How to Help Your Bride Find the Perfect Dress.

 In Advice, Bridesmaids Confess!, Dresses, Makeup, and Hair

Picking out a wedding dress is one of the most exciting, and stressful, things on a bride’s to do list. Today we’re going to share with you our personal experience of wedding dress shopping with our sister. It was an honor to help her pick out her dress and we’re happy to provide you with a few vital tips we learned along the way.

How to Help Your Bride Find the Perfect Dress.

My sister Christina has been living overseas in Germany for the past 3 years. Planning her wedding involved a lot of emails and Skype sessions. (Yay for technology!) To further complicate the planning process, none of the bridesmaids lived anywhere near each other. One bridesmaid lives in WV, one lives in NJ, and the other lives in Japan. It took a lot of coordination for the entire bridal party to be in the same country, let alone state. So what did we do?

Well in October 2015 our cousin Stacy got married and we were all together in NJ for four days. This small window of time allowed for us to schedule Christina’s wedding dress shopping while we were all together.


(Left to Right) My sister Kelly, my sister and bride-to-be Christina, the beautiful bride, and me on Stacy’s wedding day.

About a month before the wedding I set up the appointment for Christina, at Group USA at the Philadelphia Mills mall, since international phone calls are truly a pain with the time difference.

Tip: Make sure to schedule an appointment with the wedding dress shop ahead of time. They will assign a sales associate to help you and the time will be formally blocked so you don’t feel rushed.


Besides her sisters, Christina asked our aunt, our mom, her best friend, and her future mother-in-law to join her for the dress shopping experience. The picture below of our group is blurry but it’s a moment in time I want to remember.

Our group for wedding dress shopping.

(Above) Our full group. (Below) Kelly, me, Christina, and Maria.

Upon arrival we had no idea that Christina would use this as her opportunity to officially ask us to be her bridesmaids. She gave us all a nicely wrapped package with a gorgeous bracelet inside and a note asking my sister Kelly to be Maid-of-Honor, me to be Matron-of-Honor, and her best friend Maria to be a Bridesmaid. It was a very sweet gesture to officially mark the beginning of our roles as bridesmaids.

So here’s the part of the story where I tell you a true bridesmaid confession. Upon going to the rack to select dresses I sort of steam rolled my sister. Sigh, you’re probably thinking, what in your right mind would make you do that?

Well, “big sister, I’ve already been married, I’ve done this before” mode kicked in. My Aunt pulled me aside to let me know Christina was upset and I reacted by obnoxiously saying I wasn’t doing anything wrong. ::Face Palm Here:: Eventually Christina went to try on dresses, the moment passed, and I eventually apologized for being a jerk.

Tip: Even if you’ve been married before let the bride have her experience. Don’t pull the sales associate aside to make suggestions on dresses and keep your opinions to a minimum. Only give advice on the dresses once the bride has tried them on and wants everyone to state their thoughts.


Trying on wedding dresses. Runner up.

Runner-Up. She tried this dress on twice, but it didn’t make her say yes.

In total Christina tried on 5 or 6 dresses. The dress above (runner-up) and the dress below (the winner!) were her two favorites. We all liked the “runner-up” and did the typical Oooo and Ahhh when she came out from the dressing room wearing it. “The winner” was clearly that because it made us all cry, BOTH times she tried it on. I had to keep looking away so that I didn’t do the ugly sobbing cry.

Tying on wedding dresses. She said yes to this dress!

The Winner! Check out the bride’s smile in the reflection of the mirror. You can clearly see she was over the moon for this dress just like we were.

Tip: Make sure you have a basic knowledge of dress designers and what the price range is for the type of dress you’re looking for. That will help you know if the bridal shop pricing is within the correct range.


Tip: Most bridal shops won’t let you take pictures of the bride in the dresses. Why? According to blogger Jennifer at 2morrows dress it’s because they don’t want you to shop the internet for a lower price or have a knockoff dress made. I have pictures of the last two dresses, because she was going to buy one of them for sure.


Happy bride-to-be in the dress she said yes to with the bridal party.

To make sure the dress was comfortable she sat down in it. I told her she looked like a princess. Even without wedding day hair and makeup she looked amazing.

Then we couldn’t help but get a group shot with the bride-to-be in her dress. Christina was quick to remind me not to share any sneak peaks of the pictures with anyone. Of course I have approval now that it is 3 months past her wedding.

So how did the bride look on her wedding day? Absolutely stunning! See for yourself:

Bride and groom in Cape May standing on jetty rocks with the ocean in the background.

Photo Credit: Cecilia Grace Photography on the beach in Cape May, NJ

I hope you enjoyed hearing about my bridesmaid experience dress shopping with my sister. It is certainly something I won’t forget anytime soon.

What do you think about the dress Christina picked? Have you ever had a bad bridesmaid moment? Do you have any tips for wedding dress shopping? Share with us in the comments.

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Showing 19 comments
  • Amanda

    Such good advice! I had no idea about the pictures while dress shopping…

    • bridesmaidsconfession

      It depends on the bridal shop. Some are letting people now because it’s just so hard to control with everyone having a smart phone. It makes sense though that they want to get the sale.

  • hattie

    ahh such good tips! i hope it helps another bride to be!

  • Keelie

    Beautiful bride and good honest advice for future bridesmaids!

  • Crit

    You have to be super careful in other ways though….like when your mom is taking pictures with her new iphone 6 (that she doesn’t know how to use)— hits one wrong button and the pic is on FB!!!

  • Jen Morrow

    Great reminder for Bridesmaids (and anyone NOT the Bride) to avoid being pushy and trying to run the dress appointment. Often the Bride is so overwhelmed from “help”.

  • Hazel

    I went wedding dress shopping 3 times. The first time was when I was engaged to my first love. I went round a couple of dress shops in my home town with my Mum, Dad and Sister. I ended up buying a sample sale dress that day. I didn’t feel I got very good service from the bridal shop assistants, and I felt a little cajoled by my family into buying the dress I did.

    The second time I went dress shopping was with my best friend and Bridesmaid when engaged to my now Husband. We booked an appintment, and this time I got very good service from the bridal shop assistants. I tried on a few different styles of dresses and this was the first time I really felt I had the “proper” dress shopping experience. I did not buy a dress this time.

    The third time was disasterous – it was a sample sale event I went to with my sister. The reason for it being a disaster mostly was I hadn’t researched the bridal shop holding the sample sale to find out what styles sizes of dresses they stocked. I didn’t buy a dress this time either.

    I couldn’t agree with you more about your advice to those helping a bride to be search for the dress. 1) visit the bridal shop or at least the website to research the dress styles they stock and 2) Book an Appointment with the bridal shop 3) allow the bride to be to have her experience her way and only offer your KIND opinion when asked for it.

    • bridesmaidsconfession

      Wow your experiences varied so drastically. I think it’s really cool that your Dad went the first time. How sweet. May I ask what you did with the first dress you bought if you never wore it? And what about the second go around, where did you find your dress? I love your honesty about the two engagements and the whole experience.

  • Amanda

    I have always wondered why you can’t take pictures of the dress during shopping–makes total sense! I love that your sister asked you all to be part of the wedding during the shopping, what a fun experience for all of you!

  • eilarva

    went with friends and the first dress I put on was the one. Did have a rude sales person because I wanted to find matching accessories and stay in the dress. Told the manager I am matching items and buying them all today. She said you can stay in your dress as long as you want, sales person had to retrain. All because I took an hr to find items I wanted. Why rush a sale?

    • bridesmaidsconfession

      How lucky to have the first dress you tried on be the one! Glad to hear the manager stepped in and made your shopping experience better. Those accessories add up so the sales person really shouldn’t have been rushing if you were confident in your purchase.

      • eilarva

        I bought everything I needed with my dress and accessories that day. My friend was also engaged and looking for a dress. So we shared our appt. Manager was happy to accommodate us. We were nice, quiet and respectful.

  • All Things Blair

    I would’ve loved to have my girls with me when I got my dress but I realized it was much easier having just my mom and sister with me! I can’t wait to reveal my dress to my girls on the wedding day 🙂

    • bridesmaidsconfession

      It can be very overwhelming to have all the bridesmaids there. It’s not for everyone that’s for sure. I think it’s sweet that it was your mom and sister. That is how it was for me too 🙂

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