Choosing a wedding dress should be the most exciting shopping experience of your life!
But for many brides, it can also be quite daunting, and for some it can strike fear in to their heart. Why? Because choosing a wedding dress is the single most important decision about a piece of clothing you’ll probably ever make. It has so many hopes and dreams attached to it, and as many emotions too. So how do you ensure that choosing a wedding dress is a positive experience? Let us give you some advice based on years of experience helping brides to choose the wedding dress of their dreams.
Even before you step through the door of a bridal shop, do your research. There are lots of wedding dress designers and hundreds of styles to choose from, but if you know a little about what you are looking for, it will help you choose the bridal store to visit. It may be helpful to start by choosing a theme and venue for your wedding, as these aspects of your day can influence the style of dress you are looking for. There are some fabulous national bridal magazines such as Brides and Wedding Ideas, and more local ones like Your West Midlands Wedding to help you with ideas. Each wedding dress designer will have a creative style and price range. Knowing which particular designers fit with your style and budget will give you a starting point.
Allow plenty of time
You can’t rush perfection. We carry a sample of each wedding dress style selected from our designer’s collection. The wedding dress you try on in our store will not be the one you wear on your wedding day. Your wedding dress will be ordered in especially for you, and this takes on average 3-5 months. Once your wedding dress arrives in store, you will be invited in for a Styling Appointment – this is when we work with you to achieve your overall desired look, with the help of our collection of accessories. From here we will discuss the fitting process. As you can see, we look after you the whole journey… right up to the day you collect your dress from us – unless you request our delivery and wedding day dressing service that is! In terms of timescales. some of our designers do offer rush cuts to reduce the delivery timescale, so it is always worth asking. To get the most choice and flexibility, ideally you should begin to look for your wedding dress 9-12 months before your wedding day.
For brides on a shorter timescale (5 months or less), please talk to us as soon as possible. The longer you leave it, the fewer option you will have. Typically, we can give you the choice of styles offered as rush cuts (usually 6-12 week delivery), selected sample dresses and sale gowns. The shortest timescale we have worked to is 2 weeks – so don’t worry all is not lost.
Given that most brides haven’t been bridal shopping before, it can be difficult to know where to start when choosing a wedding dress. We find the best place for you to start is your own wardrobe. Pick out your favourite dresses, the ones you feel fabulous and confident wearing, and take a look at the style. To avoid the situation where you are thinking but these dresses aren’t me at all, know what is you. Giving this information to your bridal consultant will help them pull out dresses that fit your style and flatter your bodyshape, and more importantly discount some of the obvious no no’s.
Be prepared for your appointment
It’s not only Brownies that need to be prepared – brides do too! To get the most out of your bridal appointment, bring the following with you when choosing a wedding dress:
- A couple of people whose opinion you value. Most brides need a second opinion, but too many opinions can be confusing.
- Natural coloured underwear, strapless and seamless is ideal. If you don’t have anything like this, don’t worry, we’ll cope.
Also be aware that if you find your dream wedding dress, in order to get the ball rolling, you will need to pay a non-refundable 50% deposit to place your order. If someone else is buying your wedding dress, if you can, include them in the shopping experience and bring them along to the appointment.
Know when to stop looking
How will I know when this is the one? This is a question many brides ask us when choosing a wedding dress, and because we are all different, it’s a very difficult one to answer. We’ve all been told, you’ll know the one when you find it. But not all brides experience the ‘big bang’ moment. Some brides feel the need to keep looking and trying, trying and looking expecting to step out in a dress that sends shivers down their spine and has their bridal party in tears. But this isn’t always what happens.
We say to brides, remember when you were single and came across Mr Right. For some it may have been love at first sight but for others it may have been more of a slow burn, a feeling that grew until you knew he was the one. Well that is similar to the feelings brides can experience when choosing a wedding dress. Once you have found a wedding dress that feels right, accentuates your best features and is an extension of your own style, thats the one! And then, do the same as when you found Mr Right… stop looking!