There are no 2 ways about it – buying your wedding dress is an incredibly exciting, and stressful, experience. It’s not like picking out an outfit for work or for a Christmas party – It’s one of the biggest days of your life, and you are trying to choose a dress that you will wear months or sometimes even years down the line. But don’t let that scare you – wedding dress shopping can be a wonderful experience, as long as you remember a few key things. To help make your wedding dress shopping experience as painless and enjoyable as possible, we have a few tips for you.
Before you launch into trying on dresses, you should take some time to really think about what you want from your dress. First, think about your day and what kind of wedding dress will be most appropriate – for example a beach wedding vs a formal ballroom reception, winter vs summer, outdoor ceremony vs indoor etc etc. While this doesn’t impact your personal choice of style, it will help you narrow it down a bit (for example, you probably wouldn’t want to wear a short dress if you were getting married at Christmas). You should also consider your body shape and personal style – all the way from the necklines you prefer to the length of the dress, waistline styles and if you want a train or sleeves. Spend a few weeks looking at magazines or browsing Pinterest, building up a picture of what you like and what you really don’t. Be realistic about what you can achieve if you’re looking to lose weight before the wedding, and set yourself a realistic budget.
To avoid the ‘what if I don’t like it nearer the time?’ panic, some brides decide to leave their wedding dress shopping quite late. While this might make some sense, ultimately, it’s a really bad decision. The reason for this is that it can take some brides months just to find a dress they like, and most boutiques don’t sell off the rack. Instead, it can take upwards of 6 months to have a dress made, and then you usually have 3 rounds of alterations that will need to be made before the big day as well. It’s never too soon to start trying on dresses and getting a feel for what you like and don’t like, what suits your body shape and what designers you might want to try the new season designs from when they come out.
Now you have a clear idea in your head, it’s time to head out and try things on! But before you run out the door, there are a few things to think about. Most importantly is who you will be taking with you. Ideally, you want someone close to you who is going to be supportive and honest with you – but not to the point of being hurtful and harsh. The last thing you need is someone trashing the dress that you’ve fallen in love with! Choose a supportive person or people to come with you on the day. There are a few other things you should bear in mind when you go to dress fittings, but you can read about them here.
Most bridal boutiques will open by appointment only, so set aside some time before and after your appointment to relax and get in the right headspace. Once you’re there, take a good look around at all of the samples and choose the dress, not the label. Don’t be discouraged – you might look at hundreds of dresses before you find The One. Show the assistant your board or magazine clippings so that they can recommend some styles to you, and when you know you have found The One – stop looking! When it comes to ordering your dress, decide on a size that’s realistic. Even if you’re planning to slim down before the wedding, it is much easier to take a dress in than it is to let it out, so order the size you are now. Once your dress has arrived and is in your possession, put it away at your mum’s house or somewhere safe and don’t look at it. This eliminates the risk of temptation and doubts to set in.
But most importantly – have fun! Shopping for a wedding dress is something most women only do once in a lifetime, so make it special! Bring along your best friends and family, have some champagne (but not too much) and enjoy it – it’s all part of the wedding planning roller coaster. For advice on finding your perfect, unique style, or to book an appointment with one of our fantastic designers, get in touch with us today and start your journey!