Tyley Time – Dress Shopping

Buying a wedding dress has never been my idea of a good time. I knew that they likely wouldn’t have multiple sizes of each dress, and that I would either need things clipped to get an idea what my size would look like, or not zipped for an idea of what it might look like.

For wedding dress shopping I booked two appointments with a small break in between and I only invited my mom (Jane) and my matron of honor (Alex). Thankfully they know each other well, get along, and I like their clothing style on an everyday basis. Alex is more fashionable than me, whereas even in everyday dressing I typically stick to the basics. But I knew she would be helpful especially if things weren’t going well and I needed someone to redirect the process.

Our first stop had a stylist who encouraged us to pull 3 dresses we liked, and then we went from there. There were plenty of good options, and one option that we all thought was “very southern, and not our style” so it was nice to have an agreement on what wouldn’t be considered. We tried on for a while, found a dress that was good, but decided that I would come back for another try on if I needed.

We had a little time in-between appointments so we stopped for a glass of wine and some bruschetta to refresh ourselves. I let Jane and Alex know that at the next store I wanted as much of a clean slate as possible. I didn’t want to tell them what we had discovered I liked or didn’t like in a dress, and instead just see where a new store, salesperson, and inventory would take us.

At the second store, the salesperson had a great energy, and let us know that she had all the knowledge and would be pulling all the dresses for us. We would try on one at a time, and if there was a favorite, that one would become what we compared other dresses to. We did have to ‘fess up that we had been at another appointment and shared a bit of what we had liked/learned.

After a little more than an hour at the second store, we found the winner! There was a champagne toast, a swipe of a credit card, and a reminder to check my email sometime in July for the when the dress will be arriving.

At both stores if a dress was being considered I had Alex take a picture of me in it. This was helpful so that if we had moved on and I wondered again about a dress, we had photo proof of why we had moved on. Once I “Said Yes to the Dress” and looked back at what I was considering at the first shop, it was wild to think that the first place was even being considered. The back wasn’t flattering, and the front of the dress wasn’t all that great.

So one thing is mostly checked off the to-do list! I’ll have to get alterations done once the dress comes in, but I will worry about that in July!


  1. Sounds like you went into it with a great game plan. Hurray to getting this done. I know lots of women dream of their wedding dress for years and look forward to shopping for it, but I am not that person either!

  2. Oh how exciting! I enjoyed dress shopping. But it wasn’t something I really dreamed of either. I had a very good idea of what I wanted (something with lace) and didn’t want (strapless). I ended up liking a lot of what I tried on, especially at the store where we bought the dress, but I really loved what I ended up buying. And after looking at pics of the contenders, I was sure it was the right one. I needed a few days to finalize my decision though as the dress was a bit above my budget (but not super expensive – I had a budget that was on the lower end). Also, I went dress shopping in January and was getting married in May so that limited my options a bit! But it didn’t end up mattering as I can’t imagine loving a dress more than the one I bought!!

    1. I had no idea what a reasonable budget was, my mom has a few fancy friends who paid more than $5k for dresses, but I didn’t want to spend that much, so I was well below that number. Had both appointments gone poorly the day I looked, I would have chose two more places and just kept trying. My maid of honor found an awesome deal on her dress and paid less than $500. I wasn’t that lucky, but was happy where I ended up.

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