A Conversation About Wedding Dress Shopping

Friend: Did you find your wedding dress?

Me: I did!

Friend: Did you cry when you tried it on? Because you knew it was *the one*?

Me: LOL, no.

Here’s the thing: Say Yes to the Dress is a wonderful show that I often binge-watch while shoveling Skinny Pop into my mouth, but it’s also a web of lies.

In fact, there were a number of lies I was told leading up to the actual act of shopping for my wedding dress. Like…

  • “You’ll get champagne while you shop!” I wish this were true. I probably would’ve bought a dress a lot faster than I did if it were. But 4/4 stores gave us water in a disposable cup, not a glass of champs in sight.
  • “You’ll find your dress at the first store.” This was 100% untrue for me. It took a solid four stores, and a minor anxiety attack at the third store because I was convinced I wouldn’t find anything. Finding the right dress can often be hard, and that’s OK! ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
  • “Wedding dress shopping is fun!!!” I’m not saying that buying a fancy dress isn’t fun, but it’s also really stressful. As someone who had no idea what I wanted, dress shopping was more of a task to be checked off than anything else.
  • “You’re gonna bawl your eyes out.” OK, to be fair I did cry at one point. I walked out in what I thought was a truly hideous gown, and my mom began to cry, which led me to say, “Why are you crying?!” And then I cried. I cry easily. I was also really hungry that day. Don’t shop while hungry.
  • “When you find *the one,* you’ll just know it.” I definitely knew that I liked the dress I ended up buying, but did I “just know it”? Not really. And I’ve had to unfollow most of the wedding sites on Instagram that I used to enjoy so that I stop having buyers remorse about my dress. There are so many options out there, but you’ll know you’ve found *the one* when you can see yourself getting married in it, which I did.

What they should really tell you before dress shopping, and the one piece of advice I’ll give is this: Don’t feel badly if you don’t cry, or don’t have a *this is THE ONE* moment. All you need to feel is that this is a dress you can get married in — find that dress, buy that dress, and then pour yourself some champagne afterward (because the store won’t be pouring one for you, but you deserve it).

11 Things I Learned While Wedding Dress Shopping

(Drumroll, please.) My friend Kristen is getting married next year, and I’m going to be a bridesmaid in her wedding. (Fin the drumroll.)

This was intensely exciting for me, because while I’ve been a bridesmaid before, this was going to be the very first wedding where I actually lived in the same state as the bride. Meaning that this time around, I’d get to participate in the wedding dress shopping, planning, and just general excitement, instead of doing all that the weekend of the wedding.

That is, until Kristen got an amazing job offer in New York that she absolutely had to take. We’d always planned to do things, like the bachelorette and dress shopping, on our home turf in Los Angeles. But since she’s now working on a film, we had to speed up the plans and get it done before she starts filming.

Kleinfeld's New York


This meant hopping on a plane and flying to New York with my fellow bridesmaid, Gabby, for the week so we could fulfill our bridesmaid duties. I missed the dress shopping and bachelorette of the last two weddings I was part of, and I didn’t want that to be the case again. Plus, Kristen, Gabby, and I have never all been in New York at the same time together. Needless to say, it was a lot of fun. Especially when we headed to Kleinfeld’s to try on wedding dresses. (And for those who aren’t familiar, it’s the Kleinfeld’s made famous by the TLC show, Say Yes To The Dress.)

Here are some of the important lessons I gleaned as a bridesmaid while shopping for my friend’s wedding dress:

  1. Come prepared with photos, or they’ll call you a hot mess. This is a real thing that happened to Kristen, who, like plenty of other brides, likes a couple of different styles. While showing her top picks to the dress liaisons, they called her a hot mess. (In a loving way… I think.)
  2. Someone will probably cry, and it will probably be your mom.
  3. You will get molested, just a little bit. Someone is going to have to help you hold your bits in place, or perk em up. Either way, plan on getting felt up.
  4. Bring snacks and water, it will take way longer than you think. Gabby and I were so thirsty… so very thirsty.
  5. Momma is always right. As was the case when it came to Kristen’s mother, who had a vision, and ended up being 100% on the mark with it.
  6. Consider the underwear in advance, and the bra situation. Kristen wore a strapless bra, which was good, because if you don’t wear a strapless, you’re going to be a little effed when you try things on.
  7. Everyone will see your naughty bits, no matter how hard you try to be a lady. (Long story short: You’ll be changing in front of people, things will slip out, and you’ll become even closer than ever.)
  8. Bigger is always better when it comes to accessories, especially veils.
  9. Even if you go in with a few ideas of what you want, chances are you’ll end up loving something completely different.
  10. There’s always room for negotiating when it comes to the price of a dress, so don’t be afraid to haggle.
  11. Perhaps the most important thing, though, is to bring people who you trust and love to give you honest feedback. It’s one of the most important days of your life, so it makes sense to have the most important people in your life there to enjoy it with you.