You’ve had the romantic proposal; you’ve updated all your social media to now say engaged and your top search is currently wedding dresses!!!! But where and when do you really start to look for your dream dress?
It’s overwhelming and confusing, of course it is you’ve never done this before, or maybe you have but it’s all changed a bit since then. Whether you’ve been dreaming of this day since you were little or if you’ve never been a dress up kind of girl, hopefully you can take some advice from us that will make your bride to be experience that much easier and most importantly, enjoyable.
What’s your budget? Are you looking at buying a reorderable dress or an off the peg? I know it’s boring but there’s no point booking appointments at boutiques that are out of your price range. You don’t want to fall in love with a dress that’s just not an option.
Don’t forget to budget for extras too, are you wearing a veil, tiara, hoop, belt? You will most likely need alterations, whether it’s just a hem or a dart you’ll need to bare all of this in mind as it’ll soon start adding up and if you’ve forgotten to budget for it you may have to compromise in other areas of the wedding……does the groom really need a suit anyway!!
Ideally, we recommend you start looking around 12 - 18 months before the big day. Once you’ve booked your venue the dress is next. This allows for a stress-free dress buying experience. Delivery times can be anything between 5 and 9 months depending on where you shop.
You’re not going to find your perfect gown if you don’t get out there and start looking. Get yourself booked in to one or two bridal shops. Don’t overdo it though, you don’t want to get bogged down and confused. Trust us when we say choose your bride tribe wisely. Of course, you want all your besties, your mum, your mother in law to be, the next-door neighbour “because she’s like your aunt!!” to be there when you find your dream dress but honestly leave the entourage at home!! One to two trusted voices are all you will need. Too many opinions could be a bit overwhelming.
If you have a favourite designer google their nearest stockist but remember popular styles are carried through in most collections so don’t restrict yourself. Be aware of how far you want to venture for your dress as you will need to return for your fittings and of course when you’re ready to collect. It’s also good to know if you can you store your dress at your chosen shop until the big day.
Be open minded when you attend your appointments. You won’t know what it looks like until it’s on! Try a bit of everything it’s all part of the experience. Don’t rule out a dress you’ve fallen for because it doesn’t have straps or it’s not blingy enough, these little extras can all be easily added by your seamstress. Speak to your bridal consultant, tell them about any insecurities you may have or any best bits you want to show off as this will help them to pick out dresses suited to you. After all they know the stock better than anyone.
What to wear to your appointment? Good underwear will make you feel more confident and comfortable although not essential at dress trying on stage. Underwear and shoes will be required at fitting stages though. Most bridal shops stock samples so won’t necessarily have every dress in your perfect size. Your consultant can pin and clip the dress so you can visualise how it would look in your size.
Many brides will near the end of their appointment with two favourites and typically they will be completely different dresses, just to make things even more confusing!!
At this stage consider your venue and surroundings for the big day. What time of year are you getting married, what is the theme for the day, what will the groom be wearing? Do you have a colour scheme, are you comfortable, is there room to eat, can you dance? These questions may help you make that all-important decision.
Once you have said yes to the dress you will be measured, your dress will be ordered according to the designer’s size chart. Dresses are ordered to a standard size and it is at the alteration stage that the dress is made to fit you. Most dresses are American sizing so don’t get too concerned about the size of your gown, if it fits then it’s perfect for you.
If you are allowed, do take pictures but try to remember how each dress makes you feel as the picture mum takes on her mobile phone will probably not do the dress much justice.
Don’t be afraid to say yes to the first dress, many brides find ‘the one’ straight away.
And most of all be you! Enjoy your experience!
Most brides will give away that they have found their dress before they even realise it themselves. There will be a lot of swishing and they won’t be able to hide their smile, also remember…….
If you don’t want to take it off, it’s the dress!