On Monday, Abby, the (incredibly sweet + super cool) owner of Strike Bridal Bar, gave me a private tour of her brand new space in Milwaukee’s Historic Walker’s Point Neighborhood! While I was there, I asked her some questions and we chatted about dress shopping. She gave me some of her best tips share with our brides so you have can have the best experience at your dress appointment and find your dream gown.

#5 – Know how far in advance to schedule your appointment.

Abby suggests booking your appointment about a year out from your wedding date is ideal. It will take about nine months from your first appointment date until your dress is totally finished. This also depends on the availability of your gown and the extent of your alterations. It will usually take about four to six months for your dress to arrive, and two to three months for alterations. Rush service fees can add up quickly, so plan ahead.

#4 – Do your research on bridal shops; and only book appointments at one or two.

Check out a bridal shop’s Instagram (their feed + stories/highlights) and website before booking an appointment. Be sure they fit your vibe + budget. Different stores come with different experiences and different dresses. If you’re looking for tacos for dinner, you wouldn’t go to a pizza place, so do your research. It takes a lot to get your favorite people together for your appointment, so make sure you’re not walking into bridal shops without an idea of what they offer. From there, choose one or two shops to make appointments for. Don’t overwhelm yourself with too many options.

#3 – Only invite a few special people with you while dress shopping.

Dress shopping can be a super fun, super emotional time. If you have an aunt who you love dearly, but every time you see her she makes a comment that doesn’t make you feel too good, she might not be the best person you bring with you to your appointment. Make sure you bring those with you whose opinion you value, but also those who are going to fully support you no matter what dress you choose for your big day. Again, don’t overwhelm yourself – only bring about 3-4 of your besties with you at most.

#2 – When you try on dresses, there will be someone in the dressing room helping you get into them.

Yes, that means someone will see you in your undies. Don’t worry, it’s a safe space, but wear what you’re comfortable in. Any style works, but nude is the best color so it doesn’t show through the dress fabric. The bra you bring, on the other hand, doesn’t really matter since most dresses will have them built in!

# 1 – Keep an open mind.

Abby’s number one piece of advice for brides while dress shopping? Keep an open mind. Different fabrics and different styles of dresses look and feel different on different people. You may have this image in your head of your dream wedding dress, but you may end up loving a totally different style when you actually try them on. THAT’S OKAY. It may be unexpected, but if you feel incredible + like YOU in that dress – if you can see yourself on your day in that dress, get it.


STRIKE BRIDAL BAR – 326 W Florida St, Milwaukee, WI –  414.455.8875


Strike is a super exclusive, not-your-average Milwaukee bridal shop. The only place you can find the gowns that Strike carries, are at Strike – you can’t find them in any other place in Wisconsin!

Hours are by appointment only:

Sunday: 11am – 4pm

Monday: 11am – 7pm

Tuesday & Wednesday: Closed

Thursday: 11am – 7pm

Friday: 11am – 5pm

Saturday: 10:30am – 6pm

Sunday: 11am – 5pm

Appointments are also available outside of “open” hours by request

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