Excitement and anticipation as my feet step into the first wedding gown, and then I am zipped up, I look into the mirror and bam, I am hit with a flood of emotions! From that moment on, wedding dress shopping was exciting, memorable and let’s not forget, overwhelming.

About 10 months before the wedding date, the search began for my perfect gown! The minute I stepped into the bridal shop I was in AWE surrounded by beautiful gowns. In that moment, I thought, how could I ever make a decision, the right decision for me, but in time, I found out that it is true what they say, ‘you’ll know when it’s the right one’!

In my experience, the first dress I tried on set the stage for the rest of the day; and so, I tried on similar dresses after that for the remainder of the day. But dress after dress; with slight changes like lace or satin, straps or strapless, and so forth, I quickly became overwhelmed, and unsure of what I wanted. It wasn’t until we got to the second bridal shop, when I put on yet another similar style of dress as that first one, the consult said to me, “what do you think?” and I said, “it’s pretty”. She laughed because I said the same thing about every dress! She also pointed out that these dresses weren’t the one, because ‘the one’, is more than just pretty, it’s a feeling you get when you put it on and see yourself as the bride for the very first time.

My advice to the lovely brides to be, don’t get caught up on the first gown, because that moment itself, is so big and exciting it’s possible it can cloud your vision, unless of course, you just know it’s the one!

Also, don’t get hung up on a particular style of dress. Keep an open mind, be willing to try on different styles, and don’t settle on “pretty”. There is a dress out there for everyone! In the end, I did say yes to the dress, at the second bridal shop, thanks to an amazing bridal consultant who saw through what wasn’t working for me (although I first insisted I wanted that style), and she made me step into a gown I never wanted to take off! This didn’t happen in one visit, I was so excited and overwhelmed, I wanted to be sure. I took her advice, I slept on it, and when I woke up, I knew it was my dress.

Be sure to give yourself time, as some wedding dresses may take 5-8 months to come in, plus you need time to schedule in fittings afterwards. As a side note, keep this in mind when shopping for bridesmaid dresses too! My bridesmaids ordered their dresses 8 months prior to the wedding date.

Trying on wedding gowns is a big moment in the planning process, be sure to enjoy it, and let your heart lead when it comes time to picking the perfect wedding gown!


Natalie Conte is a certified Wedding Planner specializing in the Niagara Region. Always a planner at heart, Natalie has a knack for designing spaces, planning and coordinating and taking away the stress so you can enjoy the moments. Did we mention Natalie is recently engaged? Follow our exclusive blog series as she plans her wedding with us!

Photography: Adrian Dudziak from Captivate Photo + Cinema

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