What to Bring to Your First Wedding-Dress Shopping Appointment

We'll help you prepare for your inaugural shopping trip.

bride putting on off the shoulder wedding dress
Photo: Meiwen Wang Photography

You have basked in the afterglow of your engagement for a month or two—and now, it's finally time to begin looking for your wedding dress. Whether you've made just one appointment or five, there are a few items that you shouldn't forget to bring to your first few appointments. Read on to discover exactly what to take with you—and what to leave behind—as you begin your search for The Dress.


Bringing photos of gowns that you love—in theory—will help your stylist make those initial pulls. So, if you haven't already, begin scouring the Internet and compile pictures of gowns you can envision yourself wearing. Ultimately, your stylists are true experts and will be able to guide you through obscure fashion vernacular if you can show them the silhouettes and embellishments you love. You might prefer a trumpet (which flairs out at the thigh) as opposed to a mermaid (which hits a bit lower), for example—but might not have the language to express it. Photos, on the other hand, will help your stylist make that assessment immediately, leading to a more productive appointment.

Flesh-Colored Undergarments

Wearing undergarments that match your skin tone is absolutely essential when you are trying on wedding dresses. The reason? Too-dark or bright pieces might show through sheerer fabrics, and prevent you from experiencing the gown as it is intended to be worn. Trust us: The last thing you want is to be able to see a pair of hot pink boybriefs in the mirror staring back at you from under Chantilly lace.


Wearing the type of shoes you're hoping to wear down the aisle—point-toe pumps, ballet flats, or chunky-heeled sandals—will give you a clearer picture of the final result. They certainly don't have to be your wedding shoes (you typically choose those after you select a gown), but should speak to that vision. Keep in mind that most of the sample dresses you'll be trying on are un-hemmed; they will be either longer or shorter than usual.

Trusted Friends and Family

While it may sound fun to bring all of your family's matriarchs and your bridal party to an appointment, it can make the dress selection process challenging: The more people you bring, the more opinions you will have to field. Try enlisting the help of only the friends and family members you trust and who can voice their thoughts with kindness and consideration.

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