For any bride, I’m sure the most exciting part of wedding planning is going wedding dress shopping. And believe me it is so much fun when you’re there (and I wasn’t even trying on the dresses). But, before you go dress shopping, here’s some advice I picked up.
Know Before You Go
You should go wedding dress shopping fairly early in the planning process. It can often take months for a wedding dress to be made and you’ll likely need alterations as well. I’d recommend the minimum amount of time is 8 months before your wedding. Make an appointment at your chosen bridal boutique/s as some shops get booked up weeks in advance. You’ll also be guaranteed to have time to try on dresses.
When looking at wedding dresses in magazines or on Pinterest you may like a dress and think it’s perfect for you but you get to the shop and try it on and it just doesn’t look right and you don’t feel comfortable in it. So instead of seeing pictures of pretty dresses, imagine yourself in that dress. Will it suit you and your style? Will it go with your wedding venue? Will it suit your wedding theme? Thinking through these will help you to narrow down what you do and don’t like. If you’re not sure what style will suit you click here to view my previous post on Wedding Dresses for your Body Type.
Don’t take a big party with you the first time you’re trying on dresses. Go with your mum and your sister/gran/aunt/close friend. For my sister it was just the two of us, mum and our aunt (who owned the shop). It may be tempting to take your bridesmaids as well but I suggest you go back to the shop with them at a later date to choose their dresses and, if you want to show them your dress, try it on for them then.
Try Different Styles
You may not think a certain style will suit you but you could be surprised. Be open to trying on different styles. Especially if you’ve recently lost weight, you’d be surprised as to what suits you.
If you don’t like a dress you’ve tried on take it off straight away and try a new one on. Don’t eat up your appointment time standing in a dress you know you’ll never get and going over why you don’t like it. The goal is to find a dress you love.
Try Different Neck Lines
If there’s a specific style of dress you’ve tried and like, try other dresses on that are similar style but with different necklines. The neckline also plays a big role in whether the dress is perfect for you.
Try Different Fabrics/Textures
Same as with the necklines, dresses can look very different depending on the material and it’s all about what suits your style. You may prefer lace over silk crepe, or perhaps you want a bit of sparkle with sequins on your gown.
Choose Your Colour
Not all wedding dresses are white. You may have a choice in the colour from white, ivory, blush, champagne etc. And wedding dresses can look very different depending on the colour. Ask the shop assistant if there are fabric swatches for your dress to see which colour you prefer.
How Does It Look From The Back
Have someone take a picture of you from the back. You won’t be able to get the full effect of how it looks if you’re having to twist your body to see the back. How does the train fall? What is the fastening like on the back? On your wedding day you’ll have photos from every angle so every angle of your dress needs to be perfect for you.
If you’d like to have sleeves try different lengths of sleeves. There’s off-the-shoulder, cap, three-quarters, full length etc. Would you prefer fitted sleeves or loose and flowing (great for a destination or beach wedding).
How Does It Move
Have a play around to see how the dress moves. Walk around and have someone with you take a video, give a twirl and see the movement of the dress.
Veil To Match
Try on veils with your dress to see whether you want to wear one and if it matches your dress. Try different length veils to see if a certain length goes better with your dress. Try different positions of the veil on your head to see which positioning you prefer. If you have detailing on the back of your dress you’ll most likely want to show them off so find a veil thats thin and won’t cover up those details.
Try some hair accessories too. See what will go with your dress and veil. It can also help you decide on how you’d like your hair for your wedding day.
The shop assistants will be able to help you while you’re shopping. Trust them and ask them any questions you have.
If you already have a pair of shoes you want to wear on your wedding day or you have a pair that are the right heel size for you, take them along with you when shopping. It’ll help you see the dress better with the added height. If you don’t, not to worry. Bridal boutiques usually have a box for you to stand on so you get the effect as if you were wearing heels.
Ask whoever’s with you for their opinion on each dress but remember it comes down to what you like/love. If you feel comfortable and confident in a particular dress then it’s most likely the right dress for you.