Finding THE Dress is a biggie. Many of us have been dreaming about our wedding dress since we were little girls. So when the time comes to actually look for your dream dress it can be a little nerve wracking as well as mega exciting.
So I thought I’d share my tips and advice to make sure you enjoy the search……….
Before You Start Shopping
I know it can be really tempting to book appointments to try dresses on before you do anything else. And sometimes this works but it’s a risk.
Personally, I would recommend having your venue sorted and knowing what time of year you are getting married before you do anything.
This will help you to focus on the style of dress that will work with your venue and the weather. For example, if it’s a beach wedding abroad you will probably prefer a lighter dress to cope with the heat.
Whereas if you’re getting married in a castle in winter you may opt for a heavier dress with sleeves to help ward off the cold.
An Idea of The Style
I’m sure you’ve already looked online at dresses! Looking at different designers will help you to get a good feel for what styles and features you like.
A scrapbook or a Pinterest board can be really helpful here. Save the styles that you really like and you’ll probably start to seem a theme emerging.
But – keep an open mind too. It’s wise to not set your heart on one particular shape or designer. When you start trying dresses on you may find that they don’t suit you or you just change your mind completely.
That word again! Sorry! But when you go dress shopping it’s really easy to get carried away, fall in love with a dress and end up blowing half of your total wedding budget on a dress.
So it’s important to set your budget before you go to try on dresses.
Most brides have an ideal budget in mind with an absolute top budget that they can stretch to.
Choosing the Boutiques
Once you’ve got an idea of designers that you like, you can find their local stockists. Check reviews for the stores and make sure you’re happy with the feedback they have received from previous brides.
Most bridal boutiques operate an appointment system so don’t just turn up. Some will charge you for an appointment too. This fee is usually refundable against your dress but not always. And if you want to go to a few stores, this cost can quickly add up.
Most stores stock a selection of designers so you should be able to cover quite a lot of designers with just a few stores.
Take people with you whose opinion you trust and value. But try not to take too many people. Too many conflicting opinions can just leave you feeling totally overwhelmed and confused.
Wear nude underwear for your appointment that you don’t mind the bridal consultant seeing you in. Don’t worry too much about this though as you’ll need to choose appropriate underwear after you’ve chosen your dress.
Try not to wear too much makeup to avoid it coming off on the dresses.
Make sure the boutique knows your budget and ask them to be respectful of that.
Keep an open mind. Most salons will ask you to pick out some dresses to try on but if they’re not working for you, be open to the salon making suggestions of dresses to try. They are really experienced at picking out styles to suit different body shapes and budgets.
Also remember that the dresses will be in sample sizes so may not fit you. You should still be able to get a really good idea of how the dress will look in your size.
Many stores will be able to order a specific dress into store for you to try in your size at a cost if the sample dress is really far too big or small for you to be able to make a confident decision.
When you think you’ve found the one, it’s a good idea to move around it, sit down, hug someone, do a little dance!
You’re going to be wearing this dress for quite a long time so it needs to be comfortable and practical as well. Make sure it’s not too revealing for example when you move about. You don’t want to be scared to move all day!
Most salons will ask for a 50% deposit when you order your dress. The time it takes to arrive can vary a lot depending on the designer.
Some can take 6-9 months so make sure you have enough time ahead of your wedding for the dress to arrive and for any alterations to be completed.
And finally – trust your instinct. If everyone else loves the dress but you’re not sure then it’s probably not your dress. You have to be 100% sure for this one.
Happy shopping finding THE dress!
If you need some help with on area of your planning I can help you with a few hours of dedicated support. I have a range of planning services which are tailored to your needs. You can find out more here and as ever, please get in touch if you need some help. I’d love to hear from you.