Great news, I’ve finally decided on, and ordered my wedding dress! I’m not going to lie, I haven’t had the best time wedding dress shopping in general. It has been a little more stressful than I expected! Having said that, my final trip was absolutely amazing, and I am so happy with both the dress and the shop we have bought it from! But I will tell you all about that in another post, today I want to share with you my top 5 tips for wedding dress shopping.
If you are yet to make your first trip then I hope these tips will be useful, they are all things which, had I known to begin with, would have made my experience more comfortable, much quicker and less confusing! Maybe you have been shopping a few times but are stuck in a bit of a rut like I was, when I felt that that perfect dress was going to elude me forever, hopefully these will be helpful for you too!
So hop aboard the wedding dress express! Lets get started!
1. Do your research.
You can save yourself so much time by finding out if shops have a dress that you like before you book an appointment! Have a look online at your local wedding dress shops. Do they have any dresses you like in stock? If they do, write down the name of the shop, their address and phone number and the designer and code of any dresses that you like. I have found that in some cases, bridal shop’s websites can be somewhat lacking, small pictures and difficulty navigating are my top bug bears! If you find that this is the case, then another way you can go about it is to search the designers websites, which on the whole are a lot better. If you don’t know where to start, just pick up a bridal magazine and take note of some of the designer names in there, then search for them on google. Once you have found some dresses that you would like to try on, you need to find out which shops stock these dresses, usually the designers website will show which shops stock their dresses, but there are lots of websites that can also tell you this. Do check with the shop that they have the dress in that you want to try on before you make an appointment, as they will not carry all of the designers dresses.
2. Plan your day.
Ring ahead of time. Not all shops require you to have an appointment (although in my experience the best ones do!), but it is certainly worth ringing to check before you turn up on their doorstep and find they already have a client in. And don’t feel you need to go to loads of shops in one day. You will find you spend a lot of time in one on it’s own, and you don’t want to be rushing from appointment to appointment. Plus, the shops do tend to stock similar styles, so it is worth staying in one and getting a real feel for what you like. I would suggest 2 shops in a day will be enough!
3. Think about your outfit.
Wear clothes that are easy to change out of. I would recommend leggins and a long t-shirt or dress, with slip on shoes. And don’t wear any jewellery that might get caught! We’ve all been there when trying on garments before, your earring gets stuck and you can’t see because you have your arms up over your head. Imagine how much worse that situation would be in a wedding dress! And for goodness sake, wear decent underwear! There is a good chance that you will become quite well acquainted with the shop assistant. Or rather they will become quite well acquainted with you! The dresses are pretty tricky to get on and the shop assistant will often help you get in and out of them. The last thing you want whilst trying to negotiate your way into 50 layers of fabric is being concious of your old granny pants! Pick white or nude (the colour, don’t go commando!), I would suggest wearing a strapless bra too, just so you can get a better feel for the whole look.
4. Keep your energy up.
All of the excitement is going to leave you quite exhausted, so prepare yourself by having a good breakfast before you leave! It’s a good idea to take something with you to snack on, like a breakfast bar, and don’t forget to schedule in time for lunch!
5.Record your findings
This might sound rather scientific, but it is surprising how quickly you will forget details about each dress you look at. If you like a dress, ask the assistant if they have a picture, or at least find out the name or code of the dress so that you can look it up when you get home. Ask if you can take pictures – Some shops won’t allow it, but in most cases they will and this will make it so much easier to compare dresses in your mind when you get home. Remember, you want a dress that looks nice in photographs too, so this is often a good test. Initially I thought that the first dress I tried on could have been the one, but when I got home I looked at it online and it looked a little plain, then I looked at the photograph we took and I didn’t like it as much. Make sure you write down the cost of the dress, as it will change from shop to shop, and any additional details such as how long it takes to order in, what the charges are for alterations, and how long these will take.
The picture at the top of this post is the lovely A Bride 2 Bee bridal wear shop, which was one of my first stops when looking for a dress, sadly they didn’t have the dress for me, but they did have a fantastic selection.
I hope you found my top tips on wedding dress shopping useful. I’d love to hear how you got/get on with your first wedding dress shopping trip. Stay tuned if you want to find out about the amazing shop where I finally bought my dress from, and I will give you some more tips on how to make your final decision too!