How To Wedding Dress Shop Without Losing Your Mind

Back in 2014, I went wedding dress shopping with two moms who are diametrically different when it comes to shopping. My mother-in-law to be (at the time) to this day still watches Yes to the Dress whenever she can. My mother on the other hand hadn’t heard of the show until the wedding dress journey began. My mom definitely needs to pamper herself more, but when it comes to shopping and style, her taste and strategy is about being understated but timeless, so that you make a statement long after that era in which you were shopping.

So this is my wedding dress shopping experience and how I found the right dress for me, stress-free.

Wedding Dress Shopping January 2014
Me with my mother and mother-in-law at House of Brides in Orland Park in January 2014.

Shop  at Minimum 3.5 Months before the Big Day

I will recommend to all you young brides-to-be, that you dress shop at minimum 3.5 months before your wedding day. I cut it close when I found my wedding dress and of all days we all went shopping during a mini-blizzard.

I had gone dress shopping only once before with my mother 1 week prior, but on February 1st, 2014 it was time to get both moms by my side. My mom and I picked up my husband Geoff’s mom and we went to town.

Pre-Select Places to Shop and Have A Route Planned Out

We went to 4 places total during this mini-blizzard. My feet were hurting by the end of the day. It’s important not to spread yourself thin, you will be on your feet quite a lot, standing around and walking. Since ball gowns are not a common thing we wear for parties anymore, this shopping experience will feel like getting ready for the Academy Awards. Wedding dress shopping awakens and satisfies your girly and glamorous side.

Go With People That Have Your Best Interests At Heart

I tried on over a dozen dresses easily. Wedding dress shopping will mentally and physically test you, but it’s how you play it and who choose to bring along on your odyssey. Having my mom and Geoff’s mom with me helped tremendously. You want people that won’t stress you out or put extra pressure on you. What also made it easier for me was that I knew what I was looking for, so for me it was a focused and zen like quest. I went through dresses pretty quick (we were at each place for about 40 minutes to over an hour). Having gone through this rite of passage, I do understand why women have said it can be both an aggravating and joyful experience.

Remember It’s About Your Happiness In The End

After a nice break at Geoff’s parents’ home and before my mom and I departed for our home, I told Geoff I was feeling a little sad. I was sad because I was split between two dresses, and choosing either of them felt like betraying myself and him. He told me that all that mattered was my smile. What he wants to see when he first sees me in the dress at our ceremony is that big smile that means I am feeling really good and really happy. That’s all the mattered to him. So you see, even a confident chick like myself can feel that last minute sneak attack of doubt. The dress is just dressing, choose what you will. No one will hate you for your choice. Your happiness is what’s important in the end.

What Wedding Dress Shopping Is All About

You find that wedding dress shopping is less about the dress and more about the journey. You are looking for a dress that is going to make a statement about you in this moment in time that is very special. Whatever dress you choose, everyone who is important is going to love you. You learn new things about yourself and you find out more about your style, and what works for you. Wedding dress shopping is a fun distraction, not meant to torment you. What’s important is that your dress makes you feel happy, that’s what will show in the pictures and the video on your wedding day. The day of your wedding you’ll be too busy being in the moment and feeling all the love around you and your husband,  not focusing on the dress.

So in your final decision, listen to how you feel and you won’t go wrong.


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