How to buy a wedding dress – the questions you NEED to ask!

Here at Wedding Ideas, we know that searching for your gown should be an amazing, once-in-a-lifetime experience – but as a lot of brides-to-be don’t know how to buy a wedding dress, we’ve put together a list of your must-ask questions! Don’t go dress shopping without it…

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What style of dress should I go for?

A reputable boutique will be able to take one look at you and advise you on the dress shapes that will suit your body. Think about your figure, height and complexion, as well as the theme of your day and your venue. Also think about which bits of your body you’d like to show off, and those that you’d rather cover up or disguise. The more information you give the assistant, the better chance you have of finding ‘the one’.

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Jasmine Bridal Style F161001

Do you offer an in-house alterations service?

Even the most perfect dress may need a hem shortening or straps adding – so find out early on if your chosen boutique offers an in-house alterations service. If not, ask friends and family if they can recommend a good local seamstress. Finally don’t leave alterations to the last minute – professional seamstresses are always booked well in advance so contact them as quickly as possible.

What’s included in the price?

Chances are the price you originally see will be to buy the dress straight off the peg, so check if alterations or bespoke embellishments will be extra. Shops can rarely offer discounts on dresses due to the manufacturers setting a recommended retail price, but they may be able to offer added value items like a bolero or brooch.

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Sassi Holford Signature Sara

How many appointments will I need?

It’s normal to expect three – the first will be when you initially go to the shop looking for ‘the one’, the second will be after you’ve ordered your gown and it’s arrived in store, and the third and final time will be before your wedding day to ensure the alterations are all correct.

What if I lose weight before the big day?

If you’re dieting, it’s best to be honest about this from the very first appointment, so that your boutique can arrange final fittings nearer to the wedding date.

Do you stock sample dresses?

If you’re pinching the pennies and your budget won’t stretch to your dream dress, it’s perfectly acceptable to ask about sample, ex-display and last-season dresses. Just remember, it may need altering and professionally cleaning, so factor this in from the start.

How long does it take for my wedding dress to arrive in store?

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Sassi Holford Savoy Collection Sadie

Bridal boutiques require a minimum of six to nine months to get a dress delivered. With this in mind, brides should start looking for their dress around 12 months before their wedding date.

Can I take photos of the dresses I try on?

Often you won’t be able to take photos in store until you have chosen a dress and paid for it. Then, when it’s yours, you can take photos to help you choose the right flowers and accessories. The shop isn’t trying to be awkward – the photo ban is purely there to prevent copying.

What underwear should I wear?

Keep your lingerie simple. Wear white or nude pieces, including French knickers or a thong and a strapless bra. Take a look at some of our lingerie suggestions to suit your body shape here!

Style 11404 from the Blossom 2014 collection by Ellis bridal

Ellis Bridal Style 11404

How should I pay for my wedding dress?

Most boutiques ask you to pay a 50% deposit and then 50% when the actual dress arrives from the manufacturer. Payment plans may also be available from some stores. RBA-accredited boutiques will guarantee deposits if the boutique goes out of business involuntarily. Find your nearest members
now at rbaltd.org.uk.

If you’re still looking for dream dress inspiration, then don’t forget to check out the latest Wedding Dress Collections!

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