5 Things Not To Do when Looking for the Perfect Wedding Dress

By Franziska Dotzauer

Grace Loves Lace Lottie GownThere are a million difficult decisions a bride-to-be has to make, but choosing a wedding dress has to be by far the hardest. Especially when, like me, you struggle to see the goddess in you and  find at least one of your body parts anything but divine.

At some point during the whole dress picking process, I concluded a white burqa or similar would suffice, at least that would cover it all. That was the exact point where my future hubby decided to step in. He made himself very clear, if I decided to wear something that looked like I bought it in the tent section of an adventure store, he would say “no” at the altar. I took that threat with a grain of salt (after all, the guy has seen me in the morning, hungover) but still, I started looking a bit harder and let me tell you girls, the biggest problem isn’t actually your body. In fact, there are 5 things you NEED to avoid doing while looking for your dress. It’s a cold harsh bridal world out there.


1. Don’t believe what you see on TV

In the quest of getting ‘dress inspired’, you’ve probably seen an episode or two of Say Yes to the Dress, a show in which girls of all sizes head to Kleinfeld Bridal in Manhattan to find the perfect wedding dress. They come with an entourage of 10 people, try on as many pieces as they like, get pampered and at the very end they say “yes” to THE perfect dress.
Well, it’s all lies, none of that happened to me. It’s just not how it goes. You don’t get sparkling wine for free, you can’t bring as many advisers as you please and worst of all I was given gloves to look through the dresses. Gloves!!! Must be in case I decided to eat chocolate ice cream like a 2-year old just before entering the store. I mean, come one!

2. Don’t do too much research

I did a lot of research before having my first appointment at a bridal shop, which turned out to be a huge mistake. I googled and pinterested, I was browsing blogs and designer webpages – but once I had the dresses in front of me, reality sunk in! Most of those enchanting  gowns I had seen on the net, turned out to be pure tulle terrors. I came to realise that with the dress type I had pre-selected on the net, I was headed towards looking like a giant vanilla cupcake or an ugly version of Cinderella. I found myself surrounded by tulle, lace, glitter and more glitter. Eeek! I’d rather the tent look, thank you very much!

Even if you’re still after that bandeau A-line ball gown, because, let’s face it, looking like Cinderella was what you were dreaming of ever since you were able to sing the “Bibbidi-Bobbidi-Boo”-song, trust me when I say: let yourself be inspired in an actual store. The less you confuse yourself by browsing the web the more you save time and disappointment.

3. Don’t stick to a certain dress type and never ever trust the sales assistant 

Let’s face it, glitter might not be for you. You might look better in ivory than white. The A-line gown might just look ok but not wow-worthy. There are a million cuts and styles out there from mermaid to empire, be sure to give them all a fair chance and you might just be surprised.

And whatever you do,  do not trust the sales assistant. They tend to lie to either not hurt your feelings or to make a sale. One of those so-called experts tried to sell me a bandeau neckline. Bandeau! I do boxing and to be perfectly honest, bandeau isn’t  flattering when you sport a trained neck muscle  Rocky wouldn’t look great in a mermaid gown now, would he? But this woman would have sold a tutu to Arnold Schwarzenegger. So bottom line, there are two things you need to keep in mind a) you’re on your own and b) be flexible with the cut and style.

4. If you’re not a model, don’t compare yourself to one

Body image is the biggest problem. We all want to look like the size zero models in the ads. But let me tell you, no matter how beautiful you are those dresses will NEVER look the same on you as they do on the models. Those shots have been altered, photoshopped and a team of 20 has prepped the model, told her how to stand  and how to look. So no, you  probably won’t look like her. My upper arm, for example, is about the size of a model’s thigh, which is a problem in itself.

So when you’re trying on a wedding dress, cut yourself some slack. Take a step back, take a deep breath and don’t be so hard on yourself. You might not be Gisele Bündchen but neither was Rapunzel.

5.Stop trying to find the perfect wedding dress

It finds you.


And finally, here are a few of my favourite designers! What are yours?

Grace Loves Lace
Daughters of Simone
Kaviar Gauche
Disney Bridal (For those of you who still haven’t given up on that Cinderella dress)

Images: Both Grace Loves Lace

2 thoughts on “5 Things Not To Do when Looking for the Perfect Wedding Dress

  1. I can relate! I was completely lost amongst puffy gowns and pushy staff in those horrible bridal stores. Beholden by Antrophologie was a game changer for me! At BHLDN you can order in a list of dresses to try on & get a plastic cup of champagne and the staff is actually honest and helpful in the process. I can highly recommend them (they do international shipping, just be aware of the return/tax policies)! http://www.bhldn.com


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