Finding the perfect wedding dress is not an easy task for anyone. If getting married is something you’ve dreamed about for a long time, then you’ll certainly feel the pressure to get it 100% right. I’m sure we can all relate to the stress of trying to find a suitable look for a night out with our friends or perhaps that all-important flawless date night get-up. Well, imagine that amplified by a hundred when you start wedding dress shopping!
After all, it isn’t ‘just another dress’ you’re looking for. Your wedding will be one of the most memorable days of your life and regardless of whether or not you want them to – people will be looking at you. Photographs will be taken and more than likely displayed in the houses of your loved ones for years to come. You want to look at those photos and smile, not regret your choice of dress. At first, it feels like there are many things to consider…
- What kind of style do I want?
- Which shade should I go for?
- How will I know if it’s “the one”?
- Will my other half like it?
- Am I ready to commit yet?
- What can we actually afford?
It can feel like an impossible mission but I promise you it isn’t. You can and you will find your dream dress! I know I can help you to enjoy the process and to relish every minute of the experience by providing you with what I believe is a vital “do and don’t” guide to wedding dress shopping.
The wedding dress buying to do list
DO SOME RESEARCH!
It doesn’t matter how you do it, just as long as you do. To get some ideas on styles and materials, have a look at dresses online or buy a few bridal magazines to flick through. Talk to friends that are already married and ask for their advice. Read blogs or articles, watch wedding films or TV programmes – there are plenty to choose from!
You might even have a go at drawing up your own designs! I just really recommend having at least some idea on the kind of dresses you like, before you start shopping. Even getting up to speed with bridal jargon will make you feel more relaxed and confident. I remember being baffled by the word ‘tulle’ at first! It’s easy to feel overwhelmed but I can promise you that a bit of research helps.
DO LOOK AT A WIDE RANGE OF DRESSES FROM DIFFERENT SHOPS.
There’s something special about trying on more unique dresses – even if you’re just sampling them! If you’re ordering some dresses online to try at home, then make sure you order several different styles from a range of places. You could be missing out on unexpectedly finding your dream dress if you order the same type from the same place!
Don’t underestimate or overlook any retailers either – you really do never know where your dream dress might be. Keep your eyes and mind open!
Although it’s great to have an idea of what you like, be willing to take advice and suggestions from other people too! I had a very specific idea of the kind of dress I wanted and I ended up buying the complete opposite.
A bridal assistant chose it for me as she believed it would suit my body shape and type. She was absolutely right and that dress was the only one to make my mum cry.
If someone you love cries when you’re trying on, then the dress you’re wearing might well be ‘the one’!
DO WEAR DECENT UNDERWEAR WHEN TRYING THEM ON.
Think matching, ideally white or nude in colour, and a strapless bra if possible. Many wedding dresses are strapless and you won’t get a real feel for how they look if you’ve got visible straps.
Wearing nice underwear will also give you a confidence boost – after all, standing in front of a mirror in your undies tends not to be the ideal comfort zone! That said – if you are confident enough to go without a bra, then definitely do it!
DO TAKE PICTURES
Even if you’re certain that you’ll remember which dresses you tried on and how you felt about each one – I can assure you that you won’t. After the fourth or fifth dress, they begin to blend into one and you start to feel bombarded with designers, styles, colours and price tags.
You will feel far less clear on how you looked and what you thought. Taking pictures will really help you to remember what’s what and better still to see how you look from someone else’s point of view.
The THINGS TO AVOID
DON’T TAKE TOO MANY PEOPLE WITH YOU
The process of picking your wedding dress is very personal. You spend a significant amount of time in your underwear, asking whoever is with you to share their opinions on the dresses you’re choosing.
I went with my mum who was patient and honest, and I felt so comfortable. If there had been any more eyes watching me and more opinions being voiced, I know I would have felt self-conscious. I’d recommend having no more than two people with you – ideally just one.
DON’T TRY ON DRESSES THAT ARE OUT OF YOUR PRICE RANGE
There is no point in falling in love with one you can’t afford. The best way is to decide on a budget BEFORE you start to try on and make sure you vocalise it. It will save you heartache!
I did try dresses that were way out of my price range just to see how I felt in them. Luckily I didn’t like any. Looking back, it wasn’t the best move. If I’d have set my heart on one I couldn’t afford to buy, it would have ruined my experience. So I’d say don’t risk it.
DON’T FEEL PRESSURED TO PAY A DEPOSIT
If you’re even a tiny bit doubtful, make sure that you take some time to think. The last thing you want to do is put money towards something you’re not sure about and end up with a dress that you might grow to dislike. It’s important that you love it and that you smile whenever you think about it. This is probably the most expensive dress that you’ll ever buy, so don’t commit until you’re certain.
AND FINALLY, the number one wedding dress shopping tip
DON’T PUT TOO MUCH PRESSURE ON YOURSELF
Remember this is a special time and it’s meant to be fun. It’s vital and it can be nerve racking, but it’s also very exciting and important to keep smiling throughout. Enjoy every moment and remember that you WILL find your perfect dress. Don’t give up, and do enjoy!
BEX THE BLOGGER IS A FORMER BRIDE OF GAVIN JACOB POWER, AND GUEST WRITER ON THIS BLOG