7 Dos and Donts When Buying a Wedding Dress

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7 Do's and Don'ts When Buying a Wedding Dress

Buying a wedding dress is the most exciting time in a woman’s life. However, it can also be the most stressful. Alleviate some of the frustration of shopping with some simple tips for buying a wedding dress. It’s easy to get talked into a dress that might not be right by salespeople, family members, or friends. The bride should be the one to make the final decision, and select a wedding dress that she will feel beautiful in, will flatter her figure, and fit within her budget.

Shopping for a wedding dress should begin roughly a year before the wedding, if time allows. This gives the bride time to look at and try on many dresses to assess exactly the type of dress she is going to want for her wedding. It also leaves time for any alterations to be made. Here are some essential do’s and don’ts for any bride that is shopping for her wedding gown, including tips on budget, fit, and style.

Do's and Don'ts of Buying a Wedding Dress

Every bride is different, and every woman’s body is unique. Choosing a wedding dress depends on many factors to consider, such as budget, location of the wedding, the bride’s individual taste, and what her perfect silhouette will look like in her wedding gown. Some brides can purchase a dress off the rack and it will fit perfectly, while others may need alterations and customisations when it comes to their dresses. The biggest factor to remember when shopping for a dress is time; allowing plenty of time to choose a dress, do research, choose a budget, and try on dresses as well as get alterations done is the main consideration since a more elaborately personalised dress may require more fittings, more time, and more money than a less expensive gown.

1. Do Set a Strict Budget and Stick To It

A successful wedding and a stress free dress shopping experience begins with spending exactly what is affordable, and not going over that. Going over a set budget could cause even more stress and end up taking money away from other wedding necessities such as decorations, cake, or photographs. Decide before shopping even begins what the budget will be for the dress, factoring in things like alterations. Don’t even look at dresses out of the price range of the bride’s budget.

This could lead to temptation to overspend, which could turn into heartbreak later when the bride finds her dream dress, only to discover it’s completely out of the limits of her budget. Don’t allow the salespeople to show the bride dresses out of her price range; and when shopping for dresses on eBay, customise the search to only include specific price points.

3. Do Know What Wedding Dress Style is Desired

There are such a wide variety of wedding gowns available that going on eBay to begin a search for dresses without having any clue about what type of dress the bride is interested in could spell disaster. The bride should flip through some wedding magazines and conduct a little research before shopping begins to ensure she is familiar with the latest trends, styles, and types of dresses and silhouettes she is most drawn to. Learning the difference between a trumpet dress and a dropped waist gown could be helpful. Don’t get completely attached to one style of dress, a celebrity’s gown, or a dress that was seen in a magazine.

Sometimes it’s easy to see a dress in a magazine and covet it, but each dress will fit each body differently, so although the bride may think she wants a mermaid dress, in reality, her body may be better suited to a ball gown. Knowing what style of dresses the bride likes is one thing, but insisting upon one style of gown is another. Keep an open mind when looking for bridal gowns, because sometimes the dress that’s least expected would be the one that looks like a dream on the bride.

3. Do Have an Idea of the Wedding Location

For a beach wedding, a big, heavy, ball gown might be impractical, and a shorter gown may be more appropriate. For a winter wedding, a bride may not want to go strapless. Considering the wedding date, venue, and overall location will help the bride when selecting the perfect gown. Clearly, a bride can’t drag a long train down the beach, and similarly, wouldn’t want to wear a knee length gown to a very formal ceremony. Don’t pick a dress just because it’s beautiful; it has to be a bit practical, too.

Nobody wants to freeze in the cold weather just because a strapless wedding dress seemed like the right way to go. Alternately, a less formal gown may be more suited for a less formal environment, but a more sophisticated formal dress might be just right for a traditional church wedding.

4. Do Shop for a Wedding Dress Well in Advance to the Wedding Day

Waiting until the last minute may be stressful for the bride due to the fact that the dress might have to be returned, altered, or customised in some way and it can take several weeks for alterations, final fittings, and other necessary things to make sure the dress is ready for the big day. Don’t just pick out random dresses; have an idea of what you’re ordering by visiting a bridal shop before you go online to pick dresses to see the different styles in person.

It’s perfectly fine to browse in bridal shops, look at plenty of magazines, and ask questions about gowns in order to get an idea of what type of dress the bride would like, which will make ordering one on eBay that much easier when she’s ready to purchase her bridal dress.

5. Do Ask a Trusted Family Member or Friend for Their Opinion

Consult someone that will be honest about the dresses and who truly wants the bride to look her absolute best and most beautiful on her special day. A good option would be for the bride to ask her mother, aunt, sister, or best friend to help her select a dress. Once the bride receives the dress, it may also be helpful to take photos of the bride in the dress with a digital camera so the bride can see herself from all angles. Don’t consult the entire wedding party on the bridal dress. Too many people equal too many opinions, and the bride can become frustrated and stressed out.

More than a few people is really too many, so a bride should not be pressured to feel she has to consult every member of her extended family, all of her bridesmaids, or half of the wedding party. A couple of trusted, honest opinions are all that’s needed when wedding dress shopping.

6. Don’t Make Assumptions About Bridal Dress Sizing

Bridal gowns don’t fit like regular dresses, formalwear, or clothing, so sizes and measurements will differ from the bride’s normal sizing. This is perfectly natural and shouldn’t be a concern. The only concern should be how the dress fits on the bride, how it looks, and how it flatters her figure. Measurements should be taken to ensure the dress the bride selects will fit her perfectly. Don’t purchase a dress that is too small or doesn’t fit, thinking that the bride will lose a few pounds before the wedding date.

Brides that put this type of pressure on themselves to squeeze into a small dress only add to their stress. A dress should be fitted to the bride’s present shape, and if weight is gained or lost before the wedding, the bride needs to contact the salon and see if last minute alterations can be done to ensure the fit is right for the gown.

7. Do Consider Wedding Dress Accessories

Will a special strapless bra need to be purchased? What type of shoes will the bride wear, and how much will they cost? Can they be worn during the dress fitting so the dress will fall perfectly on the bride? There are so many extras to think of, and if the bride wants to wear her grandmother’s necklace but the neckline of the dress she wants to buy doesn’t allow it, then allowances will have to be made.Don’t leave accessories and shoes out of the picture when it’s time to shop for a wedding dress.

It’s best to consider all accessories when dress shopping, unless new items are going to be purchased, and if they are, it’s best to have a comparable pair of shoes to try dresses on with, or have some idea of what type of jewellery will be worn. Don’t make a decision on a dress without having some idea of what the entire picture will look like, including shoes, bridal jewellery, hairstyle and hair accessories, and bra.

How to Buy Wedding Dresses on eBay

If you know what type of wedding dress you want, or you’ve already been to a bridal boutique and tried on dresses but they were out of your budget, buy a wedding dress on eBay. There is a wide variety of new and used wedding dresses on eBay that may be more in your price range. Search wedding dresses to see all of the options available, then narrow the search based on used, vintage, or new dresses. From then, you can search based on size, which will make it even easier to find a wedding dress that’s right for you.

Communicate with the seller to ensure that you know the exact measurements of the dress and have seen an array of images of the gown before purchasing. For even better results, find local sellers to purchase from so you can go see and try on the dress in person. Some sellers may also be willing to customise and alter the dress for you. Bundle items together such as a veil or slip with the dress to receive a reduced shipping price, and only buy from sellers that are highly rated for the best experience possible. Sellers that accept returns will probably be the best fit for a bride looking for a wedding dress that fits just right, but all dresses can be altered as long as time allows.


Buying a wedding dress is so much fun, and it’s an experience that a bride will never forget. There are definitely ways to make the experience run a little more smoothly, and preparation never hurts. Getting ready for the dress shopping involves lots of little tasks like calling the bridal salon to make an appointment, seeking out a couple of trustworthy people to get their opinions on the wedding dresses, and thinking hard about the bridal budget, allowing for items like shoes, jewellery, stockings, garters, and undergarments or shape wear.

Buying a wedding dress is easy in a bridal boutique, but for a bride that already knows what she wants, purchasing a dress on eBay can be just as simple and convenient. There are many dresses available, and most sellers will be happy to let the bride return the dress if it doesn’t fit, and they may even be able to alter it to the bride’s unique specifications. The bride should be armed with information and knowledge before shopping for a wedding gown, but she should also be prepared to have the most memorable time of her life.

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