Don’t hesitate to try on a ton of dresses! It may take quite a few to figure out which style fits your body best, your venue, and the vibe you are going for. You will likely want to have selected your venue and wedding date prior to dress shopping. It is also OK to wait a bit before looking. If you plan on having a longer engagement you could change your mind on the style if you look to early on. A good rule of thumb is that it takes about 3-4 months for the dress to be made, and you want to have it at least 60 days out to have enough time for alterations. Set a budget, look for inspiration on Instagram, bridal magazines and research designers you like. Then, you can see which stores carry the styles and designers you prefer.
- Unbridaled is definitely a favorite to capture true Austin style!
- Serendipity is a little more pricey and upscale.
- Blush Bridal has a large selection but have heard mixed reviews on service.
- Blue Bridal a tried and true Austin staple.
- Second Summer for used but inexpensive dresses! – check out our podcast for a cool story on this place!
If you are open to traveling for other stores:
- BHLDN (Anthropologie’s Wedding Line) has a store in Houston, or they have trunk shows that come to Austin, but they are few and far between. This line is also a little less expensive ($1-2k), whereas most of these other stores will be more like $3-5k.
- Lovely Bride in Dallas, has very BHLDN and Unbridaled vibes.
- Grace Loves Lace – a new Australian brand called that just opened in Dallas. Check out their accessories too, even if you don’t pick one of their dresses the accessories they have can really add something different to your look!
Pro Tip: Get a few bridesmaids and family to come with you. Make a few appointments for one day, bring champagne, and pick a fun place for lunch or HH after to celebrate!
Most stores you buy from can tailor in-house. These tailors are also great options if you want to design your own wedding dress from scratch (still can be just as pricey as buying one). Otherwise here are a few that come recommended by recent brides in the area:
- Kira Koutoure (Downtown – 12th Street)
- Couture Tailors (Ask for Tiffany, in Westlake)
- Olga Novosselova
- Jamie Kim
- Lupe Cardenas
Pro Tip: If you need your dress cleaned before the wedding (i.e. a sample sale or trunk show dress), CALL IN ADVANCE, there are a lot of cleaners in the area that turn down dresses for specific reasons if they have fringe, beading, delicate detailing, etc. and you don’t want to be stressing about that right before the wedding. If you’re in a bind and no one will clean your dress – go to Five Star Wedding Gown Specialists in San Antonio. They will clean any dress with any detailing and do a phenomenal job. Make a day out of it and go to the JW Marriott!