The 7 Emotional Stages of Buying a Wedding Dress

As any bride-to-be, bridesmaid, or Say Yes to the Dress viewer knows, finding the perfect wedding dress is as much, if not more, of an emotional journey as saying your “I dos.” From your initial moments of total bridal bliss to the desperate dressing room freak-outs, being a fashionable bride doesn’t come without a roller coaster ride of emotions.

Keep scrolling to read the seven emotional stages of buying a wedding dress!

Stage 1: Overjoyed



You’re engaged! And your two new favourite pastimes include telling your engagement story and flashing that newfound rock on your ring finger. You’re living in a fairy tale and cannot wait to start dress shopping.

Stage 2: Overwhelmed


20th Century Fox

You thought you knew your dream dress style, but a few bridal magazines and Pinterest boards later, you have no idea. Do you want mermaid or ball gown? White lace or silk? Should you go Kate Middleton and wear sleeves or make an Olivia Palermo–like statement and skip a dress altogether?

Stage 3: Confusion



It’s your first dress appointment, and you come with a full entourage to help you make a decision. But between your best friends, your mother, your betrothed, and even the sales associate, it seems like everyone has an opinion on what you should wear, and you’re even more uncertain of your own.

Stage 4: Indifference



You’d like to see a dress you haven’t tried on! And at this point, you’re seriously over it. You’ve stared into too many fitting room mirrors trying to conjure up tears and are starting to think love at first dress fitting doesn’t exist for everyone.

Stage 5: Discouraged



The good news? You found the most beautiful dress! The bad news? It’s five times your budget. At this point the idea of wearing a brown paper bag down the aisle is starting to sound really appealing.

Stage 6: Clarity


Universal Pictures

Enough is enough, and you finally start to speak up about what you want. No, you won’t be wearing a tiara. And yes, pockets are mandatory. Unsurprisingly, your friends and family rally around you with support, and you finally feel like you’ve found your bridal style.

Stage 7: Blissfully Happy



So this is the feeling everyone talks about! From your mother’s sweet coos to the hush that’s fallen over your once-noisy bridal party, you start to realise that this dress is “the one,” and everyone knows it. In between tears, hugs, and laughter, you keep glancing at just how good you look in the mirror. You cannot wait to see your spouse-to-be’s face when you walk down the aisle in this one.

Keep reading to shop the story!

West Elm Brass Love Object ($29)

Think we missed a stage? Add to the list by writing an emotional stage of buying a wedding dress in the comments below!