Posted on Feb 27, 2014 in LIFE

This post is part of a series about our DIY Kentucky Vineyard wedding. It was such a labor of love and there is so much to tell, so I’ll be splitting it up into categories. I hope you’ll find some inspiration and entertainment from what we did for our wedding, along with some ideas for your own day! You can read about the music herethe venue here or the decorations here!

I’ve written about this before over on my old blog (which you can read here), but I wanted to post it again here. Shopping for a wedding dress can be so overwhelming and crazy. I feel like I was a pretty chill bride and I wanted my dress shopping experience to be chill, too. Of course, things don’t always go as planned. To get to know more details about my dress story, click here, and then read on to find out some tips I have for your own dress shopping.


As I said, I wanted my shopping experience to be laid back, not of the “Say Yes To The Dress” variety. No huge crowd of people watching me. No one voting on whether or not I looked sexy/classy/pretty enough. None of that. But maybe you want that huge crowd of people giving their opinions! If you do, awesome…but if you don’t want that, then don’t feel obligated to invite everyone. A handful of people would be the maximum for me, and honestly, most dress shops would rather you have a smaller posse anyway.

I was somewhat prepared with style and design ideas that I wanted for my dress, which really helps to narrow it down when you start trying things on. Even though I felt overwhelmed and confused sometimes, deep down, I really did know what I wanted. Bring photos or magazines with you to show your consultant some ideas. I didn’t do this, but I wish I would have now. Also, don’t be afraid to try something on that you aren’t sure about. I said I didn’t want beads and I wanted strapless — I ended up with a cap sleeve and quite a bit of beading. You never know.



As I approached this shopping day, I was nervous and just trying to remain calm. I just felt a lot of pressure to find that magic moment of wedding dress fate. Some people don’t have that moment! Don’t be one of these poor souls who tries on hundreds of dresses. There are millions of designs out there, and if you can’t be decisive, you’ll never choose one. Of course, there are other dresses I’ve seen since my wedding that I think are amazing and beautiful and would have also been perfect for my wedding day, but oh well. At the end of the day, if the dress fit and you felt amazing, then it was a success.

I lucked out with my bridal consultant at the dress shop because we were already friends, but you might not be so lucky. Don’t let someone pressure or bully you into something you don’t like. Be open-minded to trying on different styles that they might suggest, but don’t feel like you have to say yes to something you don’t feel comfortable in. Also, clearly state your budget before trying on anything. If you have a very strict budget, don’t even try on anything that is out of your price range. The bridal consultant might get more commission if you go with that designer gown, but if you feel totally beautiful in the one from the sample sale rack, go for it.


Don’t be afraid to check out unconventional places for dresses! Etsy, eBay, consignment shops and vintage stores can all have awesome options. You never know what you’ll find these days.

Find a good seamstress. Find a good seamstress. Find a good seamstress. Got that? Find someone who has experience with wedding dress alterations and is fair with pricing. The lady I take all of my alterations to is invaluable. Seriously, I wouldn’t give her up for anything. My wedding dress fit perfectly, as did the two vintage dresses I had her alter for me for other festivities leading up to the wedding, and she charges practically nothing.


Of course, take into consideration the variables of your actual wedding day — location, time of day, theme, style, decor, personal preference. These are all going to make a difference in the dress you choose, but most importantly, just remember that it’s your dress and no one else’s. Choose what you love and don’t apologize for it! If you want an 8-foot train and cathedral veil, cool. If you want a tea length vintage dress with pockets, splendid. I had a hard time with feeling like I had to please everyone (not just with the dress), but once you let all that go, you’ll be a lot happier.

What is your wedding dress story? Do you prefer modern or more traditional wedding gowns?

All photos by Jessica HutchinsonMy dress was the Faviana “Olivia” gown in Ivory, which you can see here.

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: