shopping for the dress

You may have fantasized about your dream dress from the moment he popped the question, but the chances are you probably haven’t yet considered the practicalities of actually finding it. Here are some tips to ensure it turns out to be a dream come true.

Bring someone you trust. We all know that too many cooks spoil the soup – same applies when shopping for a gown. Bringing along an army of well-meaning friends or relatives is usually a mistake. Bring along one to two trusted people – your mom, a close friend, etc. – who are honest but not harsh, know your vision, and will support your decision.

Plan in advance. Most bridal gowns have to be special ordered, and it can take up to six months to order certain dresses. Then you have to leave time for alterations. A word to the wise: start shopping for a gown nine months to a year before your wedding.

Start out with a general idea of the kind of dress you like. Ball gown, mermaid, A-line, empire line, etc. Also, think about whether you want a theme to your wedding (color, period, style) as this will make your choice of dress easier. Bring photos of gowns you love to your bridal appointment to help narrow down selections.

Keep an open mind. Try on as many styles as you can. Lots of dresses have zero hanger appeal, but look great once you put them on.

Be practical. A huge skirt will be hard to maneuver in a tiny ceremony site

Ask to try on a veil with the dress and consider accessories. To complete the look, such as jewelry and gloves. These touches just might turn a dress from ordinary to special.

Think about your shoes. Whether or not you want a heel may affect the whole look of your dress. When trying on dresses, wear heels similar in height to your wedding shoes to help plan alteration changes.

Remember to look at your rear view! Your guests will have an uninterrupted view during the ceremony, so it’s got to look good.

You deserve excellent service. You’re shopping for your dream gown, and you have every right to expect top-notch customer service. If you believe you’re being mistreated, take charge of the situation and go to another shop that values you as a customer.

Get it in writing. Make sure all the details of your gown order (and any promises the shop makes about delivery, sizing, etc.) are in writing before you place your deposit.


2022 is shaping up beautifully for wedding gown trends. From flouncy and flirty details to bold and bedazzled wonders, there’s something for every bride to love in this year’s lineup. Here are a few of the show-stopping styles.

Capelets & Jackets. Cover-ups are not new, but this year, find beautiful capelets and jackets made of dainty and feminine tulle as well as lightweight bell-sleeves, feathers and more. Don’t be afraid to try something unique, especially if your dress is simplistic.

Botanical Appliques. For a touch of romance and fairytale allure, brides will love this year's botanical appliques – a twist on the classic floral applique trend. These details can be seen in many gown styles – from boho to modern. Choose a modern silhouette with botanical appliques all throughout the dress, or choose a more subtle option with only a few appliques strategically placed on the skirt.

Cut-Outs. Cut-outs, such as front or back keyhole accents, are adding a sweet surprise to many gowns this year. Designers dared to be bold and used this design element to turn traditional gowns into modern masterpieces.

Shorter Dresses. Whether you’ve postponed your big day and just want to get married or if you just plan on having a small intimate ceremony, short and alternative bridal dresses are hot picks for brides in 2022. Bonus: A shorter, twirl-worthy skirt is perfect for dancing the night away!

Power Puff Sleeves. With a nod to Princess Diana's iconic wedding look, puff sleeves are making a major comeback. For trend-loving brides, find these statement billowy puff sleeves in sophisticated regency-era designs as well as relaxed and casual bohemian styles.