Bride-to-Be Diaries: The 4 Sites I Shopped for My Wedding Gown

I started writing this post fresh from a fitting with a worried (but gracious) aunt who courageously agreed to alter my very non-maternity dress into a very maternity one. It turned out better than I could have hoped and I was beyond excited to wear it on October 8th. But before I even had an inkling that I would be super pregnant during my wedding, the thought of finding a dress through the traditional avenues seemed intimidating to me. Spending a day (days?) checking out boutiques with a one year old wasn't really something I saw myself doing (and as many of you know, I am pretty much stuck to Ruthie's side every second that I'm not working). Though I am new to wedding dress shopping (obviously), I fancy myself an expert shopper so I started searching for a gown the same way I shop for most everything else - online. 

Here is a roundup of the best websites for nontraditional (pregnant, time-crunched, budget-conscious...and in my case, perhaps a tad lazy) wedding dress shopping.

SHOPBOP
HUNDREDS of options, simple silhouettes, and designers I'm familiar with. Other perks: free shipping and free returns AND you can use your Amazon Prime account to get even faster free shipping. I actually found "the one" through ShopBop first, but ended up ordering through Neiman Marcus for the benefit of having it shipped to store for a fitting.
This Badgley Mischka Beauty - $695
"The One" - $640 - this Self Portrait gown is the one I fell in love with as soon as I saw it. It obviously looked a bit different on me, here is the gown in it's original state. 
This Long Sleeve Gown - $695
Another Self Portrait Stunner - $1020 (and omg this one - $615)

Rent The Runway
I've been a RTR fan for a while, I have the app on my phone and check it out frequently for new arrivals. I tried it out for the first time for our engagement photons (this dress and this top). I've heard rumor that they are expanding their collection to include bridal options, but for now they have a few evening gowns that work perfectly for a low-key bride:
This One by Nha Khanh Rent for $150
Simple and Elegant Badgley Mischka Rent for $115 (I rented this as a backup!)
Form Fitting Midi by Opening Ceremony PURCHASE for $77 (!)

ASOS
ASOS has pretty much become my go-to shopping site (especially since I'm usually pregnant). They have a million options and carry petite, tall, curve, and maternity sizes. ASOS actually has a bridal line for both the bride and the party and you cannot beat the prices, most are under $200 with free shipping and returns.
This Maxi - $181
This Pretty Midi - $143
We all know I'm a fan of the high neckline - this one would be so pretty for a winter wedding. 
This dress's casual summer vibes - $429

Shoes by Jeffrey Campbell via Nordstrom

Shoes by Jeffrey Campbell via Nordstrom

Free People
As you probably expect from Free People, a lot of these dresses are on the boho side. This was advantageous for me and my belly. Some of my faves include...
This Backless Halter Style - $450
This High Neck Flowy Gown - $750
This Classic Silhouette with Scalloped Detail - $815

Part of me has a bit of FOMO from skipping the whole boutique try-on process, but maybe it was a fated decision based on the expanding waistline that I am so proud to sport. It could very well be true that many brides are choosing to search for a dress online and I'm not as clever as I think. Either way, I now have both a sister and a SIL searching for wedding gowns, so I could always try tagging along with them... 

{Ruthie's dress found at Old Navy}

All images by the lovely Charis Rowland Photography