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A bridal consultant asked me 4 simple questions to help me decide my wedding dress was the one

Samantha Grindell   

A bridal consultant asked me 4 simple questions to help me decide my wedding dress was the one
  • I'm an engaged wedding reporter who recently bought her wedding dress.
  • I was worried I wouldn't be able to choose a dress.

When I got engaged, I knew dress shopping would be a highlight of planning the wedding for me.

I'm a wedding reporter, so I've attended bridal fashion week shows and often write stories about brides finding their perfect dress. I've also been a bridesmaid several times, so I'm intimately familiar with the world of wedding dresses.

I was excited it was my turn to try on white gowns, but I wasn't sure how I would know which dress was right for me when I went shopping, in part due to my familiarity with wedding gowns.

I don't love decision-making in general, and I was concerned I would have choice paralysis because I'm so aware of how many different types of dresses are out there.

Luckily, the consultant I worked with asked me questions that guided me to the perfect gown.

Spoiler alert: You won't see my dress in this piece since my wedding is still a year away, but you will see pictures of the time I tried on gowns at Kleinfeld, the bridal shop from "Say Yes to the Dress."

My consultant asked me one of the most important questions before I even started trying on dresses

About five months after I got engaged, I went wedding dress shopping at White Magnolia in Atlanta, Georgia, with a few members of my family to find my dress.

When I arrived at the appointment, my consultant, Abby, sat and chatted with me and my loved ones for a few minutes to get an idea of what I was looking for before we started pulling dress options.

She asked about what type of dress I envisioned, and I told her about styles I liked and disliked, listing fabrics, silhouettes, and embroidery styles. I described the aesthetic I envisioned for the gown until Abby redirected the conversation.

"How do you want to feel in your dress on your wedding day?" she asked.

"Comfortable," I immediately responded. I of course want to feel pretty on my wedding day, but it's equally important to me that I can dance with my new husband without feeling encumbered by the gown. I want to be able to fully take in the day, and I won't be able to do that if I feel stiff in my dress.

I also started describing my wedding day in more detail through the question, explaining the vibe and what my fiancé and I are most looking forward to about it. I wanted my wedding gown to be suited to the day, and Abby's question ensured she would pull dresses that fit the bill.

Thanks to Abby's question, it was easier for both of us to prioritize dresses that felt and looked right for the wedding that I'm planning.

My consultant's questions grounded me so I didn't get lost in the sea of beautiful gowns

Before I put on a single dress, I warned Abby that I was concerned I would be indecisive about what dress was right for me.

Abby seemed to keep my confession in mind, eyeing me carefully as I started trying on dresses. My entourage oohed and aahed over nearly every gown, and unsurprisingly, I could find things I liked about each dress.

It threw me off when I tried on something that was pretty on me but wasn't what I wanted for my day. If it looked good, was it the dress?

"You're going to look beautiful in a lot of these dresses, because they're beautiful gowns," Abby said as I started to feel overwhelmed by the process. "So it's important to ask yourself, 'Do I just like this because it's a pretty dress?'"

I felt my body relax as I processed her words, which allowed me to look at the dresses with a clearer head.

Everything seemed simpler from Abby's point of view. I'm not usually trying on designer gowns, so it was natural to like the way I looked in several gowns. But that didn't mean every dress was right for me.

After Abby's check-in, it was easier to discern between dresses that were simply beautiful and dresses that were top contenders for my wedding day.

Picking my final dress was easy thanks to my consultant's guidance

Once we narrowed down my options to two choices, Abby had me try on each dress back to back so I could compare them directly.

Both were gorgeous gowns, but they were fairly different. As I tried on each, Abby gave me time to look at the dresses from every angle and see how it felt to move in them.

But then she prompted me with two simple questions: "Does this dress make you feel like yourself? Can you picture walking down the aisle to your fiancé in it?"

For one of the dresses, I immediately realized the answer to both was no. I felt pretty in it, but there was something about it that made me feel like I was holding my breath or performing as a bride, rather than actually marrying the love of my life.

But for the other finalist, it was a resounding yes. I was relaxed as I looked at the dress in the mirror, finding myself giddy and wanting to twirl around in it.

And as I thought about standing at the altar in front of my fiancé in the dress, tears welled in my eyes. I couldn't imagine saying my vows to him in any other dress. I knew it was the one.

I'm sure I would have found a wedding dress no matter what, but Abby's gentle guidance made the process easier and more fun than I imagined it could be.

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