Facts About Wedding Gowns

All About Wedding Dress Shopping | David's Bridal

Shopping for your wedding dress is like no other shopping experience. Unlike a casual Saturday afternoon spin through the sale rack of your favorite store, finding the perfect gown—one that captures your imagination, suits your personal style, and fits like a glove—is a specialized process. Our customer service team expertly fields questions about all things wedding dress-related, and certain issues come up more often than others. Read along as we break down some particulars of this very important purchase, from sizing to slips, fabrics to fittings.

Sizing can be surprising

Some friendly advice: Don’t focus on the size of the dress—focus on how well it fits. Bridal sizes typically do not match the sizes of regular clothing, usually running smaller. Bearing that in mind will spare you the surprise as you try on wedding dresses that are a few sizes larger than what you’re used to wearing. When shopping online, get acquainted with measurement guides and be sure to check each dress’s unique size chart, as they can vary brand-to-brand and dress-to-dress. We make it easy to find a perfect fit since we offer a wide range of petite, plus size, and extra-length wedding dresses.

Familiarize yourself with fabric

Wedding dresses tend to be made from fabrics that aren’t necessarily used in everyday apparel, like satin, lace, tulle, and chiffon. These fabrics retain their shape, and offer a supportive, structured fit, but this also means that they may not offer much stretch. Consider this when being fitted: If you plan on dancing the night away, you want a dress that moves effortlessly with you.

Slips & shapewear serve an important purpose

Most gowns are designed to be worn with a slip—what goes under the gown is vital to its look and fit! For instance, imagine a mermaid silhouette without the soft pouf of a crinoline slip. That’s not much of a mermaid at all, is it? We offer slips and shapewear for every wedding dress—no matter how slim, plunging or strappy it may be. Once you choose your dress, your stylist will help you find undergarments that suit its silhouette. Be sure to bring them along to every fitting to get an accurate picture of how the dress will ultimately look and feel.

See our shapewear guide >

Don’t play the weighting game

Even if your pre-wedding prep includes a plan to lose weight, buy your wedding dress in the size you are today. This will make alterations much easier, as dress seams can be taken in more than they can be let out.

Embrace your comfort level

Breaking out of your comfort level is a fantastic idea for many new experiences, but buying a wedding dress is not one of them. Sticking to silhouettes that you already know flatter your figure ensures that you’ll feel confident and beautiful. If you’re normally not comfortable in a strapless dress, it’s not likely that you’ll suddenly feel at ease in strapless on your wedding day. When it comes to color, try a soft hue like blush or champagne if white doesn’t suit you. There is not one right way to look like a bride—wear what makes you feel the best about yourself.

Check the calendar

Once you’ve found your dress, don’t forget to inquire about delivery times. While many of our dresses are available to take home the same day as your appointment, or ship quickly when ordered online, most wedding dresses are made-to-order, and the shipping times will vary by designer, silhouette, and fabric. It’s best to start shopping as well in advance as possible, factoring in time for its creation and transit.

Add in alterations

When setting your dress budget, be sure to account for alterations in the final figure—almost every dress will need some sort of alteration to achieve that just-for-you fit. Purchasing your wedding dress from a store that offers in-house alterations ensures that you will receive bridal-specific service. Also, if you purchase your David’s Bridal dress online, you can bring it to any of our locations for expert alterations.

Learn More About Our Alterations >

Focus on fun

Finally, and most importantly, have fun and embrace each moment! Set aside some time and invite friends over to browse online, or schedule your in-store appointment and bring along a few of your most trusted advisors. Either way makes shopping for your wedding dress a memorable part of your celebration.

Learn More About Appointment Planning >

Meet with a stylist

We'd love to help you put together your look, from dress to jewelry.