Admit it, from the first moment you fashioned a make-believe veil out of your granny’s lace table cloth, you’ve pretty much been fantasising about your dream wedding dress ever since! With that in mind, it’s unsurprising that the wedding dress shopping process and the pressure to find a glorious gown can leave many a bride-to-be screaming “pour me a large wine” when it comes to wedding dress shopping time.
Fear not though as Team Fuze have compiled some handy and helpful hints that will take you from stressed to dressed in no time at all:-
Know what you want
Wedding dress shopping can be like looking for a needle in a haystack unless you have a rough idea of what you love and loathe. Doing lots of research before you go shopping is paramount so start by looking online or in bridal magazines to identify wedding dress styles that will flatter your shape and shortlist your favourite dress features. When you have a general idea of what your wedding dress should be like, your consultant at the boutique will be able to direct you towards the right gowns. Plus, they’ll also appreciate clear input so they don’t have to haul a bunch of gowns out that you’re not going to like!
Book an appointment before you visit
Remember, most wedding boutiques are appointment only and even if a boutique can accommodate you without an appointment, it is beneficial for both parties when you have one. When you book an appointment, the boutique assigns you a bridal consultant who will dedicate time and effort to your service during the specified time. This will help you avoid a long wait, especially during peak times.
Discuss the budget upfront
It is sensible to plan your wedding dress budget prior to your appointment. Your budget should also account for additional expenses like alterations and accessories. Tell your consultant the maximum amount you can afford to spend on your dress, this means she can pick dresses for you to try on accordingly. Avoid looking at dresses that are above your budget, just incase you fall in love with a dress that you cannot afford. It’s heart-breaking.
Limit your entourage
Give due thought to who’s coming along with you. Limit the party to two or three close friends or relatives who can positively contribute to your shopping experience. Too many people can lead to too many opinions and this can often cause confusion and chaos. You may jeopardise your chances of making the right decision when there are differing opinions. So, only invite those who share your taste in fashion, are supportive and can give honest and constructive opinions.
Take along the essentials
Your bridal consultant will help you in and out of dresses so wear decent underwear to avoid any embarrassment! It’s also advisable to take along a number of bra styles so you can get a true picture of how certain dresses will look without being put off by unruly straps. If possible, wear shoes with the same heel height as you intend to use on your big day. Also, take along any accessories you plan to wear for your wedding to make sure you pick a gown that looks good with it.
Keep your makeup relevant and light
If you have been inspired by a particular wedding makeup look, then it’s a good idea to wear similar shades when you’re trying on dresses. Be warned though, although you will be trying on floor samples, take care to avoid staining your dress with makeup. Keep your makeup light and make sure it has set before you start trying dresses on. Remember that boutiques will have to get the stains out of the dress if your lipstick or mascara transfers to the dress. So stay away from that red, glossy lipstick or fake tan on the day you go shopping to avoid an accident.
Take a photo of yourself
Not all bridal boutiques allow brides to take pictures, this is usually to prevent copying the designs and styles if you decide to make your own dress elsewhere. It’s definitely helpful to see yourself on camera in order to get a accurate idea of how you look in a specific dress so ask your consultant if it’s okay before you begin your own personal photoshoot.
Be honest about what you feel about a dress
Bridal consultants don’t know you personally and will rely on your input and feedback to pick dresses for you to try on. In your attempt to be polite, don’t be reluctant to share your feedback about a dress that you aren’t happy with. Share your true feelings and tell your bridal consultant what you like or do not like in a dress. By comparing your feedback on the different dresses you have tried on, your consultant will be able to narrow down choices to ones that you may actually end up buying.
Shop with an open mind
Although you will probably have an idea of how your wedding dress will look, don’t be too particular about every detail. Remember that your dress should not only fit your budget, it should be practical, pretty and flatter your figure. So, be flexible and try out different options, including ones that you hadn’t originally considered. Some dresses look better when worn than they do on a hanger and your consultant has the expertise to recognise such dresses. So, if he/she suggests a dress that doesn’t have hanger-appeal, don’t reject it immediately. Try it on, and you may actually like it! Shop with an open mind and you can improve your chances of finding your dream dress sooner.
All photographs are from Glasgow-based wedding dress designer/creator extraordinaire, Flossy and Dossy!