Like most brides, I have been going round the houses and conducting thorough research into my wedding attire before finalising the gargantuan decision. It all started with obsessing over designers and styles online and trying to pin down what I thought would suit me and my event. I finally found my perfect dress, but here’s what I learned when wedding dress shopping.

Wedding dresses
Credit: iStock

1. I had to be organised

I had an idea of styles and designers, but I had to pinpoint which bridal boutiques housed which designers and which styles from each range they stocked. It’s not as simple as finding the designer and having access to all their dresses at once. If there’s a particular style you’re after, my advice would be to call ahead.

It’s also worth checking if the designers you like are about to drop their new collections. This often means old collections are sold off in sample sales. This is a great time to bag a bargain, but if you’re after a particular style from the old collection, you may struggle to find one in-store.

2. Wedding dress shopping was a costly process

This was particularly frustrating, in my opinion. Paying for an appointment has become commonplace in London, something I can completely understand as a safeguard against time wasters. However, it seems to be they are non-refundable and are just an added cost to the process. Saying that, some shops will take the money off your dress if you buy with them, as further incentive. The general price mark is between £25-40 per appointment, so keep this in mind when shopping around.

wedding budget

3. You’ll be surprised

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You’ll have no doubt heard it before, that people tend to go for a style they weren’t expecting to love. But seriously, you’ll be surprised! Don’t knock the bigger dresses before you’ve tried them.

Another point worth noting is that even the most confident of women will feel exposed when trying on wedding dresses. Boning and corsets work wonders, so don’t be put off until you’ve tried them.

4. Pick your socks and knickers wisely

I thought I’d be covered by clouds of tulle and plenty of lining. I didn’t take into account the slim-fitting dresses and the ones with finer tulle. Turns out, my poor choice of pink socks and non-seamless knickers didn’t work in my favour.

5. Commit every wedding dress to memory

More often than not, bridal shops don’t allow you to take pictures. I had to try and commit every detail I loved about each dress to memory to help me whittle down the final contenders. Be sure to take down the designer’s name and the name of the dress so you can google it online after wedding dress shopping.

posing in front of mirror at bridal shop editors voices
When you’re bored and you try to get at least one picture in a bridal boutique…

6. Wedding dress shopping can get pretty tedious

The wedding dress shopping experience is great but I have to admit, once you’ve done it two or three times, it becomes exhausting. Especially when everyone is trying to drive a hard sell. The sales pressure can end up putting you off. I found I had to have a three-week sabbatical from my dress shopping to get my energy back and I wanted to be a savvy shopper, not a pressured one.

7. Celebrate, celebrate, celebrate!

The pinnacle moment is when you make your final decision and (painfully) put down the payment. It is unbelievably exciting finding your wedding dress. What’s strange is deciding on it, giving it back to the bridal boutique and agreeing not to see it for about five months.

It’s safe to say I made the most of the celebrations. My Maid of Honour and I went straight to the nearest bar to order no less than three bottles of fizz. It was a huge relief finding my dress, I could finally mark this big job off my to-do list.

Follow Kelly’s bridal journey on Instagram at @kellygreene90


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Kelly Greene is the Online Content Producer of Wedding Ideas, covering everything from the best honeymoon locations to your perfect wedding skin routine. She has a background in beauty journalism and a history of working in the wedding industry but most excitingly, Kelly has recently got engaged! The wedding to watch in 2019? We think so.