll know. You’ll find the perfect dress, and when you do, be ready to commit to it. As I mentioned earlier, all sales are final for most shops, so when you say yes, you’d better be ready to commit to it! Don’t second guess your decision, your future spouse will think you look amazing no matter what!

Wedding dress from Robin’s Bridal Boutique in St. Louis

Here are some of my favorite St. Louis wedding dress shops and bridal salons:

Bridal Parlour
Clarice’s Bridal Boutique
Mia Grace Bridal
Robin’s Bridal Boutique
Town & Country Bridal

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