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Dress shopping was one of the first things that my mom, sisters, and I did as soon as I was engaged. It’s the kick off to wedding planning, right? While I knew I wouldn’t be able to make a decision until we had nailed down our venue, I knew I wanted to actually try on gowns and get an idea for what I liked on me. It’s pretty normal for brides to see dresses they love in a magazine, come in to try it on, and realize they totally hate how it looks on them!

I spent TONS of time dress shopping–I think I’m pretty particular. But I wanted to share with you a few tips for a successful experience and share with you images of our experience at Nordstrom Wedding Suite, which I highly recommend. (Yay for fun images by my sister, Hayley of T&H Photography!)

Wedding Blog Dress Shopping Adventures!

So here are my dress shopping tips:

1. Dress up. Go in with your hair and makeup looking fabulous, and with all the right undergarments. This makes a huge difference in how you feel and look in the dress!

Wedding Blog Dress Shopping Adventures!

2. Take just a few people you trust. I brought my sisters, mom and two girlfriends. That sounds like a lot, but it was nice to have the girlfriend perspective, mixed with the sisters and the mom. Either way, narrow it down and remember that YOUR opinion matters most.

Wedding Blog Dress Shopping Adventures!

3. Narrow down your silhouette favorites. If you walk in to a store and try on every single dress, you’ll feel exhausted and overwhelmed at the end of the experience. Trust me! I was able to figure out pretty quickly what I’d love and what I’d hate, so I was picky. That meant I tried on less dresses, but it was easier to save myself time and heartache trying on a dress that would look awful. (Like that belt above??? Click here!)

Wedding Blog Dress Shopping Adventures!

4. Be patient. Sometimes I’m surprised how quickly girls pull the trigger. If you are pinning tons of dresses with flowy tulle, make sure you track down that dress style and try it on! Don’t get distracted by dresses that look great on you and forget to go for what you’ve been obsessing over.

Wedding Blog Dress Shopping Adventures!

5. Take advantage of trunk shows! I didn’t realize this until I worked for a bridal atelier, but trunk shows are an opportunity for you to have access to a designer’s full line of gowns. Often times, designers make only one gown of each design, so the gown takes turns at each store. In order to have a chance to try on ALL of a collection, look for trunk shows in your area. Plus, you have the chance to possibly meet the designer, and/or get bonuses like discounts on things like alterations, accessories or your veil. (Obsessing over that necklace like I am??? Get it here!)

Wedding Blog Dress Shopping Adventures!

6. Try out Nordstrom Wedding Suite! Honestly, I ended up finding two dresses I loved–one for my shower and one for my get away! But both of them were not available in my size at the store. Our consultant got on the phone immediately and by the end of our appointment had located my sizes–one of which had to be found at a Nordstrom Rack–yes, they’ll do that for you! So I got this dress on a crazy sale and OF COURSE it was sent to me with no shipping charge. You can’t beat that. I mean it. Crazy crazy good customer service.

The other thing that is great is that they’ve got soooooo many dresses for bridesmaids and mother-of-the-bride. ALL of us ended up trying on dresses, so it made for a really fun appointment! They also have every accessory you’d need for the big day–from a get away dress, fur caplets, jewelry, shoes–the list goes on. So you can get it all done in one place. (Love that sandal above on the right? So do I!!! Find it here!)

7. Lastly, if all else fails, bring your flower girl for comic relief. This is my niece Norah Mae–just shopping with the girls and having a grand time. She stole the show. She even tried on a few dresses and accessories. She’s as excited as I am about the wedding. It’ll be her big debut.

Wedding Blog Dress Shopping Adventures!

This post is brought to you by Nordstrom.*If any of the items aren’t available online please give them a call, and they’ll be more than happy to assist you. Opinions are the blogger’s own.