Shopping for your wedding dress is a super exciting part of wedding planning. Wedding dresses are beautiful and stunning but they’re also expensive so it’s important to make the right choice. Wedding dress mistakes can be costly and upsetting so our checklist is a must-read before you start shopping. Read on for all the tips you need…
1. Doing too much or too little research before you shop
We know that this sounds a little strange but trust us when we tell you, spending too long looking at wedding dresses online before you visit the boutiques is as bad as not looking around at all. You need to go shopping for your gown with an idea of the style or styles that you like BUT you also need to be flexible. Walking into a boutique with no clue what’s available will be completely overwhelming whilst going to your appointment having already mentally chosen your gown can be a mistake too.
Image courtesy of Rustic White Photography
2. Taking too many people with you
This is a big no-no, for so many reasons! Yes, it’s tempting to invite all your closest friends and family but a giant entourage isn’t helpful at all. Too many opinions, too many people to please and too many distractions don’t add up to a great shopping experience. Stick with one or two mega trustworthy mates and you’ll be just fine.
Image courtesy of Southern Curls and Pearls
3. Judging gowns on the hanger
The stylist you work with at the boutique will probably make some suggestions of gowns for you to try on. You might be surprised how gowns come alive when they’re worn and you also might fall for a style that gives you a stunning silhouette when you put it on. You’ll never know how great a dress could look until you try it.
Image courtesy of Lee Petra Grebenau
4. Ordering a smaller size
Lots of brides use their wedding to kick-start healthy eating and exercise regimes and, when you’ve got a plan in place, it’s tempting to order your wedding dress in the size you hope you’ll be by the wedding rather than the size you are now. DON’T! Putting yourself under pressure to slim into your gown is the last thing you want. Order a gown to the size you are now because it can be altered to fit when it arrives.
5. Busting your budget
Now we know that it’s easy to get carried away when you go wedding dress shopping but whatever you do, don’t buy a gown that’s above your budget. Spending more than you wanted to will have knock-on effects on the rest of your wedding budget and it’s unnecessary because there are gorgeous gowns out there at every price point. Be open with your boutiques from the outset about how much you have to spend.
Image courtesy of The Wild Romantic
6. Forgetting to factor in the cost of alterations
Your wedding dress will be ordered in a standard size and when it arrives at the boutique, you’ll be invited in for your fittings. Here, the dress will be altered so that it fits you perfectly. These alterations obviously cost money and, depending on how much work your gown needs, they can run into hundreds of pounds. Don’t forget to include the cost of potential alterations in your wedding dress budget and ask your boutique when you’re trying on gowns the cost of alterations and what you might need.
7. Leaving it too late to shop
Buying a wedding dress isn’t like buying any other piece of clothing. When you visit a boutique, you try on sample gowns and when you’ve found ‘the one’, your gown will be ordered with the designer. Most designers work to a six-month lead time and then you need additional time for your alterations too. So, you need to shop 8-12 months before your wedding otherwise you could face rush order charges or limited choice.
Image courtesy of Rustic White Photography
8. Forgetting the practicalities
We know that thinking practically isn’t really what you want to do when you’re trying on gowns but forgetting the practicalities can cause you issues on the big day. Remember that you have to be able to manoeuvre in your gown, so a huge skirt might not work well if your aisle isn’t going to be that wide. Similarly, a long trailing train is likely to catch and snag if you’re planning on spending a lot of time outside.
Image courtesy of Jean Louis Sabaji
9. Stepping too far from your comfort zone
Of course, you want to look fantastic on your wedding day but you also need to feel great too. This means feeling comfortable and, most importantly, feeling like yourself. If you’re not the kind of girl who loves sparkles, would a super sparkly gown represent you? Choose a dress that’s ‘you’, the best, most gorgeous version of you.
10. Feeling less-than-perfect
Of all the mistakes we’ve talked about, this is the one we want to you STOP!! You are brilliant. You are perfect and, most importantly, you are loved. You will look utterly brilliant on your wedding day so don’t go for a dress that makes you feel anything less than fabulous. You deserve all the confidence in the world on your day and your dress should be something you just can’t wait to wear.
If you’re wondering what else to steer clear of on your big day, don’t miss this look at the most common wedding regrets and how to avoid them!