Buying your wedding dress can be very daunting, especially if you don't like wearing dresses, you don't know what you are looking for or you think nothing will look good on you. Let's go back to the first reason, you don't like wearing dresses or you are not a 'girly' girl. There are so many wedding dress styles out there that cater for all kinds of personalities. You will see the ones that are very feminine and then there are ones that are simple or flowy or sofisticated. Once you start trying on, you'll realise that a wedding dress doesn't feel like a normal dress. There is something quite magical about wearing that beautiful gown, even if you don't want to be or look like a princess. Let's go to the second reason - you don't know what you are looking for. This is a very common reason, you get engaged and you start looking through all the websites and pinterest and you see how the dresses look on the models but you like so many of them and different aspects of them that you don't know where to begin. Trying on is definitely the best thing for this. Once you start trying, you will start to see what you like and what you don't like. The old saying of "you don't know until you've tried" is quite true. You can look at dresses until you are blue in the face, but you won't know what you really like and what looks good, until you try. And lastely, you think nothing will look good on you. I can tell you now, I have been in the industry for 18 years (10 at Vanilla Bridal) and to this day have not had one bride where she has come in and concluded that she won't wear a wedding dress because she doesn't look good in any of them. We do get some brides who don't find what they're looking for in our store - sure. But we do narrow it down to parts of the dresses that look really good on the bride and what she is going to take away from that. Going back to the comment above, there really is something quite magical about a wedding dress and there is a style out there to suit every body shape.
So, do you buy off the rack or do you order in? To be very truthful, there's not much difference. If you are at a bridal shop that orders the dress to your measurements, that can be beneficial, so many brides lose or put on weight around the wedding though that the dress will probably need to be altered anyway. With buying off the rack, yes it has been tried on by other people and depending on how long it's been on the rack for, it may need a bit of TLC. The consultants will be able to take care of that and fix anything up to make it look perfect again. Sometimes an off the rack gown can bring a little discount which can also help. If ordering a dress to to a standard size then yes, you get a brand new dress that is all for you. Everything is perfect about the dress, you will still need to be fitted and get any alterations done, but there's nothing else that needs to be done to it.
A lot of the time, bride's purchase off the rack because they don't have time to order, which is obviously the only option. But don't think you are getting any less of a deal or any less of a dress. It's just simply the best option for you. Ordering can take quite a long time sometimes, and some people simply don't want to wait that long.
At the end of the day, it is your wedding and you do what suits you the best. If you'd rather order a brand new dress and have the time, go ahead. If you'd rather buy off the rack and have the dress in your hot little hands, then that's the best option too. Neither is better than the other.
You do you! :-)