How to Shop for a Wedding Dress

The search for the ‘right dress’ is both an exciting and frightening time. In order to make the most of this experience and hopefully makes this an easier process than finding a husband to be, we’ve rounded up basic concepts you know should know about wedding dress shopping!



If you have the luxury of time, use it to your advantage!  Start window shopping after your engagement or around 9-10 months before your wedding.  There’s a lot to think about when shopping for your dress (your body type, style and fabric) so do yourself a favor by prioritizing this on your wedding timeline.

A wedding dress


This is very crucial. As much as it is fun to bring all your gals, this part of the itinerary has to be limited to a handful of people. Make sure to bring only those people who’s opinion your trust the most.  Remember, to many cooks spoil the broth! 

Plus, most bridal shops can’t really accommodate a large group of people.



  • Expect:  Other brides will shop for their dress too!  There can be a lot of demand  specially when its peak wedding season.
  • Do:  Pick up the phone  or book online, whatever you choose, book an appointment!
  • Expect:  Fine details.  Some shops may ask for a consultation fee, limitation to the duration of consultation, number of dresses you can try on, number of people to bring, what to wear on fitting and/or  what gown sizes are available for you to try.
  • Do:  Check their website, look for the FAQ Summary or ask their staff for these information.
  • Expect:  Gorgeous dresses.  Lots and lots of gorgeous dresses.  Having a ton of options is not always positive, it can also be overwhelming and confusing.
  • Do:  Once you have decided on the shop that you want to visit, select 3-4 dresses from their site which you are keen to try on.  If they don’t have a website that you can check before hand, then at least bring a photo of your most favorite style for reference.
  • Expect:  Cost.   Ah yes!  The pretty sparkling dress comes with a price tag.
  • Do: If you are on a budget then it is best to research the price range of your favorite dress.  The average price of an off the rack NZ wedding dress is between $1500 to $2000.  However,  a couture gown can start around $3000.  Price can increase depending on production, uniqueness, fabric, fit and alterations, time needed to be completed, embellishment, workmanship and brand.


  • Have a list of questions ready for your stylist or consultant.  I am sure there will be a lot of things going on your head on the day of your fitting so spend a day before your appointment and think of important things you want to ask or clarify (payment, timeline or if your dress can be bustled).
  • Bring proper undergarments and shoes.  Strapless or plunging gowns have much more support than regular clothing, so going braless can be an option or you can simply wear a fancy bra.  Underwear (in a light color) of your choice will also make fitting easier.  Equally important, do not forget to bring heels at the height that you think you will wear on your wedding day.
  • Move while wearing the dress.  It may be the nicest dress in the rack but if you can’t breathe, eat, and move in it, then it’s not really worth it.
  • Be open to different gowns.  Don’t be afraid to try gowns which are not ‘traditional wedding colors’.  Maybe a style in ivory, champagne or nude will surprise you and bring out the bride gorgeous glow!
  • Don’t hold  your tears if you feel like it’s coming out.  The tears will help you decide which dress your heart desires!

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