Shopping for your wedding dress is one of the most momentous occasions, but it requires a little bit of careful planning and some key background knowledge to feel ready for the fitting room. You’ve picked out the salon you want to hit first and invited your closest crew. Besides screenshots of your favorite bridal gowns on Instagram, there are a few other important items to bring with you to the salon.
Ahead, industry expert Liz Teich offers tips to help you feel prepared and confident stepping into that first gown.
Meet the Expert
Liz Teich is a professional fashion stylist based in New York City known for her extensive knowledge and everyday tips to make everyone from a runway model to a beaming bride feel their best.
Opt for Nude Underpinnings
One thing that will definitely not go with your dream dress? The dreaded VPL (visible panty line) or worse, bright pink undies. Teich says, "It's important to bring any skin-colored options you may opt for with a dress because it definitely makes a difference when you see the dress on. Something I always tell my clients is to bring the bra(s) and shapewear they plan on wearing with dress options. It can really change the shape of the dress and can dictate your decision."
Lucky for us, Erin Carpenter, founder of inclusive lingerie brand Nude Barre, created an entire line centered around helping women find their perfect shade of nude undergarment. Carpenter says, "Shopping for your perfect wedding dress is such a special moment, and all humans should be able to find undergarments in their own personal shade of nude, to show up for the day feeling confident and worry-free."
And if you’re looking to add some support or smooth over certain areas, bringing shapewear to your appointment will also minimize any questions you might have about how they will look under any gown, especially if you find one you love. Teich adds, "It's also important to bring the exact underpinnings, including any shapewear, you plan to wear to every fitting so your tailor can alter the dress to fit with these pieces. Nothing is worse than spending a lot of time and money on tailoring and then realizing you need it to be totally different after the first fitting."
Bring Your Desired Heel Height
Another sure-fire way to feel comfortable when you try on gowns is to bring your own heels. "It's always a good idea to bring a wedding shoe you have your eye on because [it] will likely fit the dress if you find it and it's good to know the height you want to have. Heels also make your posture look better in a dress, so even a small heel is a good idea," says Teich.
Haven’t figured out the exact shoe you want to wear down the aisle? Not to worry, you’re just looking for the height to keep in mind when you go shopping.
Many salons have shoes to try on with, but it’s best to bring a pair that fits you well and is around the same heel height that you’ll wear on the big day.
Come With Your Inspiration Photos
Whether you’re looking for a traditional bridal gown or you haven’t completely nailed down the dress style you picture yourself in, coming to your appointment with reference photos is a great way to help narrow down the options. Teich shares, "I always find it helpful to make and bring a mood board or Pinterest board of dresses you gravitate towards, or at least the vibe of the wedding you’re envisioning, so the person helping you dress shop can pull aside dresses that fit your aesthetic without guessing."
Have over a thousand inspiration photos saved to your Pinterest board? Us too. Narrow down your pictures to share at the salon by selecting your top ten favorite photos. Your bridal salon stylist will have a better understanding of what you’re looking for and thank you for it.