Tina Kolokathis/Katie Gewelb

4 Newlywed Brides Reveal How They Chose Their Wedding Dress & Why The Process Was Worth It

Walking down the aisle is a life milestone people spend months (maybe years!) planning, and needless to say, finding the perfect dress is no easy feat. The pressure to find a dress you might have spent years thinking about can mean stress levels are at an all-time high. If walking down the aisle is something you see in your future, then it might be a good idea to know what to expect from the process, which is why I asked four newlywed brides to reveal how they chose their wedding dress. Honestly, their answers were just as sweet as you'd expect. It really is all about that magical ~feeling~.

Similar to finding your forever bae, nailing down the wedding dress (or outfit) of your dreams can definitely take some trial-and-error. The good news is that "the one" that's destined to make all of your wedding dreams come true is out there — you just have to do is find it. This is obviously much easier said than done, but in the end, it will all be worth it. And let's be real, if Say Yes To The Dress is any indication, no matter what style you're into, as long as you're patient (and you're willing to try on a few wildcard looks for fun), you can't go wrong. Here are some real-life experiences from people who have been there.

1Sometimes you don't end up liking the dress you thought you would.

Courtesy of Katie Gewelb
I approached the process of choosing my wedding dress for me was probably a little different than what people expect. Being a plus-size bride I had to first even see what designers carried/made my size.
My next step was finding a salon that would have samples that I would be able to try on, again being plus-size it was not easy. Finally, I found an amazing salon in Queens called Paisley Bridal and they had such a beautiful selection of dresses in all sizes. When I went into the appointment I thought I wanted a big dress with lots of tulle and embellishments but most of all a dress that would flatter my body. As my consultant and I started pulling dresses that fit my description and started trying them on I realized the big dresses with the tulle were just over-powering me and did not look good at all. I felt defeated, my mom who was at the appointment with me really wanted me to wear lace, she had always envisioned me in lace. My mom pulled a few dresses that were lace but not the silhouette I wanted. Finally, I tried on the only lace ball gown that I saw, on the hanger it didn't seem special to me; but once I put it on I knew that it seemed special. Yes it was lace, and I thought I didn't want that but it wasn't all lace, it was broken up nicely with some sheer paneling and it was a beautiful blush/champagne color with ivory lace over it. I liked it enough to show my mom and mother-in-law. They all gasped when they saw me in the dress, then I knew it was a contender. I still wasn't convinced , however, until my consultant added the one thing I really wanted; bling, she gave me an embellished belt to put with the dress and once I saw it on with the dress I just knew, it felt right. I was comfortable, I looked beautiful and I knew my future husband would love it because I loved it. I'm not an emotional person so I didn't cry with my dress or anything but it brought me happiness looking at me in my dress and I felt special in a way I had never felt before.

Katie

2There's nothing wrong with a mid-wedding swap.

Dolce Vita Photography
I just got married in August, where I had a two-part gown. Why? Well, I modeled wedding dresses since I was about 16 and had been in every style under the sun. I couldn’t choose between the sleek, tight-as-can-be mermaid gown and the dramatic giant ballgown. Soooo we did both! I wore the mermaid gown under my giant skirt and revealed it during pictures with my husband. I got both designed by WTOO Watters. It was unbelievable seeing his reaction because he had accidentally drunkenly told me one night that he would love to see me in a mermaid gown, so for me to switch into one was like “OKAY LET’S GET THIS PARTY GOING!”

Carley

3Don't rush to say yes.

Courtesy of Suzanne Samin
I knew I was looking for a plus-size wedding dress with long sleeves and kind of a boho-vibe. I was really inspired by Kate Middleton's wedding dress and knew I would feel the most confident in a dress with sleeves. So, 10 months before my wedding, I made an appointment at David's Bridal and an appointment for a trunk show at a smaller boutique with some dresses already in mind. I actually thought I found my dress at David's Bridal — I rang the bell and everything. I was kind of surprised because I didn't react as emotionally as I'd seen a lot of the women on Say Yes To The Dress react. My mom pushed me to keep the trunk show appointment just in case, so we went. And when I tried on the first dress, everyone I brought with me started crying. Then I looked in the mirror and I started crying too! It was much more princess-y and ornate than I expected, but I just felt so beautiful and powerful in it. Based on my group's reaction, and mine, I knew it was the one.

— Suzanne

4Don't be afraid to try on as many possibilities until you're satisfied.

Courtesy of Tina Kolokathis
I was SO nervous to start wedding dress shopping. I'm not really sure why, but I think I might have been scared I wouldn't find anything I'd like. I started slowly by adding dresses I liked to a board on Pinterest, and wrote down some of the designers' names. I also started looking super early, so I had time to go to as many stores as I felt I needed and wouldn't be rushed. When I went to my appointments, I told the shop assistants about my style and budget, but I also told them I was down to try anything. I had heard so many stories of women who went in thinking they liked one style and ended up in a completely different one. I found "the one" in the second store I went to, and I knew immediately when I put it on. I started smiling so big, my vibe completely changed from nervous to excited, and I couldn't stop staring at it! But, since I'm the most indecisive person in the world, I couldn't say yes to the dress right away. I went to FIVE more shops before going back and buying it! I wanted to know for sure that it was the one for me, and although my mom probably wanted to kill me, I never once thought, "What if?" or doubted my decision.

Tina

Finding the perfect wedding dress might take time, effort, and deliberation, but it's totally possible. And if these brides' stories are any indication, it's totally worth it in the end. The most important thing is that you trust your gut and go with whatever makes you feel like your most amazing and beautiful self. It's your day, girlfriend! Make sure you feel like the goddess bride queen you are!