Wedding dress shopping – What to expect.

bridalNow that my wedding plans are well on their way, I feel I can breathe for a moment and reminisce on the time when I was on the hunt for – lets face it, one of the most important details of the day – my wedding dress! I hadn’t planned on blogging about my journey until after our big day, but now I want to share some of my experiences of certain things, without having to give too much away.

Last July, my other half proposed to me, something I hadn’t expected for some time to come and what followed was a whirlwind month celebrations & discussions and we decided to set the date for this September. It was the most frightening and exciting feeling ever but in order for me to plan the theme and décor of our wedding, I needed to find my dress. You see, once we had our date and venue picked, I could go no further until I knew what I was wearing . I think that’s how it goes for the majority of brides, right?

When I began the search for my dream dress, I didn’t go head first into making lots of appointments. I did some research instead. Actually, I had a particular shop in mind for years, long before I was even seeing my fiancé. This was a place I most definitely wanted to visit and I found a few more beautiful shops that I felt would suit my sense of style too.

Once I had booked my appointments I was literally looking at each shops websites every night in the run up to the fittings. It’s vital to do some homework first and to look at each label that the shop stocks. This way you can rule out what designer you don’t want to try on. Designers work with all kinds of fabrics and they would have a distinctive style too which may or may not be to your liking. In some cases it becomes clear pretty quickly what appeals to you and what doesn’t.

When it comes to the time of your appointments. Here are my tips for a smooth ride in the gown department….

  • They (whoever they are) say you should start your search one year before your big day. You most certainly can but there is definitely plenty of time if it’s less than a year.


  • Making up to three appointments in the one day is quite feasible. You can cover alot if you attend a few in the one day. Even make a weekend of it if you don’t want to drag out the search over weeks.


  • Most, if not all bridal shops prefer if you didn’t wear fake tan (to protect the dresses) They’ll be quite vocal about that prior to your visit anyway.


  • Choose who you bring with you wisely. You don’t have to bring your full bridal party if you don’t want to. The bridal shops only allow a certain amount of people anyway. The most important person to bring with you is someone you trust deeply to tell you their honest opinion (but it’s your decision at the end of the day) You don’t need 5 different opinions because you will never please everyone. That’s what makes us all unique. I know my dress will divide opinion for sure. But f**k  it, it’s my dress.


  • I was a bit suprised when some of the dresses wouldn’t fit me at all! I’m a size 12, pretty normal I thought, but some samples are runway samples which is not normal! So my advice would be to make sure they stock your size and that they have a variety of dresses in or around a size that will fit you. Pinning the dress is easier than having a dress looking too tight. I was a bit dis-heartened by that I must say. You don’t really need body hang ups on the day you start wedding dress shopping! Or maybe we do actually!


  • Wearing decent underwear would be wise too, I wore a flesh coloured set but my bra was off for most of the dresses as it didn’t suit. A seamless knickers is ideal especially worn under fitted dresses, you can see how the dress skims your bottom, un-necessary lines can throw you off.


  • Get a blow dry! It makes such a difference. I like a bit of body in my hair but I had it straight for my first appointment and I was kicking myself for not styling it like I normally would. I had it wavy for my last appointment and I looked and felt much better in my dress.


  • Makeup – You just gotta wear some!


  • Bring shoes/sandals – Your own heels are always better than a pair you’re not used to, especially the heel height.


  • Think about your venue and the aisle you’ll be walking down. All of that play’s (or should play) a huge part in determining the style of dress you go for. The aisle I’ll be walking down is narrow and our venue is a country house so I personally felt my dress style should factor into this.


  • Have a budget in mind but be open to spending slightly more if you find a dress you love. Remember you have around a year to pay it off anyway! If you happen to get it cheaper than what you’d initially planned on spending then you’re a lucky bitch…


  • Allow the experts in the shop to suggest something for you. My dress was recommended to me after I had tried on ones that didn’t work. It was the same designer I was interested in but I didn’t notice the dress on the rail first time around. And boy am I glad I tried it on! Some dresses just don’t have hanger appeal so you shouldn’t rule anything out until you try it first.


  • Finally, you WILL know when you find “the dress”. People have said for years “Oh, you ‘ll just know it when you try it” And indeed I did! I tried on the dress and I imagined myself walking up the aisle to my fiancé, that’s when my eyes started to fill up and that’s when I just knew it was the dress for me.


Now all I have to do is wait seven months until I get to wear the frickin’ thing!


4 thoughts on “Wedding dress shopping – What to expect.

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