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How to Find a Wedding Dress
bridal portrait Aline Botti Photography

Your Guide to Selecting Wedding Dresses in NC

If you’ve landed on this page, you are likely researching where to find a wedding dress in NC – or what to expect from the process. You’ve come to the right place! Read on for some helpful pointers on how to find the perfect wedding dress for your big day.  

When Should I Shop for My Wedding Dress?

It is not uncommon for people to pick out their wedding dress before selecting a venue. Wedding dress shopping is one of the most fun and memorable parts of planning your big day! Before you head to the bridal salon, we suggest you back up and take care of a few things.

Before you shop for wedding dresses in NC, we advise that you know the following:

  • How much you’re comfortable spending on the dress. You can share that with your stylist.
  • The wedding date or month
  • The venue or level of formality of the location / event
  • The time of day that the wedding will take place

Of course, it is a-ok to make wedding dress shopping one of the first things on your agenda. With a classic year-ish planning timeline, we suggest shopping for your wedding dress 10 or more months ahead. Shopping 10+ months before your wedding will give you all of the options and time you need to get the exact perfect match. 

There are so many styles – and when you go to a bridal salon, you might be surprised by what looks and feels best on you! You might need to shop around. Also remember, made-to-your-measurements designer gowns take months to come in, and often still need some alterations. 

That being said, there are plenty of options to shop for wedding dresses in NC, even if you’re working with a quicker timeline. Many bridal gown boutiques have off-the-rack options. Often these are from older designer collections, yet still exquisite. Sometimes, there are TRUNK SHOWS that you can hit, too. And, salons with corporate ownership, such as Vow’d, mass produce dresses so timeline is not an issue at all. 

How Much Do Wedding Dresses Cost in the Raleigh and Charlotte Areas?

Each NC wedding dress shop has several designers they carry. The staff can give you an idea of the cost based on the designers you choose. Upscale bridal salons in Raleigh NC report that the average cost for a gown is between $3,000 and $4,000. 

Wedding dress prices depend entirely on the product. That’s because our local shops carry inventory that they purchased from wedding dress designers. There is a wide range of prices based on quality, fabric and whether or not a gown is custom created or fit. From Raleigh-Durham to Charlotte to Asheville to New Bern, NC bridal gown salons have every style and price point under the sun. Shopping locally helps the small businesses that are here – and you’ll have better service, too!

Other items to include in your wedding fashion budget:

  • Veil (range from hundreds to thousands)
  • Alterations (Budget $1,000 just incase + 6 weeks at least)
  • Jewelry
  • Shoes & Accessories 
  • Other Occasion Attire (ie, showers, bachelorette, honeymoon)
  • Bridesmaids & Formalwear details

How to Find the Perfect Wedding Dress for You

The styles of wedding dresses in NC today are endless. There are colorful dresses, patterned dresses, classic lace, slinky slits, wedding capes and veil sleeves! If you know your style preferences, you’re already off to a great start! We recommend that you try several styles and materials before choosing “the one”!

Researching Wedding Dresses in NC

Wedding dress shopping research is fun and prepares you well for your appointment.

Consider making a Pinterest Board, or bringing your favorite magazine along (hello, Heart of NC Weddings Fashion Guide!) to your appointment. 

From the Wedding Dress Neckline to the shade of white, you will have a lot of decisions to make! Quick Tips for Research:

  • Create a folder for “Wedding Dress Inspo” on Instagram 
  • Follow national and LOCAL WEDDING accounts
  • Do the same thing on Pinterest
  • If you find what you think might be “the one,” click through to the photo to find out who the designer is.
  • Google the designer + NC to find out what bridal boutique in NC carries this gown
  • Call local wedding shops, and tell them the name of the designer you like. Ask if they have similar looks. 
  • You can also ask bridal salons to guide you to similar designs at different price points

The Appointment 

Most people bring their mother, or even a few members of their wedding party, to the bridal gown appointment. That’s great, but remember this day is all about you! Be sure to bring folks who will make you feel good! 

Sometimes, a non familial opinion goes the furthest. One of the big advantages of shopping in person at a local NC wedding dress shop is getting the guidance of a professional. The bridal stylist will be honest about what looks good and what alterations can fix (or can’t). 

We interviewed a Raleigh wedding dress shop stylist for other tips for your bridal gown appointment.


If you want a little extra help, consider hiring a fashion stylist. Our recommended stylist, Claire Roberts Style, helps determine which shade of white or neutral is going to make you look rosiest – and also arms you with your best looks for your shape!

PLUS SIZE Wedding Dresses in NC

The Heart of NC Weddings bridal boutiques in Raleigh NC have dresses for a wide range of shapes and sizes, including plus size dresses. 

bridal portrait Aline Botti Photography
Find the Perfect Match

Ready to Find Your Wedding Dress?

bridal portrait Aline Botti Photography
Find the Perfect Match
Ready to Find Your Wedding Dress?