Deputy Editor and bride-to-be Becci Clubb begins the process of wedding dress shopping…
Finding the dress of your dreams is difficult, and it often requires more time than you might at first imagine. Take it from someone who knows – six boutiques in, the search for my own wedding dress continues.
Wedding dress shopping requires an open mind
I embraced wedding dress shopping with an open mind, but naturally I did have ideas about what might suit me and what I liked. Although I haven’t chosen a dress yet, I have found that it’s true what they say: you can’t predict what dresses you will like until you try them on. Of course some of the things I thought I didn’t want in a dress I still don’t, but when it comes to the overall style of dresses that I like, I have been surprised.
The dresses can look totally different on the hanger to how they look when you put them on. Different styles also suit different body shapes, so how the dress looks on someone else will probably be completely different to how it will look on you.
Wedding dress shopping requires the right team
Who you choose to take with you wedding dress shopping is really important too. Whether its your bridesmaids, your mum, your soon-to-be mother in law, your aunt or even your fiancé, the people that are with you when you are looking for your dress need to be people you really trust.
You want them to offer you their honest opinion, without being too harsh! They need to understand your style, what you want from your wedding and from your dress. Be warned, ‘yes’ people aren’t always the best for this particular task. If they think you might look better in something else, you need them to be able to tactfully tell you.
The ladies in the boutiques will ask you to choose dresses to try on that you think you will like, but one of the most fun parts of wedding dress shopping is trying on their suggestions. You should also try on dresses suggested by the friends and family with you. Sometimes you are left really surprised, loving a wild card choice and disliking what you though would be your favourite.
Don’t be shocked if a boutique asks you only to pick around four dresses to start with. This is so that once you try these first dresses on, they can get an idea of what you are and aren’t liking and go from there. Trust the ladies in the boutiques, they know their dresses inside out and they will have helped hundreds of brides find the ‘one’.
How to choose the right dress for your wedding
As fun as it is trying on all of the dresses, there are a few serious questions to keep in mind. Will you feel at ease in this gown? You don’t want other people to persuade you to buy a dress you don’t feel 100% happy in. Can you sit down comfortably? Will you be able to eat your wedding breakfast? Can you stay on the dancefloor all night? Will it suit your venue and the season in which you are marrying?
Some gowns will just look wrong in certain venues. For example an opulent, voluminous ballgown could be overdressing for a laid-back beach big day. The most important person in the room is your groom – will he like this style too? Would your family approve? And – the big one – is your dress in budget?
Wedding dress shopping on a budget
There really is no point in trying on a gown that is completely unaffordable. If you end up loving a dress that is more than you can spend, there’s a chance that you won’t find another dress that does fall in budget that you love as much, and no bride should be disappointed like that.
Be upfront with the boutiques you visit about your budget and tastes. This will help them to lead you to your perfect dress. Shopping online comes with big risks. We have heard hundreds of horror stories, where the dress has arrived looking completely different to how it was advertised, or worse – never arriving at all.
If you are on a tight budget I would suggest you head to trunk shows, designers days and hunt in sample sales. The most important thing is that you feel comfortable – wearing something that is perfect for you – and that you look your beautiful bridal best. Happy wedding dress shopping!