With so many things to consider when wedding dress shopping, we've put together our top 15 tips, to help make the whole experience, more fun and less flustered.
1. Shop early, but not too early
Bear in mind that once you’ve found your dream dress it could take 4 – 8 months to be produced, that’s before any alterations. Shopping early also means you avoid ‘rush fees’.
However, don’t shop for your dress before you have the rest of your wedding details in place, a fairy tail heavily embellished gown might look beautiful in a castle, but a little out of place on the beachfront.
2. Be opened minded
The dress you’ve imagined since you were 5 years old may not actually look as magical as you had hoped. Be open-minded and try on different style, you’ll be surprised what you fall in love with. Think about non-traditional lengths, soft colours or even a two-piece?
3. Its not going to fit straight away
For obvious reasons, bridal boutiques cannot stock each dress in every size, so be prepared to have some clipped and pinned into place.
4. Think about shoes
Even if you have not already bought your wedding shoes, make sure you take heels – a similar height to the ones you think you will wear - with you when dress shopping.
5. Budget, factor in accessories & alterations
Know your budget before you start and always ask to see the dresses in your price range to avoid heartache later one. Plus remember to save some money for alterations and accessories.
6. Book an appointment
Most Wedding Boutiques operate on an appointment only system, so make sure your book ahead. Also, try to get an appointment on a weekday, the shop floor will be quieter and you can take your time.
7. If you are a plus size bride consider calling ahead
As mentioned before, Bridal Boutiques only stock a limited number of sizes, so you’re a plus size, call ahead to make sure they have plenty for you to try on.
8. Take the right under garments and shoes if you have them
It’s hard to get an idea of what that strapless dress looks like when your pink bra straps are on show. Take a strapless bra, nude thongs and Spanx with you.
9. Pick your silhouette
Not only do you want to pick a dress that ties in with your venue, the mood of your wedding and your own personal style; you also want something that fits your body shape. Ball gowns add drama, but can overwhelm a petite frame, whereas a mermaid style shows off your figure. A fit-n-flare is both contemporary and traditional and fits most body shapes or a sheath dress is best on tall slender brides.
10. Keep the season in mind
Winter wedding? Choose heavy lush fabrics, like satin or taffeta. Summer wedding? Choose a light breezy fabric, nothing to tight or itchy.
11. Believe the assistant if she says it look better on
Heavy fabric and details on wedding dresses can make them sag on the hanger, so you really wont see a dress’s full potential until you have it on.
12. Consider online shopping
If your dream dress is out of budget, consider online shopping, just make sure you are entitled to a full refund.
13. Don’t take too many people with you
Although the idea of an entourage sounds fun, try to take just one or two people with you – we all know the saying ‘too many cooks spoil the broth’’.
14. Order in the right size or slightly too big
“I’m going to loose some more weight” is the chorus sung by all brides, however the stress, time, excitement and expense of wedding planning doesn’t always allow for those extra gym classes or PT sessions – so order your dress in either the correct size or a little too big. In the hands of a professional seamstress, most dresses can be taken in up to 4 sizes – but not out…
15. Be 100% - don’t people please
Remember it’ s your wedding and your dress. You don’t have to listen to our top tips, your mothers or your bridesmaids – you wear what makes you feel happy.