How to shop for the perfect Wedding Dress
Updated: Jun 1
It’s Bridal Season!!!
Wedding dress shopping can be one of the best or worst experiences depending on how you view it! whether you have had an idea from a young age of what you’d like your perfect dress to be, or whether you have no idea this should be one of the most special experiences prior to the big day of course. I often get asked how to find the perfect dress and that’s why I decided to share some top tips on how to approach shopping for the most important dress you will probably ever wear.
Venue and location
One of the first things that you will be asked during your wedding dress appointment is what is the location and date of your wedding. The reason most bridal consultants will ask you this is that it helps them to help you find a style of dress that compliments the environment of your wedding. This can be with small details such as a shot silk fabric over a satin finish or if you’re going for a vintage theme it may be that a more individual style would be your preference. So, it helps them to help you!
Planning your visit
Not all wedding dress shops are created equal! and sometimes brides are so keen to get to the nearest bridal shop not much thought goes into which boutiques are going to work best for them. So, do a little research before you start to book your appointments. Really think about your own style, the style of the venue and if you have any particular individual requirements, such as a more quirky style, vintage or a slightly unusual shape. A quick google search or word of mouth can help you make a start. Visiting a couple of wedding fayres can be a great day out and can start to help you with ideas. Just one tip, I don’t recommend you go the length and breadth of the country because it just gets confusing and you start to forget what you’ve liked and what you’ve looked at.
Setting a budget
This can be the hardest thing to do, especially if you have the mindset that you’re throwing price out of the window as long as it’s beautiful, a dangerous route to go down. However, it is important, most consultants can find you a dress within your price range that ticks all your boxes and they won’t put you in a dress that is going to cause you to blow the bank.
It’s your own fashion show
Every season there are going to be hot trends, shapes, materials, the wedding industry is no different to any other area of the fashion industry. Just remember, this is your day and it’s so important that you find a dress that suits your body shape, style and reflects your personality not necessarily what you are being dictated to by the fashion world. Be true to yourself and how you feel, in my experience there is always one dress that you just know is the ‘one’.
Not everyone suits white!
Knowing what colour suits your skin tone can be really helpful when choosing the colour of your wedding dress. If you are really fair and have pale skin for example a bright white wedding dress isn’t going to do you any favours, however a pastel colour can look fabulous and remember different fabrics can make the colour look different. If you’re looking for something in a slightly unusual or vibrant colour it’s advisable to make sure in your planning that you’re targeting the right boutiques.
Hair and Shoes
Whilst this isn’t a huge consideration for most brides when they are dress shopping it probably should be given some thought. If you’re thinking of wearing your hair up a dress with a slightly higher neck line can be more flattering, however if you have longer hair and are going to want to wear it down, strapless styles and styles with a lower neckline will tend to be more flattering. Thinking about the height of your heels is another important consideration, are you going to see them, do you want the colour to compliment the brides-maids dresses, can you walk in heels and be comfortable or are you better going for a flat or kitten heel style.
Be open minded
Often when you go with a really clear idea of what you want and then you try the dress on and it doesn’t suit it can be disappointing. This is most common with bridal shopping, bridal dresses tend to look very different on than on the hanger and it’s a good idea to try a range of styles to find the shape that works best for you. Once you know this it will save you time with your appointments because you will just be looking at the other details of the dress rather than trying to find one that makes your figure look amazing.
On the day of your bridal appointments make sure that you are wearing underwear that fits well and enhances the shape of your figure. This doesn’t mean go out and buy all of your underwear before your dress fittings but good underwear is the first layer in helping your clothes look their best and ensuring that you feel comfortable.
The High Street
The last couple of years have seen a number of high street retailers venture into bridal. Retailers like Next, Debenhams, Monsoon, Coast and many more all offer a range of dresses they can also be a good place to find bridesmaids dresses. Lipsy and TopShop are launching into bridal for the first time this spring the price points for bridesmaids dress start at £69 with bridal dresses starting at £180. These collections follow similar launches at Asos, Misguided and Whistles. These can be great if you’re looking for a dress that is less expensive or if you have a number of bridesmaids with different dress sizes. At the more expensive end of the spectrum, Harrods, Harvey Nichols and Selfridges all stock bridal ranges and can provide a wide variety of designers in one store. Just a word of warning though, you still need to make appointments in these stores as they have a separate bridal area in the store.
Most bridal boutiques offer alterations as part of your fittings for the dress, this is normally included in the price. However, usually at the more couture end of the spectrum designers can charge separately for alterations especially if they are last minute due to significant weight-loss or something that requires details on the dress to be changed. It’s advisable to have this conversation up front rather than have any suprises at the last minute.
And finally………………………… enjoy it, this should be one of the best experiences of your wedding.
If you need help with your wedding shopping you know where to find me.