Shopping for your wedding dress has to be one of the most exciting shopping trips you will have! However, be warned it can go wrong, so here are a few tips I found along the way, when choosing my dress!
Don’t judge a book by it’s cover!
This couldn’t be more true when it comes to Wedding Dress shops. The shop window may look very chic and boutique but inside they might have nothing but over priced tat, the best dress they have is in the window. Just as on the other end of the spectrum, some bridal shops look very old fashioned from the window display, but they may just have a little gem of a dress hiding away in the back. Go into all of the wedding shops in your area, go by recommendation from other brides you know.
I had a very clear idea of what style dress I wanted, but some ladies don’t. Even if you think a Disney Princess dress is going to be your style, once you have tried it on, it may not be. Try everything on! The Bridal Dress consultant is very, very experienced and would have helped many a bride find ‘the dress’. She will ask you to try on a few style dresses that you may think look horrid on the hanger, but run with it, she maybe on to something!
Keep your entourage small!
Yes it is nice to have your Mum, Sister, Aunt, Grandma, all your Bridesmaids and the Mother-In-Law all with you when dress shopping, but too many opinions will not be helpful! Some Bridal shops are tiny and fitting you all in, will be a nightmare for the consultant and a rather cramped experience for you all. Just take people with you that you know will give you an honest opinion. The other’s can come along with you at different fitting appointments, or better still leave the dress a complete surprise to all apart from the two or three that helped you pick it!
Don’t be a snob!
Don’t just go to the designer wedding dress shops. I didn’t have a designer wedding dress, and I am asked all the time “who designed your dress it was beautiful?!”, I have no idea and frankly I don’t care. I love my dress and that is all that matters! Also don’t be afraid to wear, last seasons designs. Styles do change, but generally by the decade, no quite so much by the years, so wearing last seasons design will go unnoticed by 99% of your guests anyway! You can even buy a dress ‘off the hook’ which will be a sample dress. This means it will be the dress that was tried on by other customers, but if they are offering it to you with at a discounted price, who is to turn their nose up at that? Plus any reputable Bridal dress shop will clean the sample dress for you free of charge, meaning it will look as good as new! (My dress was a sample dress and had only been tried one by a handful of brides due to it only being in store for a month before the design was discontinued! Winner!)
Wear sensible and nude coloured undies!
You will be trying on dresses that will be either two sizes to big, or two sizes too small, as Bridal shops just can’t buy the styles in all sizes. With this in mind, try and wear some neutral knickers and a strapless bra. Most Wedding dresses have a built in bra strap so usually you won’t need to wear a bra on the day, but at least if your bust is supported properly when you are trying on, you should get the effect, even though the dress may not be done up as it will in your size. Wearing a decent pair of nude or white knickers, will not only support any ‘problem’ areas, they won’t be showing through any thin material.
Don’t be pressured into buying anything!
This point may seem like I am contradicting myself from the first point but only buy what you love, not what you like. Some shops will only show you the most expensive dresses or newest in. Some will shower you in various veils, tiaras and shoes. If you can only decide on the dress for the minute, that’s fine, think about the accessories at a later date. You never know you may be able to have one of them as your something old or borrowed!
You will know when you know, I promise!
Everyone will tell you that they knew they had found the dress when they put it on and you won’t believe them until you feel that emotion too. Trust me, you will slip into that wedding dress, and before you have even properly looked in the mirror you will feel different. It will feel like a Cinderella moment, it will all just fall into place! You will probably cry through relief of actually being able to find something you love!
Once you have decided on a dress, paid your deposit and have the receipt in your hand – STOP LOOKING. The internet is drowned with tall, slender models wearing the latest designer wedding dresses and this will make you doubt your decision. Don’t look, just be confident with your decision! Trust me, when you go back to have a fitting, you will slip back into your dress and all those emotions will cement your decision.
Trust the Seamstress!
The Seamstress would of adjusted hundreds of dresses, they know what they are doing. If you want your fishtail dress to be adjusted so it is spray on tight, that is all well and good, but how are you planning to eat, sit and dance? The seamstress will whizz around you with a pot of pins like a scene from Sleeping Beauty and it will all look rather odd to you in the mirror, but trust her, she will transform your dress so it fits like a glove!
So that’s my tips to a successful wedding dress shopping trip. Most of all enjoy it! Feel free to share your experiences with me or comments below!
Special thanks to Rossetti Brides, Torquay for the photo opportunity.
(Me, on my big day!)