7 Unexpected Tips to Find the Wedding Dress of Your Dreams

Erin Phraner

Brides have all heard the same worn-out wedding-dress shopping advice: Stick to your budget, start early, have an "open mind" ... the list goes on. How about some news you can actually use? Here, Erin Phraner, a bride-to-be and the founder of colorful blog and YouTube channel Hey EEP!, shares seven eye-opening tricks she recently learned through her own dress-shopping experience. Keep these in mind and you'll crown your winning gown in no time!

01 of 07

Do Up Your Hair and Makeup

Erin Phraner

Schedule a beauty trial with a potential vendor or master your own fast face and bridal bun pre-appointment. It's hard to feel gorgeous in "the" dress if you step into it feeling sloppy.

02 of 07

Bring Your Shapewear

Erin Phraner

If you're planning to wear Spanx or a corset on your wedding day, why go dress hunting without 'em? Bits held nicely in place equals instant comfort! You'll get a truer image of how the dress might look day-of if you come prepared.

03 of 07

Make a Private Pinterest Board for Each Appointment

Erin Phraner

Look up which designers the salon carries before heading to your appointment. Save the dresses of theirs you love to a private Pinterest board along with any "dream dress" images for inspiration; your consultant will thank you later!

Bonus tip: Call ahead if there's something specific you're dying to see. A top-notch salon will do their best to borrow a gown you've been eyeing if they already carry the designer.

04 of 07

Take (or Sneak!) iPhone Photos During Your Appointment

Erin Phraner

It's likely the first photos of your bridal look will reach the outside world via cellphone snap, especially if you've created a #hashtag for your special day. If it doesn't photograph well, maybe rethink it. Sometimes a gown looks WAY better in person ... but is that worth it?

05 of 07

Keep Your Wedding Colors in Mind (or Be Open to Revisions)

Erin Phraner

If you're planning to feature bright whites and cool colors on your wedding day, a very warm-toned ivory dress may not be for you. Similarly, if you're set on a sunny blush, gold, or yellow wedding, dresses with cold undertones could totally clash. If you're obsessed with a particular gown that doesn't suit the scheme, just switch up your hues, honey!

06 of 07

Get a Weekday Appointment, if Possible

Erin Phraner

If you're trying to coordinate multiple schedules for a dress-shopping excursion, weekends are the most convenient option; meaning salons are booked solid! Try a weekday appointment, when shops aren't as busy. On average you'll get 30 more minutes of try-on time. That's, like, five extra gowns!

07 of 07

Find "Your" Fabric

Erin Phraner

Fabric affects the mood of a gown more than shape, so form an opinion about what you do and do not like in broad strokes: stiff and structural, soft and romantic, all about lace, unconventional silks (like matelassé)—the list goes on! This gives you and the consultant a more helpful guide to work with than just saying "ball gowns" or "mermaids." Also, it encourages you to experiment with different styles within your textile(s) of choice; you never know which shape will look FAB on you!

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