9 top tips for choosing your wedding dress
In my post ‘7 things you need to do 12 months before your wedding’ I talked about reaching the stage in your Wedding planning where you begin to look at wedding dresses and get ideas. In this post i’m going to go into lots more detail and give hints and tips on finding your perfect wedding dress.
Firstly though, i’ll let you in on a little secret. I never visited any bridal shops whatsoever or tried any dresses on! I just wasn’t interested in doing this and preferred to shop from the comfort of my own home via the internet. As soon as we got engaged I started to look for ideas online and checked out all the major bridal designers and popular websites. I originally wanted something quite traditional, a strapless dress with quite a big skirt on the bottom. I looked on ebay too and searched through thousands of different designs until eventually I found ‘the one’. It was quite a bit different to what I originally wanted as it was a slim A-line gown with lots of lace and detailing which I thought was more suited to our hotel wedding. A ‘massive’ dress just wouldn’t have looked right.
The dress was very different from anything else i’d seen and oozed glamour and sophistication, I fell in love with it. I checked out the seller’s feedback which was excellent and decided to take the plunge as the dress was only going to cost about £240 including shipping and would be custom made to my measurements. I didn’t want to be spending more than £300 on a dress i’d only ever wear once as to me this is just ludicrous! So I liaised with the seller and was very happy with their communication, gave them my measurements (although they do make the dress 2 sizes bigger with it being a fitted style) and the work on my dress began. At each stage they would email me a photo to show how they were progressing which I thought was fantastic. They then emailed me a photo of the end result and it looked amazing.
The dress arrived 1 week before the wedding (my own fault for ordering quite late, I recommend ordering your dress so it arrives at least a couple of months before the wedding) and I was absolutely over the moon with it, the quality and attention to detail was amazing and it fitted like a glove, I was so happy with my choice. The only thing I had to do was have it professionally dry cleaned as it was quite creased with being folded, but once this had been done it looked even more amazing, just perfect.
Now, the main point I wanted to make is that you could do what I did and order your dress online and have it made for you, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that. I find it really annoying when people out there (mainly bridal shop owners & designers!) try to scaremonger you by telling you that if you order a dress from ebay, China or such like that it will turn out to be a disaster and will be poor quality. Yes, there’s always a risk involved when ordering anything online and we do hear of some horror stories, that’s why it’s so important to do lots of research like I did to avoid any potential disaster. Afterall, this is your wedding dress and the most important dress you’ll ever wear in your life, but please don’t believe that you have to spend a fortune on a dress from a designer bridal shop, because you don’t! I know lots of people who ordered their wedding dress online and all had a very good experience. I did the same with the bridesmaid dresses. I ordered them all from lightinthebox.com and they were very well made and a fantastic price too, think I paid £55 each for them which included shipping and £30 for the flowergirl dresses. I just couldn’t fault the quality at all, they were gorgeous. So if you want to save a lot of money and hassle and have something custom made for you then this is a good option providing you do your research.
But of course there are other options if like me you are a bride on a budget. There are more and more budget bridal shops opening up all over the place where you can save £100′s on designer prices. There didn’t seem to be anything like this around when I was due to get married, perhaps if there was I would have gone and had a look and maybe tried some dresses on. There are also websites that sell 2nd hand wedding dresses which is another fantastic way to save money and recycle. Then there are some wonderful vintage dress shops where you can find something really unique and at a bargain price.
So here are my 9 top tips for choosing your wedding dress!
The first thing you need to do when it comes to shopping for your dress is to set a budget. For example, I didn’t want to spend over £300. So try not to look at dresses that are out of your price range. Look at the top of the range gowns purely as inspiration for a less expensive design.
Next, choose a style you like. Like me, you will probably keep changing your mind the more dresses you look at, so this is why it’s important to really take your time and not rush into anything. So flick through wedding magazines and surf the internet to get ideas on the styles of dresses you like and you think would suit you. Also consider your venue and the time of year you’ll be getting married as this will help you decide on a style.
Make sure also that the dress you like and the bridesmaids dresses tie in with the theme and colours of your wedding as a whole.
And If you’ve made up your mind to buy your wedding dress from a bridal shop, then here are some more top tips:-
4. Book appointments early
If you have your heart set on wedding dresses by a certain designer then make sure you book an appointment with them or you find out which bridal shops stock their designs and book appointments with them as early as you can to avoid any disappointment.
5. Take a friend or two
Try to take a maximum of 2 people with you to any appointments like a best friend or your mum who will be able to help you and give you some feeedback. Don’t be tempted to take more than 2 people as it could make things quite stressful, confusing & overwhelming for you and even for them.
6. Have an open mind
Try a wide range of different styles of wedding dresses on to compare. You may be surprised with the results. Dresses look completely different on the hanger to when you’re wearing them, so the dress you initially fall in love with on the hanger you may find you don’t actually like once you’ve tried it on. So be open minded as something you wouldn’t think you would actually like or suit may just be the one!
7. Don’t rush your decision
Take your time and don’t make any hasty decisions. Allow yourself plenty of time to try different styles. As I mentioned before, you may change your mind a few times in the process. Once you see ‘the one’ you will know instantly, but still, to be sure you need to go away and think about it. Just don’t leave it too long and risk missing out on your dream dress!
8. Think about accessories
Are you going to want to wear a veil with your dress or not? If so, try one on with the dress to see how it looks. Or you may just want to wear a tiara for example, so ask to try one on. Try different shoes on to see what style would go best with your dress. Maybe try on some jewellery too to get an idea of the overall look you want to achieve.
9. Be confident in your choice
When you’re confident you’ve found ‘the one’ and you’re happy with your choice then don’t be tempted to try any more on. Focus on finding all the other bits you’ll need like underwear, shoes and accessories.
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