Wedding Bells: How to Find the Right Wedding Dress

Wedding Bells: How to Find the Right Wedding Dress

I hope everyone found my wedding guest list tips helpful. Today I am sharing another wedding planning post about one of my favorite topics… dress shopping. Every little girl dreams about what she’ll look like in her wedding dress. But when it comes time to actually shop for gowns, it’s easy to feel lost in the racks upon racks upon racks of white dresses. Luckily, I have a few tips to make dress shopping a fun and painless process—just like it should be.

Don’t Knock it ‘Til You Try It

If you’re anything like I am, then you probably had a vision of what your wedding dress would look like long before you got engaged. But when it comes time to actually try on dresses, you might be surprised by what ends up striking your fancy.  I always imagined myself in an elegant ball gown with lots and lots of tulle. But just for fun I decided to try on some sleeker, more sophisticated gowns when I was dress shopping. I was pleasantly surprised by how much I liked the sleeker dresses, and realized that I should stay open-minded during my dress search. My new process is to try on everything, regardless of style, and judge each gown individually.

Find the Kindest Cut for Your Figure

Before you start dress shopping, make sure you have an idea of what works well for your body type. For instance, a dress that looks great on a curvier girl might not work if your figure is slim and straight. For some general rules about what wedding dresses look best on what body types, you can check out this guest post my team shared on 100 Layer Cake. You’ll be happy to know that certain silhouettes can help fake curves or slim down problem areas.

Bring a Trusted Advisor

It’s tempting to show up to your dress appointment with all your besties in tow. But before you drag a gaggle of girls into the dressing room with you, consider who will really help with the process and who might make it more difficult. The fact is, maybe your best friend has very different taste than you do when it comes to fashion. Or maybe your mother is very traditional and won’t understand a more modern dress choice. I recommend limiting your entourage to two or three others to keep your judgment clear and the whole experience stress-free. If you still want your mother there for moral support, let her know ahead of time that you appreciate her company but the final dress decision is yours to make.

I hope those tips help! The bottom line is that you should feel comfortable and beautiful in your wedding dress. Whether you choose a flirty, tea-length frock or an elaborate gown with a six-foot train, you should feel more beautiful than you’ve ever felt before.

What does your dream wedding dress look like?

Let me know below.

XO Lauren

P.S. If you have a friend who’s engaged, be sure to send them a link to this post!

Photo: Maria Lucia Hohan
Categories: Celebrate, Lauren Conrad, Wear, Wedding
Share This
  • Cassidy Short

    What a sweet post! I have heard that it’s very true that women will end up loving what they thought they wouldn’t in a wedding dress. I will keep these tips in mind for the distant future 😉



  • mandymaria

    I always have loved lace dresses. Dreaming about a pin up look and a form fitting lace dress with a high neck. ♥

  • Helen

    Congratulations Lauren! It makes me so happy to see you have found happiness at last, I’m sure you will make the most beautiful bride whatever dress you choose! Have the most amazing day, you deserve it :)

  • Molly

    I agree with everything you said! I found my wedding dress last week and was very surprised to like some of the things I did. My dress is like roushed soft tulle asymmetrical to about the knee then it flares out all around! Mermaid style. I tried on a ball gown that I loved but it just wasn’t going to work for the venue and I looked lovely I just want to stay as true as I can to myself on my wedding day and that wasn’t it.

  • Annessa

    I just had my first wedding dress appointment yesterday, and was totally shocked at to find the dresses I loved were the ones I would never even think of trying on. Crazy how that happens!

  • Erica Alayne

    It is so funny, because I always figured that I would do something more non-traditional and likely with some color, but yesterday I bought the sweetest vintage-inspired champagne and gold colored dress from ModCloth! It even has sleeves (something I NEVER imagined I would want), but I fell completely in love with the beautiful look of it. I’m going to incpororate some of my own personal style with some funkier shoes!

  • Kristen

    I just bought my dress, and all of those things are certainly true! I would have never put myself in a strapless dress, but fell in love with one; a strapless a-line sheath dress in ivory lace with a pearl and crystal sash. I started trying on everything and by the time I narrowed it down to the dress I picked, there was not a single style I hadn’t put on. I knew what looked good my body and there were no doubts that this was the one for me. I also only shopped with my mom! I brought her to every appointment and when I felt like I had found something really special, that’s when I involved my sisters and bridesmaids.
    The last thing I would add to the dress shopping tip list – my biggest factor – price! I am a bride on a budget and know that I can’t afford a $3000 gown. I found an amazing dress that was $2700 and almost fell off my chair when the bridal consultant said the price. I began looking strictly within my budget and when I did purchase a dress, it was cheaper (but nicer) than anything I had previously tried on, and I even got it on trunk show sale. That little “winning” feeling you get when you get an awesome deal – made me love my dress even more!

  • Alexandra

    I thought I would love lace, and all the dresses I looked at were quite form fitting to show of my curves. Never dreamed of putting myself in a ballgown style…but that’s what I’ve bought. Beautiful, simple ivory with a tight ruched bodice, minimal beaded detailing on the off the shoulder straps and a ballgown style with a short 2 foot train (I’m far too clumsy for anything longer!)

    I very rarely dress in light colours…secretly a goth at heart, my entire wardrobe is black and grey with a few splashes of colour. So I’m amazed I found a ‘traditional’ wedding dress and have spared my mum the horror of seeing me in a black dress!

    Oh, and I also got the dress as a sample so almost half the designers retail price…I was amazed!


  • Kelsie

    I always imagined myself in a mermaid, lace gown however my aunt advised me to try on a ball gown, tulle and all but it had subtle stripes on it! Who would have thought stripes? But after trying it on, it was the only dress i thought about towards the end of the day. It is a haley page design and i couldn’t be more happier !

  • Jessica Villarreal

    I went with 3 times before buying the dress. 1st by myself. 2nd with a friend and the 3rd with my most trusted advisor. My mom. Mom always knows what is best.

  • misshilaryy

    Loved this post. The first time I went dress shopping I brought too many people and it was very overwhelming. After a second attempt as with only my mom and bestie I ended purchasing a dress that was completely different than my original vision. I am so happy with my dress choice and it’s amazing what you discover when you keep and open mind. Please keep the wedding posts coming!


  • Christina L. Frederick

    I love your article and perspective! Here is a look at my tips from planning own wedding just a short time ago. :)

  • Celina Allemand

    I’ve always imagined a gown with lots of tulle as well, but I have a feeling I’ll end up with something completely different than what I’m expecting. Great tips!

  • Jessica

    Everyone told me this, but I actually got the kind of dress I thought I wanted from the beginning. I know what would look good on me and when I tried on different styles of dresses I was completely disappointed!

  • Adriene

    My recommendation is be wary of buying anything too “trendy”. You have to order your dress so far out in advance you don’t want to go in for a fitting 6 months later and say “what was I thinking?!?!?!?”

  • Nicola Wood

    Hi Lauren, I love this article and look forward to the day that I choose my dress :) You may be interested in my personalised wedding cushions that I make (also wedding ring cushions, guest books and bunting to suit the bridal colour theme). I also make other pretty items and cushions for any occasion! Have a look at

  • Jen

    Great tips for dress shopping! I went with something a little different than what I pictured. I love the way I feel in it and it’s very easy to move in. Drama in the front, drama in the back!

  • Cassie

    I think when describing in what I want I like red carpet bride. more modern I would like something that I could wear at an event, I love lace

  • erin l

    yup!!! i found my perfect dress!! i started looking in April (got engaged in February) and did not find THE dress until January 5th!! :) funny the dress i bought was the dress i had envisioned! :)

  • Katie Albury

    Brilliant tips! Some people find trying on wedding dresses really daunting. I would take advice from other people as to where they found their dresses and how helpful the staff were…so shops and their sales assistants can have a huge impact on your wedding dress shopping experience!

    Katie x

  • Marie
  • Lauren

    I loved this post. Even though Ive already had my wedding day, I thoroughly enjoyed reading this! I wish I would’ve seen this post when I was looking for a dress, I think it would have helped out a lot!

  • Katie

    Great tips! One I would add is don’t be afraid to make a decision. Once you get past a certain number of dresses and shopping trip, they can all start to blend together. Trust your gut when you find the right one!

  • Kaitlin Beckwith

    #1 is definitely the best tip! The dress I feel in love with and ended up wearing was not at all what I thought I was going to get. I didn’t even want to put it on but my mom talked me into it (not in a pushy way–she was also my matron of honor and has awesome taste). And definitely agree with not bringing lots of people. I went with only mom and it was the most special day with no pressure. She hid in the corner and didn’t say a word except “holy sh** i’m not ready for this” repeatedly until I got a chance to see how I felt in the dress. We had the best day ever dress shopping! So perfect. That’s the one part of wedding planning I wish I could repeat! Dresses!

  • Ren’Ai

    Great advice! I can’t wait to go dress shopping and I will definitely keep these tips in mind..

  • Veronica Franco

    I brought my mother and mother in law but on two separate days! It was funny because while my MIL was more traditional and conservative, my mom always preferred the options that were more unique, fun and different.

    My dress ended up being very different while still having a classic cut and some other traditional details. They both loved it!

    Veronica @

  • Sabine

    Wow shopping for a wedding dress, that must be the best shopping trip of your life! 😀

  • Jillian

    I went to many bridal shops and found the assistants to be rude and only looking to sell me what they wanted me in (the dearest dress available) – I found my dream dress in a normal department store, it looks amazing and fits like a glove! :) Don’t spend a fortune and stick to your guns!!

  • AlisonHS

    I agree entirely Lauren. I just got married in November and last winter when u was wedding dress hunting I was certain that a Jenny Packham vintage style beaded gown would be my dress walking down the aisle. Ultimately I took what I thought was a risk trying on an all lace A-line Monique Lhuillier and this was the gown that made it down the aisle. I was and remain forever thrilled with my decision and encourage friends when gown shopping to be open. A trusted advisor on hand is helpful too along with selecting a bridal boutique that carries a varied collection of designer gowns and styles. Best of luck with your search and congratulations!

  • Karen T.

    so true about the entourage :)

  • Nala T

    this is a cute post!!

  • Jeany

    I totally agree with trying on something you didn’t think you would wear. I ended up with a dress that I had no idea would become my wedding dress! My consultant did good! :)

  • Sabrina Barrueto

    The first time I went wedding dress shopping, I was completely overwhelmed! I tried on all kinds of dresses and realized that the fitted lace dresses looked the best. But after the third lace dress, I became so confused on which dress I liked the most. And it didn’t help that my whole family decided to tag along without letting me know. All future brides definitely follow these tips!

  • Ashley

    These tips will come in handy when I go dress shopping with my friend who just got engaged!! :)

  • Jacqueline Gutierrez

    I am went on several fittings last year just to try some on and get a feel for what I like. I will be going to get a dress within the next week! Loved the tips for the final dress search hope it helps me to not second guess something I absolutely love

  • Kelly

    I completely agree! Only go with supportive people. I went wedding dress shopping by myself. I know it is something that you are supposed to “share” with your closest friends and your mom but I didnt want anyone to sway my decision. I got married on the beach in Jamaica and my dress was perfect for the location and perfect for my personality.

  • Michelle Lange

    I wish I had these tips when searching for my wedding gown. One of the top things I would have done differently for my wedding was picked a more comfortable gown that I could dance the night away in.

  • Chelsea

    My wedding is this Sept and I chose a blush wedding dress :o!! I’m still freaking out about the fact that I will not be wearing white on my wedding day… any advice to get over the second guessing?!

    • Laura

      I’m wearing a pastel blue with a lemon petticoat :-) I haven’t even tried on a white dress. I don’t know why most feel the need to be married in white – why not wear something that shows off your personality and something you could always wear again! Besides, ‘married in blue, always true’ :-) x

  • Eve Marie Danièle Gagnon

    If I can afford it, I’d get a white custom made gown with some light colored detailing at the bottom!

  • fighting

    so true about the entourage :)

  • fighting
  • CelineSand

    Making sure the wedding dress fits your body is so important. I know that many women have varying sizes within their waste line and hips. Getting a dress that makes those parts pop is so essential with choosing your dress!
    Celine |

  • Parekh

    Thank you Lauren for the lovely wedding dress shopping tips. Very often women tend t6o forget these basic things while selecting their wedding gowns. I appreciate the effort you have put in to make a blog post of it. Thank you for sharing such valuable information with your readers and followers.

  • Eliza Annis

    Thanks for sharing nice things, I like to wear white dress…..

  • carer

    The bride can easily find the right type of dress and shade online when
    she goes online. The wedding dresses are found in a huge variety and
    good sizes. She can find the best design and size online. This can be
    easy thus to make her look amazing and the dress can easily fit her
    budget.vestidos de festa baratas

  • Ashleigh

    Thank you for this post! I found the part about being open-minded to different styles the most helpful. I am not engaged yet, but recently went ring shopping with my boyfriend. I experienced the exact same thing with the ring; I went in thinking I knew exactly what I liked and disliked. I soon found out that what I thought I liked looked all wrong on my finger and what I had always dismissed beforehand turned out to be exactly how I wanted my finger to look. It has definitely caused me to be more open-minded for all of my wedding decisions.

  • Parekh

    I’m engaged and was looking for a great wedding dress. I found your post to be quite interesting. I totally agree with you, we should get a dress that suits our body type. Your ideas are really helpful to brides like me. Thank you for sharing your expertise with us. I would be looking forward to reading more from you.

  • MJ

    I’ll be dress shopping for the first time on Sunday, and I am SO nervous/excited!! I’m trying really hard to keep an open mind about the process even though I feel like I have a pretty good idea of what I’m looking for – I have a feeling as soon as I see the first dress on me, I’ll be a mess! Any prayers or good vibes you may have as you read this, please send them my way for Sunday! :-)

  • robesdemarieepascher

    What a sweet post! Thank you for this post!abiti da sposa ingrosso

  • Mariahere

    There are so many beautiful dresses that i cannot decide on the one that is the right for me… Gorgeous…

  • Shira

    Anyone have advice on finding petite size gowns for us tiny people? The amount of fabric you need trimmed to fit a 5’1″ woman ruins the design and lay of the entire dress. Plus, the waist, hips and boobs don’t sit in the right place. I have had no luck in my search :/ David’s Bridal has petite on their website but really not nice dresses at all

  • disease addison

    I am getting married in May, this year. I am staying in New South Wales and looking for a one of its kind wedding gown. I would prefer to buy a ready made one as I would not have to put in a lot of efforts then. I am also looking for wonderful dresses for three of my bridesmaids. I am really worried as the time is running out. Do you
    recommend to find suitable outlet.

  • Laura

    ah these tips are really helpful. Seriously buying a wedding gown is not an easy task, it takes week to select the dress, and months if you are not lucky… Finally I selected few dress from, I have heard wonderful reviews from people around my town, Going to order it soon.



for a front-row VIP pass to all things lovely and chic. Sign up today for exclusive tips straight from Lauren, a chance to win monthly giveaways, and so much more.

sign up