Shopping for My Wedding Gown - I Said Yes to the Dress!

I am one of those girls who watches every episode of Say Yes to the Dress (yes, I still do after having found my dress!). So, needless to say, I was eager to begin wedding dress shopping right off the bat! Having seen both the positive and negative things other brides often experience during their bridal appointments, I tried to be as organized as possible before stepping foot into my first bridal boutique.

Shopping for a Wedding Gown with Simply Jessica Marie for Southern Weddings

Photo from The Bride Room

I've listed out a few of the things I learned along the way during my wedding dress shopping experience. Head to the Southern Weddings blog for my full recap, advice, and which boutique was the one that had the dress of my dreams!

First row: photo by Coco Tran via Style Me Pretty and Bliss by Monique Lhuillier; second row: unknown and photo by Ozzy Garcia via Once Wed; third row: Inbal Dror and Katie Stoops via Style Me Pretty; fourth row: both BHLDN


  1. Start with a Pinterest board to gather images that make your heart swoon!
  2. Review all of your photos from your inspiration board to see what details hold true throughout the collection of images- these will be the details you want to look for in your own wedding gown!
  3. Try on a variety of different dress shapes and styles when you are at the bridal boutiques. You might love how a certain style looks on models and mannequins, but it might not be the best fit for your body type! 
  4. In the same sense, keep an open mind! Certain details from dresses you see in store might surprise you - you could love lace more than  you originally imagined, or decide that you don't love blush colored gowns as much as traditional ivory or white dresses. You won't be able to tell until you see the dresses in person!
  5. Set a budget for your wedding dress, and share that with each stylist you meet at the bridal boutiques you visit. Don't try on a gown that is twice your budget, there are plenty of beautiful options you can afford and will love!
  6. Carefully select the people you invite to go dress shopping with you. While it can be fun to have a big group for support, I loved how intimate it was just shopping with my mom and sister. Sometimes, too many opinions can cloud your own judgement, and the dress you choose should be the one YOU love, not the one your bridesmaids love most!
  7. Wait until you get "the feeling" - trust me, it happens! There were certain gowns I really adored, but couldn't get super excited about for one reason or another. I felt as though I wanted to love them just so that I could say I found my dress, but I'm so happy I waited! When I found my dress, I didn't want to take it off, couldn't stop smiling and twirling, and felt like the most beautiful version of myself. That is when you know you've found your dress!

I hope that helps any of you who are about to go dress shopping, or who are currently in the process and are anxiously awaiting finding your dress! I'd love to know, how is your dress shopping experience going? How many bridal boutiques did you go to? Who was with you during your shopping experience? 

And of course, here are some behind the scenes pictures of me during my wedding dress shopping experience! None of these are my dress, don't worry!

First row: The Dress Theory, Second row: Modern Trousseau, Third row: The Dress Theory