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I worked in a bridal salon

IN MOST CASES, “here comes the bride” are happy words — unless you’re a bridal consultant preparing to speak to a disgruntled client.

When brides are frustrated with the dress-buying process, it’s often due to common mistakes they make on their appointments, says one expert.

Brides stressed out from dress shopping are not alone

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Brides stressed out from dress shopping are not alonePhoto credit: Getty
A former bridal consultant shared the mistakes many brides make when shopping

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A former bridal consultant shared the mistakes many brides make when shoppingPhoto credit: Getty

Hayley Segar worked as a bridal consultant for seven years before becoming a freelance designer.

She writes about her experiences for Insiders addressed with Insider.com the seven biggest mistakes brides make during or just after shopping for their wedding dress.

BRINGING TOO MANY GUESTS

Between excited siblings, delighted friends, and eager moms on both sides of the family, it can be easy to invite a handful or two of guests over when you start shopping for clothes.

Some brides bring their entire bridal showers and make shopping an event akin to a shower or bachelorette party, but a large crowd can complicate decision-making, Segar said.

“Although some brides thrive on the energy of their group, others may find it difficult to differentiate their thoughts and opinions from the rest of their group,” she wrote.

“It can lead to a frustrating, overwhelming experience.”

Choosing a few close relatives results in less overwhelm, which usually means more fun as well.

Even after saying “yes” to the dress, some brides just keep shopping if another incredible dress or deal is around the corner.

“It’s not uncommon to think there’s an ensemble more perfect than the one you bought,” Segar explained.

This fear of missing out is only compounded by targeted ads, ambitious Pinterest posts, and the posts of every newlywed friend on Instagram.

If you love the dress you bought but can’t stop shopping, think of everything you love your Dress.

“Honour the choice you made,” Segar advised.

“There will always be beautiful dresses, but only one is your wedding dress.”

SAYING “YES” TOO QUICKLY

Of course, some brides continue to shop because they worry they’ve committed to a dress too soon.

Buying a dress too quickly is another common bridal mistake, Segar said.

She described a common scenario that causes some brides to become stressed: “You visited a store or two, said yes to a dress and signed the purchase agreement for a dress that you loved in that moment.

“If you’ve made what appear to be minimal purchases, it’s fair to feel like maybe you made an early commitment,” Segar said.

If you really don’t like your dress, it’s okay to look for something new. However, to learn to love your dress again, the same advice for over-shoppers applies.

“The fact that you loved your dress so much when you bought it is a feeling you should return to whenever that thought crosses your mind,” Segar said.

BE IN DETAIL

A crew neck. illusion sleeves. Corset back and asymmetric hems.

These tiny features can make or break your dress, but if you get wrapped up in them, they can ruin the shopping experience.

“While you’re zooming in on a specific feature of the dress — whether it’s a mesh V-neck, the color of the lace, or the presence or absence of sleeves — you’re fixing it,” Segar said.

The fixation, she writes, could call the entire purchase into question.

If you find yourself staying up late staring at your phone’s camera roll and obsessing over a pearl necklace, ask your bridal consultant to step in.

“The best remedy is usually to call the store and ask them to try on the dress again to determine if the range of ‘faulty’ features was exaggerated,” Segar explained.

“We don’t buy wedding dresses every day,” she continued. It’s perfectly normal to focus too much on these small details, but it’s also avoidable.

AFTER A RIGID CHECKLIST

If you’ve been designing your dream dress since kindergarten, you might walk into a bridal salon holding a well-worn checklist of must-haves.

However, this rigidity can make a happy experience feel uncomfortable and atrophied, setting you up for great disappointment.

“It can be tempting to look for a dress that fits a mental checklist rather than focus on finding something to wear that will make her happy on her big day,” Segar said.

“If you know you have the inclination, remember to engage in the fun nature of this process and purchase.”

PANIC ABOUT HOUSEHOLD

Regardless of how closely you stick to a budget, it’s normal to feel “anxious” when shopping for your wedding dress.

“For most people, a wedding dress is the biggest clothing purchase they’ve ever made,” Segar explained.

Even if you love your dress, the sticker shock after leaving the store can reverberate and leave you reeling.

“The entire wedding planning process is filled with large deposits, so it’s normal to sweat about it,” Segar assured.

If you’re worried you’re going over budget, take a look at your spending plan and decide to cut back on less important things or trade in for more financially friendly options.

CLOTHING TO IMPRESS OTHERS

Weddings bring a lot of emotions to the surface, not only for the bride but also for family and friends.

That also means high expectations – and brides can be frustrated by unwanted or unsatisfactory opinions from well-meaning loved ones.

“The pressure to give in to those opinions can be intense, especially when they’re coming from people who are so important in your life,” Segar said.

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It’s important to stay strong and “wear what makes you happy,” she wrote, even if it’s just for your photos.

“The difference between seeing someone in something they felt compelled or pressured to do versus seeing a bride wearing a dress that makes her truly happy is incredibly palpable,” Segar said.

Inviting a crowd to shop can lead to frustration with the dress

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Inviting a crowd to shop can lead to frustration with the dressPhoto credit: Getty

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Dais Johnston

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