Here's What Randy Fenoli Wants You To Know About Wedding Dress Shopping

06/23/2014 11:59am ET | Updated December 6, 2017


TLC’s gown guru, Randy Fenoli, shares his shopping secrets in his book, It’s All About the Dress.

1. Establish your story
How do you want your dress to make you feel and what do you want it to say to your guests? Do you want to look sexy, understated, modern, chic, traditional? Or perhaps you want your dress to have a more vintage feeling? Once you find your story, I promise you will find your dress.

2. Establish a budget
Once you make a wedding budget, lock it in. But what happens when you love a dress that’s over your budget? Can you reevaluate and borrow money from one part of your wedding budget and apply it to your dress? As long as you stay within the overall wedding budget you’ve established you should be able to spend a bit more if need be.


3. Don’t wait until the last minute to shop for your wedding gown
In general, it takes around six to eight months for a dress to be ordered and delivered to a salon.

4. Your body is not defined by a list of shapes
You may hear that an “hourglass” body type should look for a certain kind of dress. The reality is that there are many variants of hourglass — low-waisted, highwaisted — and the same dress type will fit differently on each.

5. Never purchase a wedding dress without trying it on first
It doesn’t matter if you’re petite or tall, slim or plus-sized, whether you are straight or curvaceous: You still must TRY IT ON!

6. It’s not about size: it’s about silhouette and proportion
Whether you’re choosing your gown, your accessories or your bouquet, you must always look at your silhouette and the proportions of everything in relationship to your body.

7. Everyone has an opinion. Make sure yours is heard
When gown-shopping, only invite people who love and support you — and who understand your story, your style, your budget and are there for positive support.

8. When making changes to a dress, always get the details in writing
Make sure that all changes you discussed with your consultant, along with the prices, are clearly written on your order.

9. Do not skimp on alterations. Your gown must fit properly
There’s nothing worse than watching a bride tugging at her strapless gown to keep it from falling down or tripping on a hem that’s too long.

10. Without a veil, you’re just a pretty girl in a white dress
Many of my brides tell me that the moment I place a veil on their head they feel like a bride. The perfect veil pulls everything together.

For more tips from Randy, check out It's All About the Dress, (Grand Central Publishing) now available in bookstores everywhere or visit

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