How to Plan the Perfect Day of Wedding Dress Shopping with Team Lauren Conrad

Shopping for your wedding dress can be a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Filled with emotion, fun and even a little stress, it can seem overwhelming trying to find “the one.” Today on the blog, we’re getting real about dress shopping and doing our best to make sure all you brides-to-be are prepared and excited for the big day. Helping us out is real bride-to-be Allison, who just happens to be an editor at!

She was super excited to try on Stella York’s new collection, and had her heart set on trying on some of the designer’s affordable dresses in hopes of finding “the one.” Today we’re sharing her dress shopping experience at The Dresser in Fullerton, CA (find a store that carries Stella York near you by clicking here), and sharing her best tips, tricks, and advice on how to plan your own perfect day of dress shopping!

Stella York Classic Vintage Wedding Dress, Style 6460


Tip #1: Call Ahead and Make an Appointment

One of the most important things to remember when looking for a dress is that wedding dress shopping takes planning — like every other aspect of wedding planning. Make sure to call ahead to the stores you want to visit and set up an appointment so that a stylist can give you her full attention and help you find the dress of your dreams. You want to start shopping 6-8 months before your wedding date to allow time for a few alterations appointments. Once you have a dress appointment, decide on who will be joining you that day, and make sure they have the day blocked out on their calendars. For Allison, that was her mom and some of her closest friends. It’s also a great idea to get to your appointment 5-10 minutes early so that you can browse the racks of dresses before you dig into all the details!

Stella York Silver Lace Wedding Dress, style 6048


Tip #2: Come Inspired

Allison said coming prepared with inspiration and must-have details made it easier for her and her consultant to get on the same page about what she wanted in a dress. Details she kept in mind were the time of year she is getting married, keeping the weather in mind and whether she wanted a formal or casual wedding. Then, she thought about her own personal style. All brides will probably be asked what silhouette, fabric, and embellishments they have in mind. But don’t worry too much about having a specific wedding dress vision. We’ve all had that friend who goes in knowing exactly what she thinks she wants and coming out with a dress that’s completely different. Remember to have an open mind because you never know what you might love! Allison went to the store wanting a fitted lace boho look like the Dramatic Low Back Wedding Dress from Stella York and ended up falling in love with a modern ballgown. You never know what you’ll feel best in, so don’t box yourself into one category of dress.

Stella York Modern Ballgown, Style 6581


Another important piece of information to know ahead of time is your dress budget. There’s nothing worse than falling in love with a gown only to discover that it’s out of your price range. It’s ok to tell your sales associate right away what you want to pay. All Stella York dresses are made for brides who are looking for high-quality, great-fitting and on-trend dresses that won’t break the bank. Each dress showcases the level of detail and craftsmanship of a designer dress, with an affordable price. Allison told us that this was one of the biggest perks of the day because she was able to shop the entire Stella York collection and go crazy picking out her favorites, without feeling limited by a high price tag.

Stella York Wedding Dress with Sleeves, Style 6176


Tip #3: Look at the Dress from All Angles

On your wedding day, you will be photographed at so many different moments, and seen by your guests from all angles. It’s always a good idea to make sure you are viewing your wedding dress from all angles before you decide it’s the one. Allison recommends having someone snap some photos of you from different angles so you can see how the dress photographs. Stella York dresses aren’t only beautiful on the hanger, but so many of the styles looked gorgeous on Allison from each and every angle. She thought this wedding dress with sleeves from above was majorly romantic and a little bit sexy with its illusion off-the-shoulder long lace sleeves.

Stella York Floral Lace and Crepe Dress, Style 6648


Tip #4: Focus on the Fit

You’ve probably heard it before, but there’s truth to the saying that “it’s all about the fit.” It doesn’t matter whether you love a dress that has lace, beading or tulle if the fit isn’t right it just won’t work. On your wedding day, you will want to feel your best without fidgeting or adjusting areas of your dress constantly. This brings us to Allison’s fourth tip which is focused on the fit. When you’re trying on dresses during your shopping day, make sure you’re narrowing in on dresses that flatter your figure and make you feel good! Stella York has such a wide range of dresses, which makes it easy to find one that fits your figure perfectly. From modern A-lines with soft skirts to sexy fit-and-flare gowns, there are so many options, all of which combine of-the-moment trends and flattering silhouettes. Allison loved how the Curve-Hugging Vintage Wedding Gown accentuated her waist, flaring out just below the knee and created gorgeous, feminine lines at the neckline and back. Not to mention, the detailed latticework and décolletage-flattering V-neckline is to die for. When the dress feels right and fits you well, it will feel right immediately.

Stella York Curve-Hugging Vintage Wedding Gown, Style 6506


Tip #5: Celebrate! Celebrate! Celebrate!

Once you’ve said “yes!” to your dream dress, it’s time to celebrate! Allison recommends ending your day of dress shopping with a celebratory lunch and some champagne, of course! It’s a good idea to have a light breakfast, packed with protein before dress shopping so you don’t feel too full and lethargic when trying on beautiful dresses. Instead, save your appetite for lunch or dinner somewhere special with your shopping buddies afterward, when you’ll be able to reminisce about the moments of the day and relax while you enjoy your meal.

We can’t thank Allison and her team at for letting us tag along on this amazing experience and for sharing with us her best wedding dress shopping advice! Do you have any tips you’d like to share with bride-to-be? Leave a comment below!

If you’d like to find your own Stella York dream dress, see the entire collection here or to visit a store, click on the find a store page.

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Photos: Jessi Burrone for