I have yet to go try on real wedding dresses... any tips before I go?
Try to take a bottle of water. All the hopping in and out of dresses and standing under lights can dry you out!
Take a break between shops if you're hitting up more than one in a single day. Get a snack or eat lunch or something--just sit down and unwind for a bit.
Don't feel like you have to find something on Day 1. Just try to narrow things down. For example, my first day out I established that while I liked some more modern styles with clean lines and not a lot of detailing, I LOVED the dresses with lots of beading/embroidery/texture. I also realized that while a lot of dresses with a sash around the waist/empire waist appealed to my eyes, they weren't the most flattering on my body.
That meant the next time we went out shopping, we could automatically skip over the plain dresses and could focus in on the more mermaid-style silhouettes. Process of elimination! Try a lot of things on day 1, take notes of what you like and don't like with each dress, and look for trends. Don't be afraid to try a few totally different things, but once you get a feel for what you really want, go ahead and narrow your focus.
I was glad on one day that I had worn a zip-up hoodie with my clothes, because I could put it on while waiting for them to bring me more dresses instead of just sitting around freezing in my skivvies! :)
Wear a good strapless bra , and proper knickers.
If you can, go online and pick a few dresses you like and show them to the bridal store. They will be able to recommend things based on your taste.
Also, try and do only a few stores in one day. Things can start looking the same after awhile, and it can get a bit exhausting not just for yourself, but your bridesmaids/mother/whoever is there with you.
Even if you dont like a certain dress, keep in mind the various silhouettes you like, so that you can ask for similar styles at the next store.
Don't just stay in the little room, walk around in the dress and in different lights.. most places have a variety of mirrors to look into..
In the small room, I was iffy on my dress, but when I came out into a wide open space and bigger mirror I fell in love <3
My suggestion is to definetly plan ahead! Being organized and prepared is a plus. Go online and search for specific dresses at the store you are attending. It helps to speed things up alot! Also bring about 2 people with you, but not more than 3(it gets crowed) so they can not only give you feedback, but also pick out dresses they think you might look good in. I did this with my maid of honor and she ended up picking out a dress that I would have never thought of looking at and it happened to be the only one that I ABSOLUTELY loved! :) Oh and don't let people rush you, I know that they usually put you on a time limit, but still you have to give yourself time to make a decision. GOOD LUCK!
I did two dress shops a couple of weeks apart. The first one I just went in with an open mind and asked the saleswoman to work on finding the right shape for my body. Then I went home and trawled through my stack of bridal magazines and cut out any dresses in that shape that jumped out at me, I took these cuttings to my second place and hey presto she found my dress for me!!
Two things I remember from the process were a)have an open mind- my dress is soooo different to what I originaly wanted- but when I tried that shape on it did NOTHING for me. b)be prepared to visualise a lot! I'm not very tall and I'm not very wide and its hard to visualise fit with a dress thats wrapped round you twice and is six inches too long! I'd imagine its the same if the dress is too short or if it doesnt do up at the back..but hey unless you are the sample size you are gonna have a tough time shopping!! Have fun!