Going Wedding Dress Shopping? Read This! - Brogan Marie Photography

Things You Should Know Before Wedding Dress Shopping

Just last weekend I went wedding dress shopping with my maid of honor. Not only did I officially say yes to the dress, but I want to pop on here and share some things you should know before wedding dress shopping!

Many of you may not know that I am actually a bride too! My love and I got engaged on a snowshoeing adventure last December. It was pure magic! 2020 was a slap in the face, but one of the plus sides, is that we’re still planning our own day for May of 2021.

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Thank You For Your Support

Planning a wedding during COVID is less than ideal. It hasn’t been easy watching everyone’s plans quickly change. We are planning a destination wedding so while there are parts of that which are super easy and laid back, a global pandemic sure does throw a kink in things causing added stress.

By the way, y’all really showed up. I asked on my Instagram last week for some wedding dress tips and these were all too good NOT to share! Thaaaaankkkkk yooooou for sharing your advice for wedding dress shopping from your personal experiences.

It is amazing to have an incredible community from all over, especially with you in it.

Tip #1: Let Loose!

My number one tip is to have fun! Let loose! Laugh a little! Bring your favorite ladies with you to back you up and pop the champagne with. Heck, you are allowed to pop the bubbly before you find THE DRESS if you want to.

Right now, the shops we went to are only allowing one guest so I was lucky enough to have my maid of honor join me for all of this beautiful experience — and we faced timed with my best ladies for extra opinions, good vibes, and smiles! Yes things are more difficult right now, but the dress shops have it figured out and it was still a blast!

Also, make sure you do a movement test in your dress. Drop it low, sit down, dance a little! Do all of the things and make sure you are comfortable while also looking incredible, because comfort is important too!

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Tip #2: Have An Open Mind

Keep your horizons open! Don’t go into your dress shopping experience with a closed mind, thinking of only one type of dress style. You will be so surprised at what you may find. I was guilty of this and thought I knew exactly what I wanted!

Try on everything! Sample styles that you haven’t looked at before. Even dresses that you wouldn’t normally choose for yourself. Listen to your sales associate and communicate with them. If there’s something you love or don’t love, it’s okay to say so!

If you think you’ve found ‘THE ONE’ after only trying on a few dresses. Woohoo! That’s totally fine! If you haven’t found the perfect one for you after trying on what feels like so many dresses, that’s okay too!

Remember, almost anything can happen. See the potential in each and every dress. Try each dress on with a deep breath, and smile. It’s allllll happening.

More photos from M+A’s Intimate Wedding on Cannon Beach, Oregon

Tip #3: Celebrate Where You Are

You are perfect just the way you are. You don’t need to lose fifteen more pounds before sealing the deal. It doesn’t matter if you aren’t feeling your best right now. Its 2020, girl, we have all been there. Stop overthinking it!

Celebrate where you are now, with what and who you have in your life. It does not matter if you don’t feel your best, if you’ve had a year of issue after issue, cancellation after cancellation. Stop, take a breath, and do a little happy dance. Remember, you look beautiful just the way you are. Allow yourself to feel it, inside and out!

Along those lines, don’t pick a dress you will have to change your body to fit into down the road. You will have enough to stress about and it isn’t worth it! You are going to want to eat and drink your heart out on the wedding day and be comfortable and confident!

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Tip #4: Plan Ahead

One of the greatest tips I read from all of your messages is to plan ahead. If you’ve already got shoes lined up for your special day, bring them along with you to your next dress shopping appointment.

Do your research beforehand. Flip through magazines, browse blog posts, follow your favorite photographers on Instagram or Pinterest, and follow along. Have a few styles in mind that you’d like to try before you arrive to your wedding dress shopping experience, but also remember! Keep an open mind!

More photos from S+H’s Elopement on San Juan Island, Washington

Tip #5: Be Realistic About Your Budget

The scariest topic of all is usually the price tag of the dress you fall in love with. Go into each and every one of your appointments with a game plan: Stay. On. Budget. That doesn’t mean you aren’t flexible with how much you are willing to spend, but having a top-line number will keep your overall budget in check and leave room for the other looks you’ll need surrounding the ceremony. If you are still unsure about where to cap your spending, ask yourself what price tag would turn your “dream dress” into a gown that’s not for you.

Keep in mind that the price tag on your gown doesn’t include alteration fees, accessories, your veil, shipping, sales tax, or any post-wedding dry cleaning and preservation. Keep all expenses in mind when deciding what you are comfortable spending on a wedding dress.

There are also tons of sample and off the rack options! I went in with an open mind and budget and when I felt I had found the one, I asked her the details on it. It was “off the rack”, in near perfect condition, and $299. This also means no stressing about shipping time and it arriving when it is supposed to because I got to walk out of the store with it in hand!

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My Advice for Wedding Dress Shopping

I’m not going to lie — my wedding dress shopping experience wasn’t entirely what I expected. (Thanks COVID!). Social distancing measures means that you’ll need to bring a tiny entourage – but this is actually a blessing in disguise. Don’t be afraid to mask up and speak up! Your stylist won’t be able to read your lips or see the smile on your face, to truly know how you are feeling. Speak up and talk it out with your friend group (even if they’re on Facetime!).

More photos from N+A’s Redwoods Elopement Adventure

I Said Yes to the Dress!

I’m super happy to say that I diiiiiiid say yes to my dress! I am not a shopper, I don’t enjoy it and hate trying stuff on, but I loved wedding dress shopping! I had put it off for months and now want to go try on more just for funsies!

Thanks for following along with my real bride experience and check back for more updates in 2021! For now, I wish you all the best in your dress shopping experience. Don’t hesitate to reach out and chat with me in my DMs.!

Wedding Dress Shops That I Love In Portland, Oregon:
Charlotte’s Weddings
Blue Sky Bridal
A&Bé Bridal Shop
The White Dress Bridal Boutique