Tips and Advice

Wedding Dress Shopping

Hello there bride! This one is just for you. Feel free to turn the screen away from your soon to be or go in a separate room if need be. There are no secrets here, but sometimes girls just need to talk on their own. Your wedding dress is one of the biggest decisions you have to make as a bride. The pressure of finding the perfect “one” is generally overwhelming. What if the need to have just one went away? In no way is this a plot to get you to spend half your wedding budget on multiple gowns, unless you were already planning to- but let’s play with the idea of thinking outside the box on this one.

Ideally: What the dress shopping experience should be

Every bride should have the ultimate dress shopping experience. Endless arrays of gorgeous gowns in various styles, guidance from a professional and knowledgeable sales team, the best bridal audience who knows just what to say, continuous laughter and fun all leading to choosing the ideal dress at your first appointment. It may sound like a rarity but it is possible to have this experience! We feel incredibly lucky in the Portland area to have bridal shops like The White Dress, Anna’s Bridal, Charlotte’s Weddings and More, Ania Bridal, and Everly & Opal Plus Size Bridal that make it their goal to give you the best experience possible and help you find that perfect dress.

Realistically: What the dress shopping experience could end up being

On the chance that your experience is not the ideal, you’ll more than likely have multiple dress appointments ahead of you. This is not the end of the world! It will just take you a little longer to fall in love again. The only thing that makes this experience any different from the first is if you allow frustration to set in. Feel free to take a break from looking if you’re getting close to that. It’s more important to maintain the celebratory and fun vibes than to rush to a decision just for the sake of making one.


Unlike finding you perfect man, the perfect dress might not exist. In this case (or in the case that you find two perfect dresses) take it as a sign that maybe you’re one of the lucky brides that gets to dazzle your soon to be and guests in two looks on your big day! Some brides choose to have a reception gown or a party dress after the cake is cut. The rules are made by you (within reason of your budget). A hidden gem in Portland, is Brides for a Cause. Visiting them during your search may end up providing the solution to your dilemma and allowing you to give back to the community of women in our area.


Any way you decide, girl just do what makes you feel beautiful & happy. As they say- this is your day! If you find that you need to be more resourceful to make things happen, know that it’s not impossible. The bridal boutiques that we listed above are always doing sample sales and trunk shows and special sales certain times of the year! Where there’s a will, there’s a way. We hope you find the perfect dress (or dresses) to show off your bridal glow and personality! Oh, and for those of you who plan to rock a jump suit or pant suit on your big day…we applaud your fashion forward approach and wish you the same amazing shopping experience!

All images in this post are by Sweetlife Photography shot at a real wedding coordinated by Bridal Bliss at The Oregon Golf Club. This gorgeous dress was found at Anna’s Bridal.

This Tips & Advice piece was submitted by Ema Hadziselimovic, a trusted local wedding professional and talented writer.