6 Tips For Choosing Your Wedding Dress - Grier Cooper Photography

6 Tips For Choosing Your Wedding Dress

Chances are if you’re planning a wedding, you’re also on the hunt for tips for choosing your wedding dress. Not just any dress, but the perfect wedding dress. We turned to the pros at Lili Safarini, the East Bay’s premiere couture bridal shop, for expert advice to help you save time and stress so you can relax and enjoy the process. Read their wedding dress shopping 101 and say yes to the dress of your dreams!
tips for choosing your wedding dress

Set a Budget

Before you get carried away Pinning all those diamond encrusted wedding dresses, take a look at your wedding budget and set a number you’re willing to spend on your gown. This will not only narrow your choices (such an endless amount of beautiful gowns out there!) but also help you hone your expectations in the dress shopping process.

Do Your Research

Overwhelmed by the endless options and don’t know where to start? Take our wedding dress quiz to find what style of gown might be right for you. Want to know what silhouette best flatters your favorite bits? Take a scroll through our post on how to choose the best dress for your body type.

Start early.

Start dress shopping as soon as the event venue location, style and the theme are finalized. Believe it or not, gowns typically take anywhere from 4-10 month to be made. Factor in shipping times (is your dress coming from Paris?) alterations and multiple fittings – in the end, your gown could take up to 12 months to be ready. Your wedding dress is a special dress you’ll be wearing only once, and shopping should be part of the overall experience. Make sure you start shopping early; last-minute searching often yields lots of stress and frustration.

Bring one person to help.

Taking family and many friends gown shopping can lead to buying a dress that’s liked by others but not exactly what you may be looking for. One pair of eyes of a person whose taste you trust, such as a close friend, sister or mom can provide the perfect amount of perspective. Make sure your shopping companion is uplifting, understands who you are, what you like, and understand that this day is about you choosing your gown.

Try to schedule your bridal salon appointments all in one day or weekend. This way, each gown is fresh in your mind for comparison. If you schedule your appointments all in one day, make a party of it! Plan a special lunch in between appointments to thank your shopping companion.

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Move around in the dress.

When trying on a dress, try different positions like walking, siting, and lifting your hands to make sure the dress is comfortable.That being said, make sure you consider what the climate will be like on your wedding day. Full skirts with loads of fabric weren’t fitting for a hot, Mexico beach wedding. Make sure you keep the season and destination in mind when you’re trying on gowns.


Worried about sweating through a summer wedding? Stick to silks and take this opportunity to show some skin. Planning a late fall, outdoor wedding? Perhaps sleeves would be fitting to keep you warm late into the party.

Set yourself up for success.

On the shopping day, make sure to get enough sleep and be in a good mood. Also scheduling too many appointments for the same day can be overwhelming and frustrating.

Photograph the dress.

Take a photo of the dresses you like for later reference. Looking at the photos later can help picking the right dress.
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Don’t second-guess yourself.

Once you’ve chosen a dress don’t continue shopping or looking for other dresses. Doing this can create doubts and become frustrating. It’s important to remember that the choice you made was the right one and your dress is the best!
We hope you find these tips for choosing your wedding dress helpful. Remember, wedding dress shopping is a process. Not everyone has that magical “aha” moment immediately, sometimes it takes going back through the top contender gowns and seeing them on again with accessories to help you envision your complete look. Have fun finding your dream dress!

Not sure where to go to find that dress? Check out this list of our favorite San Francisco bridal boutiques!



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