It should be the most magical and exciting part of the wedding planning process, and yet for many ( including myself ), it becomes more stressful than imagined. Having been through the process, and having learnt a thing or two from visiting many bridal shops, and trying lots of dresses, I thought I’d share the 5 things all brides need to know before shopping!
The best time to start shopping is 12-18 months before the big day!
It may be harder than you think to find your perfect dress. And even when you have an idea on what you want, it can be even harder to find something that fits the bill. So starting early is my biggest advice.
I visited many stores over 3 months, but I knew I could relax as I had started early. Dresses can take 6-9 months to come in after ordering too, so it’s worth bearing this in mind.
Most bridal boutiques run on appointments only – book ahead!
Yup. Most bridal shops run on appointment only – which is great news as you mainly get the store to yourself. Make sure to research your bridal stores, the designers they hold and their availability – some can be booked up for weeks at a time.
Be open minded when it comes to design and try everything that takes your fancy
It’s not until you try a style on, that you realise whether you like it, it suits you and it’s something you are comfortable wearing. Whilst I always wanted a fit and flare style, I was surprised on how I did in fact fall in love with the ball gown style too. Take notice of advice from the dress store, and try different styles, even if it’s to eliminate them. This can really help narrow down what you want in a dress.
Most boutiques only carry one size – which is undoubtedly small!
This took me by surprise. I knew I wasn’t the smallest gal, but being a average size 12, I was shocked on some of the stores and how their dresses we only size 6-8! It’s worth noting not all stores are the same ( the store I bought from carried 12,14 &16 sizes ), but most do and it can be terribly off putting when trying to visualise the gown whilst your boobs are up to your neck or your arse is being covered by a make-shift part of fabric.
I would highly advise asking before heading to the store – I started avoiding the ones that only carried sizes that we were way to small!
There will be extra expenditure when it comes to alterations.
Whilst some of you may be lucky, most brides, me included, will need some alterations. This will come at a extra cost, although many bridal boutiques have their own seamstress that will carry these out. Always worth doing your own research too though, as some in house seamstress’ can have pretty high fees!
These are just some of the most important things I learnt on my search for my wedding dress. It is tasking, and sometimes it can feel relentless, but you will find the one – even if you have to head to every store in the local vicinity.