If you thought you’d found the one when you got engaged, think again. It’s time to find the other one… your wedding dress!
But there are a lot of dresses to choose from. And there’s a lot riding on your choice. Let’s not forget that there’s a significant investment at stake, too. So, how exactly do you choose the perfect wedding dress?
We break it down into five simple steps to make finding your dream wedding dress a breeze.
Know your shape
While it’s easy to fall head over heels for that dress you saw on Pinterest, do you actually already have anything in your wardrobe in that style or shape? Using your existing outfits as a starting point can help to define what shapes already look good on you, make you feel comfortable and flatter your figure.
If you love to rock a peplum or a pencil skirt, focus on fit and flare dresses to begin with. And if your summer outfits are all about relaxed shift dresses and smock tops, an A-line or sheath dress might be more natural choices.
Know your style
This mantra doesn’t just go for your own personal style. It goes for the style of your venue and ceremony too. Church ceremonies often require a little more coverage, often including sleeves, while brides looking for a sexier, less traditional look will have outfits better suited to chic city venues or beach locations.
If you’re unsure of what style might work best, check out these lace wedding dresses. There’s a reason so many brides love them!
Know your options
Just as there is a whole host of different styles of wedding dresses, there’s also a multitude of places from which to purchase them.
Visiting bridal boutiques is a must. You’ll enjoy the ultimate girly Champagne experience to treasure with your mum and best girls. Plus, the experts at the boutique will instantly know what wedding dresses will work for you.
It helps to choose boutiques that stock designers you already know you like and to go armed with these essential questions to ask. Even if you don’t end up choosing one of their designs, they’ll likely stock other similar designers that could have ‘the one’ instead! And if you’ve set your heart on wearing one in particular, why not look up their next boutique trunk show to make the most of any special offers?
If you’re not yet sure what designers and boutiques to try, heading to a wedding fair will help. You’ll find many boutiques and designers exhibiting, as well as often having the chance to see dresses modelled on the catwalks. Think of it as a place to do your research, so you can hone in on your own wedding dress style. You’ll soon be well equipped to find the boutique and designer for you.
Know your budget
It’s no secret that wedding dresses are often the most expensive item of clothing you’ll ever buy. That being said, the price range is still very varied, so make sure you begin each boutique visit by letting them know your budget. This way you’ll only try on dresses that you can afford to fall in love with. There’s nothing worse than finding ‘the one’ only to realise that you can’t keep it.
Don’t forget to factor in the cost of alterations, too. Your boutique will likely have an in-house or recommended seamstress, so talk through the costs to make sure you know exactly how much of your budget you’ll need to allocate. You can ensure everything wedding dress-related is covered with our handy A-Z guide.
Trust your judgment
Once you’ve found your dream wedding dress, you’ll know. Don’t rush the decision, take your time and don’t give in to pressure from other people, however well intentioned. If it feels right to you and makes you feel the very best version of yourself, your job is done.
Worried that you won’t know when you’ve found the one? Nine real brides open up on their experiences here.