Whether you’ve been planning your dream wedding dress since you were little or just starting to consider post-engagement options, trying on dresses is no small task. Discovery the getting dressed takes time and energy, not to mention it can be extremely overwhelming. While some brides fall for the first dress they try on, in many cases most spend weekend after weekend, in and out of bridal salons, trying on every dress in sight before settling on this one.
Meet the expert
- Charles Dieujuste is the founder and creative director of Scorcesa, a bridal apparel company created for the modern, fashion-forward bride.
- Dorothy Silver is Director of Merchandising at Kleinfeld and has over 30 years of bridal and retail experience.
- Pnina Tornai is a world-renowned bridal designer and is best known for her role on TLC Say yes to the dress.
While there’s a long list of things to consider when shopping for a wedding dress, your timeline should be number one on that list. Ideally, you should buy your dress nine months before the wedding. And while your big day could be months (or even a year) away, it’s also important to remember that most dresses can take three months or more to arrive. Even less, allow time for modifications and multiple fittings. .
With so many time factors to consider, one has to ask: How many wedding dresses should you try on? And can a bride really try on too many looks? We asked Charles Dieujuste, founder and creative director of Scorcesa, Dorothy Silver, director of merchandising at Kleinfeldand Pnina Tornai, Kleinfeld-exclusive wedding dress designer, for answering those questions, while also providing tips on how to avoid trying on hundreds of dresses (which is possible, by the way).
How many wedding dresses should you try on?
There’s no exact answer to how many dresses brides should try on when researching, and even our experts have different opinions on a golden ratio. Dieujuste recommends picking your top three and going from there, while Silver recommends trying on no more than 10-15 dresses.
Ultimately, all brides are different, so consider setting a number that feels right to you before heading to the salon. For example, you might say to yourself, “I will only try on a maximum of seven dresses at this particular store.”. This way, you’ll be more selective about the looks you consider and avoid ones that might take up unnecessary time. This doesn’t have to be an “ultimate rule”, but it will allow you to set some boundaries when searching.
The impact of trying on too many dresses
Our three experts agree that trying on too many dresses can create an overwhelming feeling of confusion and frustration for the bride. Torani explains that brides can miss out on their dream dress because they’re too busy looking for something that could be even better. “There are also brides who may end up making the wrong decision because they are overwhelmed and exhausted from trying on so many dresses,” she shares.
So how do you avoid this feeling of confusion and uncertainty? For starters, limit the number of dresses you try on. But if you’ve already gotten to this point, Torani recommends taking a step back to review the photos you’ve taken in the looks you’ve tried before. “When you see yourself in photos, it’s a different perspective than in the mirror,” she says. Silver adds that even taking the night off to sleep on your options, then reevaluating a day later, can lead to a clearer decision-making mind.
Should you try on dresses from multiple salons?
There are pros and cons to trying on dresses from multiple salons, and again, not all brides have the same shopping experience. Dieujuste, Silver, and Torani all suggest that it’s best to stick to one salon. Finding a salon that offers multiple styles and designers, such as Kleinfeld, is key to avoiding various salon trips.
While bridal shows that feature multiple designers tend to be the most popular avenue, if you’re only thinking of one or two designers, visiting a brand’s flagship location is also a good idea. This can make your shopping easier, as you won’t be tempted to sort through an assortment of different styles and designs.
Should you try on dresses after finding “The One”?
Trying on dresses after saying “yes” is never a good idea. As Torani says, “Do you try other fiances after you say yes?” Once you have found the one, which seals this deal. Torani also shares that you should “close the magazines, delete the inspiration images you’ve saved, and don’t drive yourself crazy.” For those planning on wearing multiple looks on the wedding day, you’ll probably have to keep looking, but your main dress should still be the one that steals your heart.
Worst-case scenario, if you really think you made the wrong decision, Silver says Kleinfeld will allow you to put production of your dress “on hold.” “It basically keeps your dress from going into production, allowing more time to decide!” Silver explains. “From there, we’ll help you book another appointment and try it on again, and if you’re still unsure, we can help you find a different dress that better suits your needs. ” Of course, this may not be the case in all wedding salons and it should be your last resort.
Tips for narrowing down your wedding dress search
As mentioned, there are no set rules when it comes to wedding dress shopping, but there are plenty of ways to ensure your experience is a pleasant one. Below are some additional tips shared by our experts to make your trip down the aisle as hassle-free as possible.
Research, Research, Research!
Today, brides have the ability to access almost any dress before heading to a salon or store for their appointment, so take advantage of it! Having a better idea of which brands you like (or don’t like) and which silhouette or cut you prefer will help your stylist when they start sketching dresses. “Knowing the style and silhouette that’s right for you will help you narrow down the number of dresses you have to try on,” says Dieujuste.
Bring the right team
Finding your look of the day is a very personal experience, and it’s important to have the best support team to guide you, in a helpful way. “Bring a small group of people you really trust who you know will give you their sincere and honest opinions. Remember that the more people you bring, the more opinions you will have to manage! shares Torani.
Consider a custom look
If you have the perfect dress in mind and feel like you’ll never be able to find another look that compares, you might want to consider having a custom dress. As a couture wedding dress designer with over 20 years of experience, Torani says she has brought many bridal fantasies to life. “If this is you, you need to make sure you schedule a VIP date ahead of time so that [there will be] enough time to work with you one-on-one, as custom designs require more time than selecting an existing dress from the collections,” shares Torani. However, although this option has grown in popularity over the past few years, it is a more expensive route to take.