What makes a good partner for life is that you actually want to do everything together! We love couples who choose to plan their weddings together and wedding decisions as a pair because they know it’s about their union, not just one person’s day. When you’re both shopping for wedding looks together, all different ways to shop are open to you! This may mostly be about dresses because that’s what we specialize in, but that shouldn’t mean that you both need to wear a dress. If you are looking to both wear tuxes, pantsuits, or one of the dozens of other fashion combinations that exist, this blog can still be for you because at the end of the day, the search for your dream wedding look is about more than just finding pretty inspo online. It’s about what happens after you’ve gathered all that good intel from the hours of scrolling and you’re ready to get out there and shop for that special garment. We’ve listed out some appointment options for you, so you can lay the groundwork for your first trip out!
Share in each other’s experiences:
You can’t help but be together forever, so why be separate now? The wedding industry has some traditions that are misconstrued as rules. To be clear for all couples out there: there really are no wedding rules. There’s no rule that says you can’t be part of your partner’s wedding shopping or see them in a dress. So if you want to shop together at the same time, do it! With this method of shopping, you can see in real time how the looks coordinate! The benefit here is that you get to see your outfits together to see how you both feel.
The best part is when you both find that special dress, you can stand together when you say yes (good practice for “I do”)! It’s honestly an extremely emotional and special moment when this happens.
Make sure you tell the shop you are planning to go to that you are a couple and you want to shop simultaneously. That way the store can plan ahead for where your entourage will sit, plus they can assign enough stylists to your appointment to make sure you both feel equally supported by a member of the salon’s team.
Play a role in each other’s support squad:
This is actually my preference for couples. I often suggest if you want to share in each other’s experiences saying yes to the dress, book back-to-back appointments. It’s similar to the first option because you get to share in each other’s joy and gown journeys, but you have more time to focus on your individual goals too. You have time to focus on you, plus your partner doesn’t miss anything! If they’re getting dressed while you’re out on the platform looking in the mirror, they’ll miss important moments! They don’t get to be part of the entourage’s discussions and could be distracted by their own dress, rather than giving you needed attention.
With this method, you still get to provide feedback and give your partner encouragement during their experience, plus you get to share in the moment they find the gown they’re going to marry you in! One of the benefits of shopping this way is that you get to see the moment they envision getting married to you. As a stylist, there’s no more magical moment than when the person you’re helping gets to see their vision for their wedding come together. If you shop together, you can experience that vision coming to life together.
Make sure with this version of shopping, you tell your salon what you’re up to! Even though you’re technically doing two separate appointments, it’s good for the store to plan ahead to make sure they give you both the time you need to shop!
Create a plot twist:
This is a good way to get the best of both worlds: experiencing each other shopping and bringing the wedding looks to life together plus keeping a little mystery for the wedding day! This way you still save the magic for the first look or when you see each other for the first time on your wedding day. The best way to achieve this is to have each person shop (at the same time or back-to-back) but once you’ve narrowed it down to a top two or three, stop what you’re doing. Send your partner out of the room and use that time to focus on your final few favorites. This way, your partner has weighed in, but doesn’t know amongst the final few which dress they’ll get to see you in! Then when it’s their turn to narrow down, you step out of the appointment or the salon and wait for their “say yes” moment.
Let there be a couple spoilers:
Look at inspiration together. Get an idea of what you both like and talk about what you always envisioned for yourselves and each other. That way you can confidently shop knowing what you are both thinking. You may have a vague idea of what your partner may choose, but in all my years in bridal, I can tell you, you’ll still be plenty surprised. What you see on Instagram or Pinterest is not what it’ll be like in person. It’ll be like 500 times better!
Try to avoid spoilers:
This one is tricky and definitely requires some planning between you and your styling team, but is honestly kind of fun! Both of you shop at the same time in the same store, but with different styling teams and in different parts of the salon. In this method of shopping, you’re technically under the same roof but having separate appointments. Your entourages can share and chat while you’re both in the dressing rooms and bounce back and forth to help guide you in the right directions. We’ve done this in our store and it remains one of my all-time favorite shopping experiences! It was exciting to share in those moments and the couple could feel each other’s presence in a special (and pretty romantic) way. When the couple found their gowns, the whole store celebrated!
Shop at the same store:
Consider shopping with the same stylist or at the same salon, that way your trusted stylist can use their expertise to make sure your gowns complement each other the same way you do in real life. Consider also doing a virtual appointment or speaking with your stylists before you shop, that way they understand the full wedding vision and how you’re both feeling. You can do this as a pair or separately. We do this all the time at LLB! It’s a great way to get the ball rolling for your appointment, plus you get to know if a store is the right fit for you before you even get there. You should trust your stylist to guide your partner and have both of your best interests at heart. The benefit of shopping at the same salon is that they already have your partner’s favorites (and potentially your order) so they know what will work and what won’t. If you stick with the same stylist, they already know what’s up and can move through the process seamlessly! Make sure you choose to work with someone who understands and respects your vision!
Surprise each other:
We already know you’re better together, but if you love the idea of fully surprising each other on the big day, consider doing the wedding dress shopping separately. Personally, I like the idea of saving some surprises for the big day! There’s something so beautiful and emotional about when you see each other for the first time before becoming married and how perfect they look I think is part of what makes it so magical.
Make sure you lean on your support squad. If you want your outfits to coordinate, the risk of shopping separately is that your choice of dresses may not vibe the way you want them to. If you have already said yes to your dress, give the photo to someone in your partner’s entourage, so they can help guide your partner into something that could match. If neither of you have found your dresses yet, make sure at least one member of the entourage is at both appointments and has access to your inspiration photos. That way they can still be helpful in the appointment!
Now that you’re ready to shop, it’s time to start thinking about inspiration and what you want. Do your homework and look at ideas online, then start calling stores to find vendors you feel comfortable working with! Always remember, your wedding look should reflect who you uniquely are. This blog may be about how to shop for dresses (after all, it’s what we know best in a store specializing in dresses), but if you hate dresses and wouldn’t wear one normally, then don’t! Your wedding look is an expression of you and it should be the garment you feel most confident in! Go with what makes you happiest and most confident. No matter what you pick or how you shop, at the end of the day you’re marrying your soulmate. They’re going to love what you pick no matter what because you’ll be wearing the outfit you’re starting your forever in!