But standing up on that pedestal in front of those mirrors — your body, your relationship, your soul fully on display from each and every angle — is a really vulnerable thing to do. So it’s important to take care of your emotional state as you embark on your wedding dress-shopping expeditions. Here’s how to make the most out of your dress-shopping journeys:
Trip 1: Try On Everything.
On your first outing, you can’t possibly expect to purchase a wedding dress. Nor should anybody else expect you to whip out your credit card. So set that expectation: The only goal of your first trip to a bridal shop is to try on every style, trend and silhouette in the store — that massive ballgown, the hippy-dippy flower-child dress, the mermaid silhouette. This trip is purely exploratory. Tell your salesperson that this is your first day and you'd really like to try everything. This first outing’s a great one to invite your — how shall we say this diplomatically — “difficult characters” (and maybe future MIL?) along. You're not going to buy anything, so everyone can be in good spirits without too much drama. Think of it as a festive, celebratory, inspo party at the bridal salon.
Trip 2: Bring Your Go-to Girls.
Now that you have an idea what wedding dress styles look good (and what doesn’t), you can start winnowing your approach. For the second trip, bring along your best girlfriends. You know the ones: they aren't jealous, or critical. The ones who can give helpful feedback in a sensitive way, with a diplomatic touch. These are the girls who will make sure your back fat is covered up and that your ass looks great. Don’t forget to buy them a drink afterwards!
Trip 3: Mom Time.
Your Mom will want some private, quite time with you alone at the bridal shop, and you’ll want that time with her. So make a day of it, the two of you, to share this precious mother-daughter life experience. Take your time at the salon and plan on a mother-daughter lunch after!
Trip 4: Private One-on-One With Your Dress.
As you zero in on The One, make a solo trip to the bridal salon. Ideally, make your appointment for a quiet weekday morning, when the salon’s empty. That way, you’ll have the mirrors, pedestal and room to yourself. Walk around quietly, meditatively and unselfconsciously, and reflect on how each dress feels. In the stillness and the quiet of your time alone, which one just feels right? That’s The One.