Shopping for your perfect wedding dress may sometimes feel like a minefield, whether you’re just at the research stage, or a few shopping trips in having had no luck yet. With so many designers, styles, silhouettes, and bridal boutiques, it can be difficult to know where to focus your search, and how to get the most out of your appointments, so that everything is both enjoyable and super productive.
Often the best way to start is just to jump in and begin to figure out what you do and don’t like. However here are five things that aren’t so widely known, which might just help to make the search for your dream dress a little easier.
1. Research your style
The biggest bit of advice for any bride, is that if you have a certain style of dress in mind, it’s best to start researching which designers match your vision, and which boutiques may carry that brand. Whilst it’s still important to be open minded and try on things that you might not have usually considered, this way, you’re more likely to start somewhere that’s more in line with your vibe, style, and overall vision. It’ll also help to save you a lot of time and some potentially disappointing shopping trips. So start with Pinterest and gather your favourite designers and styles. Then, check where your nearest stockists are, and be sure to follow both the designers and stockists across all their social media channels for all their latest designs, inspo and best offers.
2. It’s ok to talk budget
It’s true that many bridal boutiques won’t broach the subject of money with you, mainly because they don’t want to put you off. But if there’s a certain price range that you need to stick to, don’t be afraid to say, “By the way, I’m hoping to stay around this amount”, as this will help your consultant point you in the right direction. Equally it’s absolutely ok to get in touch and say, “I’m hoping to find something in your sample sale”, and find out when that will be – you might just snap something up for as much as 50-70% off!
3. You’ll suit more than you think
A well-made, fully tailored wedding dress can be like underwear, shapewear and outerwear in one! For example, whilst you might not usually wear something so figure hugging in every day life, a fully lined fitted wedding dress with inner sculpting and a relaxed material, may actually be very flattering on you.
As well as trying on a few silhouettes (i.e. ball gown, a-line, mermaid, sheath) to understand which type you feel most comfortable in, it’s also important to note which type of material works best for you. Some dresses have more stretch in them, which can work better for hugging and flattering you perfectly. Other dresses can be more sculpted across the entire bodice and hips, which on one hand can be great for giving you extra control, but on the other hand may feel restricting to some brides. So do take a moment to think about how you feel when you move in your dress. And don’t forget to try sitting down in it too!
When it comes to necklines and back styles, now is your chance to really try some styles that you’d never usually opt for in your day-to-day wardrobe. A lot of dresses will come with standard bra cups in place. But if you usually need a little more support, do ask if these can be removed, as most seamstresses will be able to insert a sturdier cup in your usual size, with what almost contains a little shelf to keep you firmly in place without needing a bra. This can now open up a whole new realm of possibilities for more daring back styles that you may never have usually dreamed of! Equally if you prefer a little more shape and volume in your cups, this can almost always be added in too. So be honest with your consultant about where and how you like to be held, sculpted, boosted or secured – and they’ll be full of the best ideas and advice on tailoring your dress just for you.
4. Shapewear opens up more possibilities
Getting the foundations right under your dress can be so important for the way it looks. For instance, the wrong pair of briefs creating an obvious line can instantly put you off a dress. But a smooth pair of high-waisted, thigh length shape shorts with plenty of stretch can help to create a smooth base to allow a dress to drape beautifully over you. You may not feel you need to go down this route, and that’s ok too. But if you do, know that it’s totally ok to take your shapewear to your appointment, and see each dress in the best possible light.
5. You can often tailor your design
Brides often see a dress which would be perfect for them, if the design could just be altered ever so slightly. For instance adding a little cap sleeve, or if the neckline wasn’t so plunging, or maybe if it had a little more embellishment. Our advice is to just ask your consultant what is possible. You can often order an extra length of fabric, lace or applique (designer dependent), to allow your seamstress to craft little extras. And don’t forget that a lot of dresses come in a few colours too (e.g. ivory/ ivory-nude/ blush) – it might just be that this particular boutique only holds one colour. So if you see a dress that you love, and that you’d love even more with a few small tweaks, just ask about your options. You might just be surprised. But of course if you’re starting to make too many tweaks, this may eat into your budget more than you’d planned, and it could be wise to find a dress which is already perfect just as it is.
Wishing you the best of luck
Everyone’s bridal shopping experiences and expectations are different, but ultimately it should be relaxed, enjoyable and something that you remember for a long time to come. Hopefully this advice helps you along your way to finding your perfect wedding dress. Do follow our social channels for more open and honest wedding inspo and insight. Here’s to saying ‘I do’.