Updated: Sep 16
Wedding dress shopping is something that should be fun and exciting. However, for some Brides, the pressure of finding the right dress, on top of not knowing what to expect from their wedding dress appointment, can leave Brides stressed, anxious, and simply scared out of their veil!
You wouldn’t be alone if you were struggling mentally with any part of planning your wedding. In fact 82% of brides surveyed admitted to having some form of anxiety before their wedding day.
It’s totally understandable to have concerns about wedding dress shopping. Your wedding day is one of the most special days of your life and you want everything leading up to the big day to go smoothly.
That’s why in this blog we’ve broken down the reasons why Brides can feel anxiety before wedding dress shopping, how they can manage it, and answered the questions Brides tend to have both before their appointment and during.
Why do brides get wedding dress shopping anxiety?
It can be a mixture of things that can contribute to anxiety about wedding dress shopping, including fear of not finding the right dress, worrying about how you’ll look when trying on dresses, and just simply fearing the unknown.
When the spotlight is on you like it is at a wedding dress appointment, it’s understandable all that attention can lead to anxiety.
Please do not feel that you are wrong to feel any anxiety or nerves before an appointment, no two brides are the same, and how you feel before your appointment is entirely valid.
We’re always on hand to help with any questions, so please call or message us beforehand if you’ve got questions that you’ve not seen answered on our website. We’re here to listen and to help make your experience as comfortable as possible.
What are wedding anxiety symptoms?
Some feelings you may have as part of anxiety over your wedding dress appointment or even the wedding in general may include:
Struggling to focus or make decisions: You may find you're overwhelmed and are finding it hard to make choices.
Persistent worrying or panicking: You may just be constantly worried about the appointment, concerned about what your party’s feedback may be, or just generally scared something could go wrong.
Depression or sadness: It’s understandable if you’re feeling unhappy or, in some cases, even depressed about wedding dress shopping. It can really take a toll on your mental health when you feel like there's pressure or expectations placed on you.
If you’re feeling any of the above, it can be worth doing the following:
Be open and honest: Explain your concerns to the closest people around you, be it family, friends, or your fiancé. Talking it through can be really beneficial rather than putting a brave face on. If people don’t know what’s wrong, it leaves room for them to ask questions that may trigger you, such as, ‘Are you excited for the wedding?’ Questions like these can sometimes open nervous Brides up to overthinking about why they may be more scared than excited.
Consult a doctor: If your fears about your wedding are causing severe problems in your everyday life, then it’s worth consulting a doctor who may be able to get you in front of a therapist. While you may think it’s extreme to go to a medical professional about anxiety around your wedding, your mental health is as important as your physical health and you shouldn’t let it disrupt your daily life.
Ask your Bridal consultant: As mentioned before, you can always call us up before your wedding dress appointment if you’ve got any questions. No question is ‘silly’ or ‘wrong.' We’re here to help and deliver an experience that you find comfortable and truly enjoyable.
How to prepare for wedding dress shopping
Some Brides find it helpful to prepare for wedding dress shopping so that they’re more aware of what to expect before going to the appointment. It can certainly help allay many worries or concerns when you have an idea on what to expect!
Many shops provide insight into what to expect at the appointment via their website and social media channels. You can find out about how we structure our appointments and find answers to any questions you may have via our FAQ.
Checking through a shop's FAQs can help you understand what happens at your appointment. It's also a great way to see if it’s a shop that structures their appointment in a way which will relax you.
It's also worthwhile to check with your engaged or recently married friends to see where they went to find their dream dress. This way you'll have some recommendations of what shops to try.
Another good thing to do is look at the dresses the shop has available before your appointment.
Having an idea of the styles you like and dislike can make choosing which ones to try a lot easier.
If you’ve seen any dresses on our websites you like please let us know and we will have these ready. However, don’t worry if you are not confident about what will suit you, as bridal consultants, we are here to help you select styles to find the right one.
It’s a good idea to look at the designers, what sizes the dresses come in, and what materials you like so that you can feel confident that you're going to a shop that has stock that meets your requirements.
Should I shave before wedding dress shopping?
This is a question that we sometimes get, and honestly, there is no criteria that would require you to shave any part of your body before your appointment.
Our honest answer to this is what makes you feel confident and comfortable is paramount. Please do not be concerned that a consultant would have any bodily expectations from you.
No Bridal consultant of ours would ever consider shaving a prerequisite of an appointment, so if this is one of your concerns, then worry not!
Should I wear make up before my wedding dress appointment?
Whether you wear make up to your appointment is something that is totally up to you.
Some would suggest that glamming up your make up slightly can give you an idea on how your dress will look compared to your make up. However, if you want to go fresh faced, then that is entirely your choice.
You may feel more comfortable without make up. When you're trying on a series of dresses it might feel better if you feel like your skin can breathe.
There are benefits to both options but it’s completely down to you.
Who should come wedding dress shopping with me?
Our advice to you is to bring a couple of your most trusted friends or family.
It can be helpful to have people you know will listen to you, and who can give you feedback on the dress so you have help making a decision if you’re struggling.
Too many opinions can leave you overwhelmed and feeling pressured into choosing a dress that is not the one you wanted, so it's worth being picky with your party.
If you find that bringing certain family members or friends is going to cause you more stress and worsen your anxiety during the appointment, you don’t have to bring them.
If you're worried about upsetting certain people by not bringing them to the first appointment, you could always bring them to the next appointment when your chosen dress arrives.
While we understand wanting to have people around you to share the dress buying experience with, we also want you to feel relaxed and make decisions based on what you want. The last thing you want is to regret your wedding dress.
If you feel comments from an opinionated mother or friend are going to send you down a spiral, the simple choice is just to not bring them.
While it’s a hard decision to make, you should put your feelings first as it’s you who will be wearing the dress, not them!
Can I bring young children with me to my wedding dress appointment?
We allow children of all ages. However, depending on their age you may find it more relaxing without.
How many dresses can I try on at a wedding dress appointment?
Dorothy Silver, head of merchandising from the famous Kleinfeld bridal, seen on ‘’Say Yes to the Dress,’ recommends trying on no more than 10 dresses.
This will give you enough variety to make the right decision whilst ensuring you don’t become too tired or stressed by the process.
Will my bridal consultant see me undressed at my wedding dress appointment?
We understand that everyone feels differently so if you are not comfortable being seen in your underwear don’t worry.
We always ask if you are happy for us to help you into the dresses. If you are not then we will pass the dresses to you for you to get yourself into. We can always then pop in and help finish doing the dress up when you have it on.
We do suggest Brides wear nude underwear, and if it’s your preference to wear a bra, we recommend a strapless bra. Most brides opt to go braless on their wedding day, so depending on what you’re comfortable with, you can go with or without.
We understand trying on dresses can make Brides nervous though as Bridal Consultants, it is our job to help Brides try on and take off dresses and we’d always approach this with care and patience.
With over 19 years of experience helping Brides find their dresses, we respect each and help every Bride find the dress that makes them feel their most confident in their body.
How to handle criticism from your party during a wedding dress appointment?
If you chose to bring friends or family to your appointment, you may find they provide dress feedback you might not like.
It’s every Bride’s worst nightmare to feel like they’ve found ‘the one’ dress only to come out to disappointed faces.
Here’s some of the steps you can take when it comes to handling criticism of a dress from your parties:
Take a deep breath before responding: It can be emotionally draining to feel a connection with a dress only to hear it talked down by your party. Take a deep breath before responding, as your party may just be trying to give you honest feedback.
Don’t feel like you have to respond: You can simply take on board their feedback without getting into it. If you feel responding will escalate the situation and worsen your feelings of anxiety then it can sometimes be worth just listening and processing their comments before acting on them.
Know when a time out is needed: If you find your party’s feedback is upsetting you and the situation is escalating, it can be worth simply taking a step back and calling for a time out. Have a break, out of the dress, and just collect yourself before continuing with the appointment. If you feel like you're not going to find a resolution to opposing opinions then calling for a break just gives you all some time to take a step back from the situation and reach steady ground again. Once everyone has collected themselves things can be approached with a more open mind.
We hope this blog has helped relieve any concerns you had about the wedding dress shopping experience, and helped answer any questions that may have been causing or contributing to anxiety.
Remember, your wedding dress appointment is about you. Whatever you need to do to feel comfortable and confident is paramount, and we’ll always seek to support you through the dress buying experience as best we can.
Ready to book an appointment? We're here to provide you with expert guidance and stellar service as we help you find your dream dress. Come visit us at our Bridal Shop in Hertfordshire, near the border of Essex and North London - we can't wait to meet you!