bridesmaids helping bride with gown
Leeann Marie Photography

You’ve tried on what seems like a million gowns, and you’re finding that you just can’t decide on a wedding dress. Maybe you’re even starting to doubt that your dream dress is out there. Well, we can assure you­—it totally is, and you’re going to find it. Start by taking our perfect wedding dress quiz to make sure you’re on the right track, and then take a deep breath—we’re going to help you find the gown of your dreams, even if you’ve tried on a lot of gowns already and haven’t experienced that butterflies-in-your-stomach feeling.

Can’t decide on a wedding dress? Check out these tips to help you (finally!) find a gown you’ll be thrilled to wear on your big day.

Don’t worry too much about the fit.

It’s pretty unlikely that a sample wedding dress will actually fit you perfectly. When trying on wedding gowns, a salon consultant will probably use a variety of methods, from clips to pins, to help you imagine what a particular dress would look like if it was tailored to your body, but it will be far from flawless. Remember that the person altering your wedding dress will be an absolute pro and will ensure that your dress looks amazing—so try your best to ignore any fit-related issues during the initial rounds of shopping.

Remember—you can change a wedding dress (with $$$).

So if you mostly love a particular wedding dress but want to make a small change or two, it may be entirely possible—just ask. For example, many dresses can have sleeves added on or beading removed. Just remember that the bigger the changes you make, the bigger the price add-on. For example, you may be able to take the top of one gown and combine it with the bottom of a different dress, but it will cost you. If you can spend a lot on your dress, you may have more wiggle room in terms of customization than if you have a tighter budget.

Pick one important feature and forget the rest.

You may have a list of criteria that the perfect wedding dress must have, but unfortunately, that dress may not actually exist within your budget. If you find that you can’t decide on a wedding dress, think about the one most important feature that you’re looking for in a gown and focus on that. For example, a dress that has a mermaid silhouette, a lace bodice, cap sleeves, and a square neckline might not exist in your price range, so focus on the cap sleeves. You may find a wider selection of dresses—and realize that you can fall in love with a dress that didn’t fit all of your initial criteria.

Think about “feel” rather than “look.”

Try to avoid focusing on the nitty-gritty details of a wedding dress and instead, think about how you want the dress to make you feel. Do you imagine yourself looking glamorous and sexy on your wedding day or more feminine and sweet? By sharing these adjectives with your salon consultant, you’ll be able to hone in on dresses that fit your style, body type, and budget without obsessing about the details.

bride putting on veil
Jaime Glez Photography

Cut down your shopping entourage.

The reason you can’t decide on a wedding dress might not be the dresses you’re trying on, but who you’re shopping with. If you’re bringing a huge crowd with you to dress shopping appointments, you might find that their differing opinions are stressing you out—and making you think that the perfect dress doesn’t exist. Sure, you may have loved that ball gown you tried on, but the fact that your maid of honor didn’t love it gave you pause. Next time you go shopping, bring just one family member or friend—or even try shopping by yourself. You may find that fewer opinions make finding your dream dress easier.

Consider adding accessories.

A few carefully-chosen accessories can really change the look and feel of a wedding dress. Next time you’re trying on a gown that you’re in like with, ask your salon consultant if you can try on a sash or veil with it. The addition of a great accessory can really make a dress go from so-so to absolutely amazing, so give it a try.

Take a break from social media.

The internet can be a great place to find dress inspo, but it can also drive you absolutely crazy. You may find a dress that you adore, but looking at Instagram or Pinterest might make you fall in love with a completely different gown (that may not even be in your price range) and doubt your initial choice. It may be a good idea to take a little social media cleanse while dress shopping so you can stop comparing yourself to others. Focus on what looks amazing on you, not what looks cool on the internet.

Try shopping for non-traditional wedding dresses. 

Yes, it’s a good idea to start your dress shopping process by going to salons and trying on gowns. But if you can’t decide on a wedding dress, think about less traditional places to find a gown—especially if you’re a more nontraditional bride. For example, a white or blush bridesmaid dress can work well as a more laid-back wedding dress. There may also be evening gowns that catch your eye. Or you might prefer to look at a (reputable!) online retailer, like BHLDN, and try dresses on in the privacy of your own home. It’s totally okay to think outside the box, particularly if you’re finding that “traditional” wedding dress shopping isn’t working for you.

Stop looking for the “perfect” wedding dress.

So we hate to break it to you, but there may be no such thing as the “perfect wedding dress.” If you find that you can’t decide on a wedding dress, stop searching for one that’s totally flawless and start looking for a dress that just makes you feel amazing—even if you aren’t obsessed with every detail. In the end, it’s really not about the dress itself—it’s about finding something that makes you shine.