Wedding dress shopping – even as a bride to be this phrase made me giggle inside, maybe it was the surreal thought that I was picking out the most beautiful dress that I was ever going to wear paired with the fact that I was so inexperienced at this whole wedding planning thing that it was funny. Shopping for my own wedding dress was awesome but also a tad strange. Even after I started pinning all of my favorite dresses, designers, styles and cuts, being reminded that I really was picking out my wedding dress made me feel giddy and anxious. Every wedding dress shopping experience is unique but I still felt there were some pressures to do it “right."

chic denver wedding dress boutique with wedding dress on display

I enjoyed shopping for my wedding dress, I really did! I will admit thought that I had a tainted idea of what wedding dress shopping would be like. I was apprehensive about the big foo-foo dresses and tiaras, crazy high price tags, sashes, emotional Say Yes to the Dress moments with all eyes on me — things unfamiliar to me.

ivory lace and tulle wedding dresses hanging up in a bridal boutique

My first stop was a quaint bridal boutique near Denver where my mom and maid of honor offered their support as I began perusing the endless numbers of gowns. Somewhere in the midst of grabbing handfuls of tulle and lace off the rack, I found the dress I would wear on my big day although I did not know it at the time. It wasn’t extraordinarily unique or extravagant, it was simple but it was perfect. And, like a great new song or album, it took me a while to really warm up to it. I thought that it could be the one but that thought had crossed my mind for a number of dresses. I almost felt bad for not being completely sure right away. I wanted to weigh my options. How was I supposed to not fall for every beautiful dress that I tried on?

veils, wedding sashes, and accessories for wedding dresses

Many parts of the dress buying process I had anticipated (the smiles, excitement, the veil, the jaw dropping and complete awe of all things shiny and sparkly) but there were some parts of picking out a wedding dress that I was not expecting. I was not expecting to leave the bridal shop that day with my mind playing tug-of-war, should I buy the dress or not buy the dress? Is it the one or the fact that I'm asking if it's the one means it isn't? It felt like I was more uncertain walking out of the store than walking in.

ivory lace sweeheart wedding dress with pearls

After trying on another two dozen dresses and sleeping on it for almost a week I made the decision to go back in to the original wedding dress shop I had visited. I tried the dress on again and felt much more comfortable making a decision the second time around. When I finally made my decision I was certain. I didn’t have the “say yes” moment that some girls dream of but looking back I’m glad I took a different approach, people I loved had shared their opinions but ultimately it was up to me. It was no less exciting for me and I didn’t absolutely love my dress any less than the girl who knew her dress the moment she saw herself in the mirror. I learned that it really is okay to not have a "say yes" moment in front of a audience. I missed out on a couple claps and cheers but there was plenty of that on the wedding day.

wedding dresses hanging in an urban denver bridal boutique

The pressures of having a revelatory moment can cause unnecessary stress and strain on something that should be enjoyable and exciting. Don’t feel like you are not choosing the right dress if you don’t walk out of the dressing room and immediately want to ring the bell. Take your time deciding and ruling out other options. There are so many drop dead gorgeous wedding dresses – how the heck are we supposed to pick only one in a single moment? There are dozens of right ones. If you put it on and you can’t stop smiling that’s a good sign, but unless you are strapped for time why not keep looking? Be smart and enjoy this time in the wedding planning process!


Before beginning your wedding dress shopping make sure to browse local wedding dress boutiques  and make appointments in advance and don't forget the 5 things you should bring when wedding dress shopping! Best of luck mywedding brides!