Picking your Wedding dress is probably one of the parts of planning your wedding that most girls find super exciting but not necessarily the easiest! Here are a few of my tips to help you make the most out of the experience so it’s truly special and not stressful!
DO YOUR RESEARCH
Spend some time looking at styles and designers you like (watching Say Yes To The Dress does count as research!). Instagram and Pinterest are also your friends! If you have a particular designer you like find out what stores stock their designs or if it’s a designer not available in the UK research designers who offer similar styles that are UK based. Wedding Show are also a great way to browse lots of designs in one place and many have a catwalk show to showcase a select few dresses from various designers. Remember how it looks on the hanger doesn’t necessarily showcase how it looks on so you never know what might take your fancy when it’s walking down the catwalk.
It is very rare that Bridal Shops will take a walk in appointment to try on dresses. Some stores will even charge you a fee to book an appointment which is non refundable in case you are a no show but is deducted from any purchase you make. If for any reason you do have to cancel an appointment be sure to call and tell them with as much notice as possible, firstly it’s only polite but also they will most likely have a waiting list of people who would love to take that slot.
PICK THE RIGHT SHOP
There are two types of Bridal Shop in my opinion: The smaller boutiques where you’ll receive a more one on one treatment or a larger store where you’ll have a much bigger range to browse. My recommendation would be to always start with a smaller shop so that your first experience is a very special and personal one before you move to the larger stores where you can crank things up a notch and try on more of a variety.
GET DOLLED UP
You’re beautiful as you are but trying on dresses with your make up done and your hair all pretty makes a real difference and will give you a better idea of how you will look on the day.
DON’T FORGET THE BUDGET
Before trying on dresses you need to set a budget. Be clear with the Bridal Consultant about what that budget is and don’t what ever you do try on a dress miles over your budget. You don’t want to fall in love with a dress that you’re never going to be able to afford and then having to settle for something else.
Unless you’re really lucky you’ll need to have alterations made to the dress whether that’s taking the dress up, pulling it in in certain areas or adding cups to hoist the girls up! Be sure to allow for the alterations in your budget or you could be in a nasty surprise. Ask the Bridal Shop to explain how these are charged so you are clear on what to expect.
THINK ABOUT WHO YOU TAKE
It may seem like a great idea to take a lot of people to your appointment but that also means lots of opinions. Less is best and only invite those you know will give helpful opinions and not be overpowering with what they think and what they like. Don’t let other people’s visions cloud your own. You need to pick a dress that you’ll look back at in years to come and still love. Just because a loved one thinks a dress is “the one”, if you aren’t feeling it don’t feel pressured into picking it just to make them happy. They’ll be happy with whatever you pick as long as you’re happy.
TRY DIFFERENT STYLES
You may think you know what style you want but try on a few because you never know and you might be surprised by what you like. Maybe get the consultant and/or one of your loved ones to pick you a “wild card” dress. It doesn’t hurt trying something you wouldn’t necessarily pick for yourself.
If you’ve got killer curves to boast about, it might be worth checking what sample sizes the shop stock so you aren’t disappointed if they have a limited range of sizes available to try on.
CONSIDER VENUE AND LOCATION
It may not seem a big thing to consider but it is worth bearing in mind. You might not want a heavy full on ball gown if you’re getting married on a hot beach for example.
Take your time over picking a dress. You want to make sure you’ve made the right decision. Plus enjoy this time, it’ll hopefully be a once in a lifetime experience so you want to make the most of it! Obviously don’t take too long deciding as dresses take a while to order unless you’re buying off the rack, so make sure you start early to give you enough time.
NO NEED FOR TEARS
You don’t have to cry to know it’s the one. As long as you’re happy and you love it that’s all that matters.
KNOW WHEN TO STOP
If you’ve found the one STOP looking! You’ll drive yourself crazy. Think of it like this, when you met your partner and knew they were the one you were going to marry you didn’t keep window shopping for alternative suitors (well if you didn’t that’s definitely not a good sign and you should probably seriously reconsider this marriage!) so be confident in your decision and go with your heart.
FIND THE BEST DEAL
Once you decided on a dress don’t feel obligated to buy it from the store you found it in, at least not until you have done a bit of research. Get the name of the designer and the dress name/code and get googling. Sadly there isn’t a money comparison site for wedding dress yet (maybe one day I’ll add that string to my bow) but you can research to find the best price. As I’ve mentioned before Wedding Shows often offer discounts on products purchased on the show days so it’s worth seeing if the dress will be on one of the exhibition stands and see if you can bag yourself a deal.
COMPLETE THE LOOK
Dress bought, you can start to pick accessories, shoes, underwear etc to compliment your look. Make sure you’ve purchased at the very least your shoes and underwear (if you’re having a bra or bodice underneath) before you’re first fitting so that your dress can be fitted correctly. To save you a bit of cash most dresses can have cups sewn into the dress saving the need for bras/bodices etc!
The main thing to remember…enjoy! This is meant to be fun.
Love Amy x
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