The Ultimate Guide to Finding the Dress of Your Dreams

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You've seen that show, we've all seen that show.... "Say Yes to The Dress" I swear it puts such a mental picture in your mind that searching for your wedding dress is glamorous, fun, and filled with nothing but pure success - or usually on the first visit you find the dress of your dreams. To be completely honest:

It's just usually not that simple.....

Finding the perfect dress, the one you will be wearing on your big day can be difficult. It can take a lot time, effort, and energy. Today I'm going to be sharing with you my best tips for finding your dream dress, and then sharing my own personal story. 

How to Find the Dress of Your Dreams


Step 1: Have a general sense of what you're looking for BEFORE going to your bridal appointment.

It's so important that BEFORE you begin searching for your wedding dress you figure out just what you're looking for. What colors do you love most? Do you like tulle, lace, or neither of those styles? Begin by looking at dress types: trumpets, hourglass, mermaid ball gown, sheath, all of the above and choose a few key styles you enjoy most. For me, I had to look at my body type, and find something that could compliment my shape most. I have a more pear shaped figure, so I knew I wanted something either mermaid shaped, drop waist, or even a sheath style dress. Knowing what you're looking for before heading to your bridal appointment puts you ahead of the game before you even start trying dresses on. 


Step 2: Know your budget, and stick to it!

This is a crucial step in finding your dress. Before marching into a bridal store, it's important to know your limit. What are you willing to invest in your dress? What can you truly afford? Is your family willing to chip in on you dream dress? It's important to figure out just how much you can spend without breaking the bank. If you don't know what you're looking for, and you don't know your budget, chances are you'll be spending a lot more then what you could afford. If you don't know what style your looking for, or what your budget is, you're going to end up frustrated, confused and may make a rushed decision. 


Step 3: Bring your most honest friends/family!

It's CRUCIAL to bring the friends/family you trust most to your bridal visit. Make sure you're only bringing 2-3 people, so you're not overwhelmed with multiple opinions. If you bring a ton of people, you may wind up feeling pressured, and make a quick decision. At the end of the day it's important that the bride aka YOU have the final decision when choosing your dream dress. 

Step 4: Stay calm, and have fun!

The biggest thing when shopping and looking for the dress of your dreams is to remember that this is supposed to be FUN! and very exciting. It's so so important to keep an open mind and try on whatever you feel may work for you. Even if it takes you 2-4 trips to different stores and boutiques, don't get discouraged! You're going to find the dress of your dreams! You're going to find something that you feel absolutely beautiful in. You're going to have that special moment that every girl dreams about. Keep calm, have fun and take your time exploring all your options. 


My Story

When Dustin and I first moved to Texas, we were only engaged for less than a month. For the month that we were engaged, I didn't have a lot of time to day dream about having a wedding, we were so consumed with moving cross country and trying to get everything in order. Since September, I've felt so out of balance in my every day life. I haven't been able to fully concentrate on myself, my personal life, or even my relationship. I've been so caught up in moving, adjusting, and dealing with my mental health - being a little homesick, and trying to get a handle on my new life in a new city. It's been hard, really hard to adjust. Up until recently, I was truly struggling to find balance. Lately, though, I finally feel happy, and excited for our future here in Texas.

A few weekends ago, I decided I wanted to start looking at wedding dresses, no pressure, I just decided to dive into wedding planning. I created a few Pinterest boards, began looking at and talked with my wedding photographer about some ideas I had brewing. In one afternoon, Dustin and I had it all figured out. We knew our venue, the time of year, and just who would be invited on our big day. I knew I didn't want a very traditional wedding, or anything big for that matter. Our venue would be different, and I knew I needed a special type of dress, nothing too fancy, or puffy, nothing ball gown style. I made an appointment at our local Davids Bridal with a bridal consultant, and later that day I arrived ready to try on a million dresses.

To be honest, my experience at Davids Bridal was absolutely awful. My bridal consultant instantly turned me off, and told me that my "dream dress" was out of reach because I set a firm budget. She told me I wouldn't be able to find the style I want, or anything that I would feel good in. She instantly put me in a bad mood, and I spent two hours trying on dresses by myself, with little to no help or support - completely by myself! It was like she was too busy to offer support, or any advice. I tried on many different styles, but it helped me figure out what I knew I wanted, and most importantly....didn't want. It was definitely a huge bummer my consultant wasn't helpful, or really all that friendly. It didn't help that I was surrounded by other brides, and their friends, reminding me that my best friend couldn't be there by my side. After two hours, I felt hopeless. Thankfully, a girl came over to me, and suggested I got to a small bridal boutique right across the street, and that she would meet me over there (they also shared a bad experience as well - perfect timing, right?) After talking to the girls, I decided to break a few rules, and invite the groom. 

Dustin drove me over to Terry Costa, an extravagant dress boutique filled with beautiful gowns, prom dresses, and all things wedding related. I was instantly greeted by a woman with a kind smile, and a warm embrace. She instantly put me in a good mood. She told me she would be right with me, and to begin looking at dresses. Without really looking, I handed Dustin a few dresses I wanted to try on. Dustin looked through my selection, and told me all of them were beautiful. Luckily, there were many other brides with their grooms, no one really cared that we were doing something out of tradition. Dustin and I really never believed in tradition, when it came to marriage, or even good luck and bad luck. I wanted him present, and I needed his love and support. My bridal consultant was SUPER helpful and very honest with me. For some reason, she told me to try on a rather simple dress that I chose first. When I put it on, I didn't glance in the mirror. I walked out to have her lace the back, and was in complete shock. 

I felt incredible, beautiful, and had no doubts that this was it. I had found the dress. 

I walked out to a large runway, full of mirrors, and my future husband couldn't take his eyes off of me. I told him this was it. He looked at me, in a way he had never before and told me I looked beautiful, and that made all the difference. I decided I wanted to facetime my sisters, and my best friend. They all said the same thing: it was beautiful and it was me. My best friend, even though she was more than 2,000 miles away, offered so much help, love and support. I knew I had found the dress of my dreams, and didn't need to try on anything else. It was so strange because I had an idea of exactly what I wanted, and what I chose was the complete opposite. It wasn't filled with vintage lace, or a long train. It wasn't anything that I had in mind. But I fell in love with it, in an instant. It made me feel absolutely beautiful, and like I could live in it, if that was even an option. Sometimes, it may take trying on a million dresses, or just ten to find the "one." I feel fortunate that I was able to find mine within a day of searching. 


Are you recently engaged or searching for your dream dress? What are your best tips in finding your dream dress? I'd love to hear your story!