This post is sponsored by Stella York, a wedding dress designer that we love and think you will too!
how to plan the perfect day of wedding dress shopping | laurenconrad.comStella York Curve-Hugging Vintage Wedding Gown, Style 6506

The steps toward planning your big day can seem endless, starting the minute you get engaged. While some tasks fall into a more “logistics” category (ahem—guest list, seating chart…) other planning milestones are truly fairytale moments that a bride-to-be dreams about her whole life. Spending a day trying on wedding dresses is an experience that falls into the latter category. After all, what’s not to love about parading around in ball gowns that make you feel beautiful, with your favorite women in your life ooh-ing and ahh-ing at every style?

how to plan the perfect day of wedding dress shopping |

One of Team LC’s very own editors recently got engaged, and when she invited a few of us to join her on a day full of trying on wedding dresses, we jumped at the chance! She had heard about Stella York, and had her heart set on trying on some of their high-end yet affordable dresses in hopes of finding “the one.” Today we’re going to share a photo diary of our girls day at The Dresser in Fullerton (you can find a store near you that carries Stella York near you by clicking here), and share some tips on how to plan your own perfect day of dress shopping… Complete with a bit of bubbly!

how to plan the perfect day of wedding dress shopping with stella york gowns | laurenconrad.comStella York Classic Vintage Wedding Dress, Style 6460

Tip #1: Call Ahead and Make a Game Plan
While most of us do our usual shopping by popping into our favorite stores on a whim and unannounced, wedding dress shopping takes a bit more planning. You will want to start shopping 6-8 months before your wedding date to allow for time to have several alteration appointments after you find “the one.” Make sure to call ahead to the stores you’re going to want to visit, and they will set up an appointment for you so that a retail associate can give you her full attention and help you find the dress of your dreams. Once you have a dress appointment, decide on who will be joining you that day (Mom? Sister? Bestie?), and make sure they have the day blocked out in their calendars. It’s also a great idea to get to your appointment 5-10 minutes early so that you can browse the racks of dresses before you dig into all the details!

how to plan the perfect day of wedding dress shopping |

Tip #2: Go into Your Appointment Prepared
You’ll want to have as many details in mind for the dress consultant as possible. Here are some good questions to keep in mind: What time of year are you getting married? What will the weather be like? Will it be a formal affair or a casual one? Then as far as your taste goes… You will probably be asked what silhouette, fabric, and embellishments you have in mind. But don’t worry too much about having a specific wedding dress visions… We’ve all had that friend who goes in knowing exactly what she thinks she wants, and coming out with a dress that’s completely different. So, it’s good to stay open-minded! Our editor went in wanting a fitted lace bohemian look like the Dramatic Low Back Wedding Dress from Stella York and ended up falling in love with the modern ballgown below. You never know what you’ll feel best in, so don’t box yourself into one category of dresses.

stunning stella york wedding gowns | laurenconrad.comStella York Modern Ballgown, Style 6581

Another important piece of information to know ahead of time is your dress budget. There’s nothing worse than falling in love with a gown just to discover that it’s out of your price range. Not to mention, it’s such a waste time trying on dresses that you won’t end up buying. So, tell your sales associate right away what you are expecting to pay. All Stella York dresses are made for brides who are looking for high-quality, great-fitting, and on-trend dresses that won’t break the bank. Each dress showcases the level of detail and craftsmanship of a designer dress, without the couture price tag. We have to say that this was one of the biggest perks of the day because our bride was able to be directed to the entire Stella York section and go crazy picking out her favorites, without feeling limited by a high price tag.

how to plan the perfect day of wedding dress shopping featuring stunning stella york gowns | laurenconrad.comStella York Silver Lace Wedding Dress, Style 6048

Tip #3: Look at the Dress from All Angles
On your wedding day, you will be photographed at so many different moments, and seen by your guests from all angles. So, it’s a good idea to make sure you are viewing your wedding dress from all angles before you decide it’s the one. We even recommend having someone snap some photos of you at different angles so you can see how the dress photographs. And, it’s nice to have those photos with you while your dress goes to alterations, so that you can remember each beautiful detail (just don’t let your groom sneak a peek on your phone!). Stella York dresses aren’t only beautiful on the hanger, but so many of the styles looked gorgeous on our editor from each and every angle. This Silver Lace Wedding Dress above incorporated a flattering sweetheart neckline with richly layered beading, a silk blush ribbon belted around the waist, and a stunning corseted lace-up back. This romantic, princess-inspired style was a major contender.

wedding dress shopping with stella york | laurenconrad.comStella York Floral Lace and Crepe Dress, Style 6648 (Coming Soon)

Tip #4: Focus on the Fit
You’ve probably heard it before, but there’s truth to the saying that “it’s all about the fit.” It doesn’t matter whether you love a dress that has lace, embellishments or tulle if the fit isn’t right. On your wedding day, you will want to feel your best without fidgeting or adjusting areas of your dress constantly. So, this brings us to our fourth tip which is focus on the fit. When you’re trying on dresses during your shopping day, make sure you’re narrowing in on dresses that flatter your figure and make you feel good! Stella York has such a wide range of dresses, which makes it easy to find one that fits your figure perfectly. From modern A-lines with soft skirts to sexy fit-and-flare gowns, there are so many options, all of which combine of-the-moment trends and flattering silhouettes. We loved how the Curve-Hugging Vintage Wedding Gown above accentuated our editor’s waist, flared out just below the knee, and created nice, feminine lines at the neckline and back. Not to mention, the detailed latticework and décolletage-flattering V-neckline is to die for. When the dress feels right and fits you well, it will feel right immediately.

how to plan the perfect day of wedding dress shopping |

finding the perfecting wedding dress with stella york gowns | laurenconrad.comStella York Floral Lace and Crepe Dress, Style 6648 (Coming Soon)

Tip #5: End the Day with a Celebration
Once you’ve said “yes!” to your dream dress, it’s time to celebrate! We recommend ending your day of dress shopping with a celebratory lunch… and some champagne, of course. It’s a good idea to have a light breakfast before dress shopping so as not to feel too full and lethargic when trying on beautiful dresses. Instead, save your appetite for lunch somewhere special with your shopping buddies afterward, when you’ll be able to reminisce about the moments of the day and relax while you enjoy your meal. Champagne and mimosas are mandatory!

And there you have it! If you’re a bride who has gone through the dress shopping experience before, we want to know…

Do you have any other expert tips to add to this list?

Which of the Stella York dresses above is your favorite?

 If you love all of these Stella York dresses as much as we do, click here to visit their store locator find them in a store near you.

 XO Team LC

 This post is proudly sponsored by…

Photos: Jessi Burrone for