Coby Rachel Perth Wedding & Lifestyle Photographer


The Truth About Wedding Dress Shopping

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When my best friend announced she was engaged, the squeal that came from me was so high pitched it could probably have been heard three streets away. Excited doesn't even begin to cover it.

My mind immediately began racing with all the fun things we where going to do, helping her choose a colour schemes, sipping champagne, visiting venues, stationary shopping, drinking champagne, selecting bridesmaid dresses... did I mention champagne? Oh & the big one, DRESS SHOPPING.

This was the one I was most ecstatic about. Seeing your best friend looking beautiful in a stunning white frock *insert high pitched squeal here*. We walk into the first bridal store & that is when it hit me. At some point between shopping for my own wedding dress & that exact moment I had sugar coated the whole experience- at which point, it all came flooding back.

Wedding dress shopping is freaking stressful!

When I was first engaged I used to imagine what dress I would wear as I floated down the aisle towards my handsome prince charming. I pictured an ethereal style down, empire waist with oodles of chiffon & definitely no veil. Beautiful & bridal but would allow me to party into the night. *Spoiler alert* That's not how it went down.

The commentary in my head for an average dress shopping experience went a little something like this:

Alright Coby, stay calm & collected- don't fall in love with the first gown you see...
OMG this gown is stunning & perfect in every way. I must try it on
Oh wow & the consultant is coming in here with me. Awesome. Probably should have worn nicer underwear.
Huh there is a lot more tulle in this dress once its on than it looked like 2 minutes ago., maybe lets try another one.
Yep & she is still here to assist me in my nakedness while I try & squeeze into the next dress.
Nope. Nope. Nope. Stuffed sausage seems like a pretty appropriate analogy here.
Maybe I should try the one my bridesmaid keeps suggesting.
Well this doesn't look much better but not as terrible as the previous ones.
& now they are all crying. Do they not see I look like a pavlova?
Just take the consultant's advice & pick a dress in an entirely different style....
Oh wow here we go, puffy satin ball gown with a train for days... that will be a laugh.

Keep it together women!

Rinse. Repeat. You get the drift.

Turns out, my ideal dream dress I had envisioned just wasn't going to happen. My body shape, the style, budget & the practicality of it all just wasn't a fit. My dress ended up being a stunning Alfred Angelo princess ball gown complete with train & a chapel length crystal veil. (I cried. My mum cried. My husband balled his eyes out in what is now known as 'doing a Kyle'. All good.)

What I wish someone had told me before the whole ordeal was:

  • Have an idea in your head of what you want, then forget all about it. Try on at least a few different dress styles to get a sense of what suits you & what doesn't.
  • Those fitting room ladies see women in every size & shape every day, so don't feel too self conscious about your body, you're going to look damn hot on your wedding day regardless.
  • There is about 75 different shades of 'white' & it is entirely possible 'white' might not be your colour.
  • If possible, go to a few different shops with different styles. There are a tonne of great places that specialize in different styles & designers. 
  • Don't take too many people with you & make sure those you do take, will give you an honest opinion.
  • Stand up for yourself if you feel you are being pushed into a certain style you just don't like. Even if your mum, grandma & maid of honor are all crying their eyes out at how gorgeous you look, if you don't feel it, its not the right dress for you.
  • It is 100% possible you won't have that 'this is it' moment. As much as you might envy those ladies who get to say that all emotional 'yes' to the dress to Randy, some brides just don't have that clouds aligning moment. If you feel rad in the dress & it flatters in all the right places, it might be a winner.
  • It is okay to walk away from 'The One'. Take some time to think about the dress. If after a few days you can't get it off your mind, you know you have a winner.

Did you have a stressful wedding dress shopping experience? What is your advice?

coby hobbs2 Comments