There’s no doubt about it – wedding dress shopping can either be a wonderful process, or one of the most stressful things you’ve done in your life.
Here are our top tips to finding your dream wedding dress…
Do your research, but be open to new ideas
Before you visit your first bridal salon, have a look online and in wedding magazines to get an idea of what kind of styles you like. Wedding dress shopping can be quite overwhelming to the uninitiated (all that white!), so it helps to have a list of things you love – or don’t! That being said, trust the boutique advisers to recommend dresses that might be out of your comfort zone. They know best what gowns look better off the hanger, and can advise you on what alterations can be made. You never know, you might fall in love with an unexpected choice!
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Stick to your budget
Establish early on how much you want to spend on your dress, and then don’t budge from that number without having a serious discussion with your other half first. Bear in mind your alterations, veil, shoes and accessories when deciding a budget, and NEVER try on a dress that’s massively over your budget ‘just for fun’. You don’t want to fall in love with something you can’t afford and then feel like you’re settling.
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Wedding dresses can take anywhere from six to 10 months to order in, especially if you’re going for a bespoke design, so keep this in mind when you start dress shopping. To give yourself time, start the hunt around a year before the big day. Don’t stress about weight loss or making a decision too early – it’s better to find something you love early doors, rather than feeling the time pressure and panic buying.
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Think carefully about who you bring along
You absolutely do not have to bring the entire bridal party and extended family along. Choose a couple of close friends or relatives whose opinions you trust, but who you know will also help you make a decision, rather than foisting their opinions on you. For example, if your mum is snarky about your wedding diet, or your maid of honour is constantly steering you towards the style she got married in, don’t feel bad for not inviting them on your next outing.
Image courtesy of www.sweetvioletbride.com
Bear your venue and the season in mind
After your budget, the things that should help you make a decision on the dress are the venue you’re getting married in, and the season. For example, if you’re having a beach wedding in summer, you don’t want to be looking at heavy brocade gowns with huge ball gown skirts! Light, chiffon or satin styles with simple silhouettes are likely to suit your venue best. Similarly, if you know your church venue has a huge aisle, you know you can go full-on with your train and it’ll look fantastic, rather than getting crushed in a more intimate venue. If your wedding day is in autumn or winter, then consider sleeves, or ask your boutique assistant whether there are any cover-up options.
Image courtesy of www.weddingforward.com
You don’t need to cry!
This is something that TV and films have drummed into us; you’ll know when you find The Dress because you, your mum, your bridesmaids, the sales assistant and anyone in the nearby vicinity will be in floods of tears. This simply isn’t true! If no-one sheds a tear but you feel like the best, most beautiful version of yourself in the dress, then it’s the one for you.
Image courtesy of www.dream-occasions.co.uk