A different take on wedding dress shopping
Congratulations, you’re engaged!
It is so exciting to start looking for your wedding outfit (or outfits, some of us can’t be stopped). But it’s also easy to get overwhelmed. Here is the Fern & Moon guide for making the wedding dress shopping experience work for you!
1. Set a budget
Think about the most important parts of your day. Maybe it’s the dress, the food, or the music. This can help guide you on where to allocate your budget. Knowing the “heroes” of the day makes final decisions easier.
Celebrate the things you want to highlight. There are lots of reasons we love fashion or want to feel comfortable and confident on a day when (most) of us are outside of our comfort zone. There’s no judgment on the pieces of your wedding day that mean something extra to you.
When determining the budget for your wedding outfit, it’s sometimes helpful to look up the average cost in your area. Even if you choose to spend more or less, seeing this general number will let you know how it sits with you.
Once you have an idea of your budget, don’t forget about the extras that might come with it. Limiting customizations, budgeting for alterations, and getting recommendations on undergarments are all ways to stay on track while wedding dress shopping!
2. Find your style
Start by looking through pictures of formal outfits you’ve worn before. Chances are these provide good information on what you like (or would never wear again). It’s also interesting to see how these styles photograph. Do you keep buying strapless gowns only to realize you look naked in close-ups (just a random example, definitely not personal)?
Look through your closet for hints at design choices you love. Maybe all your sweaters have fun sleeves, or all your trousers are wide leg. Often you’ll see a pattern of silhouettes you tend to feel best in!
Gathering these details will help you share the things you love with shops and designers while you’re wedding dress shopping so they can help you find the best match.
3. Look for shops/designers that resonate with you
There are lots of options out there, and it’s easy to get overwhelmed, but a little bit of framework can lead to amazing results.
Maybe you want to purchase from a women lead designer or shop, or perhaps you’re planning a sustainable wedding. Maybe you know you want lots of lace, or something minimal. Setting these parameters for yourself makes the search easier!
4. Set yourself a word
We have Lauren to thank for this piece of advice. When Lauren came for her appointment, she shared that she wanted to feel powerful. As she tried pieces on she reflected on the word, and immediately she knew which combo was the one.
There are so many gorgeous outfits out there, and it can be easy to get a little lost. Setting a word for how you want to feel on your wedding day can anchor you back to who you are. Honestly we’ve started using this tip for almost every purchase that matters. It’s amazing! Thank you Lauren.
5. Think about your experience
How do you prefer to make most of your decisions?
If you like company and a collaborative experience, invite your trusted friends or family members whose opinions you often listen to.
If you like to know your own mind before bringing others into the mix, it’s totally normal to explore on your own! You can always loop loved ones in later if it’s important to include them, and set the parameters for the feedback you’re interested in hearing from them.
6. Stop looking once you find your outfit
It’s very hard to stop looking (especially when your algorithm is set on sending you every dress under the sun). But just like in modern dating, it’s easy to think there’s always something else out there. Welcome to the paradox of choice, the more you have to choose from, the harder it is to stay happy with what you have. Don’t worry, it’s just a part of being human.
If you really do see something you can’t get out of your head, but you already have your dress, maybe you can find the elements you love in a second look that fits within your budget. We love separates for just this reason! You can add details and elements you’re drawn to without purchasing an entirely new gown. But we’re a little biased.
You can check out our buildable bridal separates and second-look outfits Here!