Brides, your time has come. You’re about to go wedding dress shopping! Want to make sure you’re super prepared and you end up with the dress of your dreams? Then take a look at our fabulous wedding dress shopping tips – these will help you to feel informed and prepared.
Bonus: you’ll avoid feeling overwhelmed and stressed!
1. Do your research
Take your time scrolling through Pinterest, Instagram and look at real brides in their wedding dress. Save all the dresses you like.
Then look out for things these dresses have in common. Are you drawn to lace? Maybe the dresses you’ve saved are all boho? Whatever the common theme, take note!
2. Have an open mind
You’d be surprised to hear that so many brides have a very specific idea of what they’d like to wear, but once they’ve actually tried it on, they just aren’t feeling it. This is why it’s so important to have an open mind!
Try on styles you don’t necessarily love, because you may find yourself head over heels for a dress that surprises you!
3. Buy a dress in your size
Seems obvious, right? Please take our advice and buy a wedding dress that’s actually in your size. Don’t buy a dress that’s too small so you can lose weight and fit into it. Talk about pressure you don’t need.
4. Start soon
You might love the first dress you try on and it may be your exact size. More realistically, you may need to try on multiple dresses and have your altered. Give yourself four to eight months so you aren’t stressed about finding your wedding dress.
5. …but not too soon
For anybody having a long engagement, we recommend waiting a little bit before wedding dress shopping. If you start too soon you may select a gorgeous dress that’s out of style or doesn’t fit you properly anymore when it gets to your Big Day.
6. Know your budget
Wedding budgets aren’t very sexy but they’re super important. Before you walk into a wedding dress boutique, you need to know what your budget is!
7. Pick a theme
I’d go as far as saying you should have your venue secure before buying a wedding dress. The venue and theme have an impact on the type of wedding dress you’ll want to wear. Opting for a relaxed garden wedding? Perhaps that big ball gown you had in mind isn’t a great idea.
8. Remember the season
Tying the knot in winter? You may be drawn to long sleeves and faux fur. But if you’re getting married in the heat of summer, you may prefer a strapless dress or something tea-length!
9. Consider the other costs
Your wedding dress budget should also have a little bit of space for other items. We’re talking about your veil, jewellery, shoes, alterations and wedding gown cleaning.
10. Find your perfect boutique
TRY THIS: Wedding Dress Finder
11. Make an appointment
Wedding dress shopping isn’t the same as walking into H&M and trying on a few pairs of jeans. You’re buying the most beautiful dress you’ll ever own and the bridal boutique owners want to make this experience memorable.
So make an appointment ahead of time and come prepared (more on this later).
12. Describe your perfect dress
Find the words (and bring photos) to help describe the types of dresses you’d like to try on.
Here are some words to help you: vintage, romantic, glamorous, boho, form-fitted, lacy, embellished…
13. Give yourself plenty of time
Don’t expect to be in and out within 15 minutes. You’ll be trying on multiple wedding gowns, so this isn’t the appointment to squeeze in between errands. Give yourself a couple of hours so you aren’t rushed.
14. Take the right people with you
You might love them, but you don’t need your entire entourage with you. If you’ve ever tried to get more than four people to agree on where to eat dinner, you’ll understand that ‘the more the merrier’ simply isn’t true when it comes to trying on wedding dresses.
15. Pack the correct underwear
Our editor may or may not have gone wedding dress shopping in an ill-fitting pair of neon blue knickers and probably still regrets it.
Here’s what you should do instead: wear underwear that fits you comfortably and won’t stick out in a strapless or tight-fitting dress.
16. Know your silhouette
Understanding your body type and the names of wedding dress shapes will help you to walk into your appointment feeling informed!
17. Bring your heels
You want to see what your wedding dress will look like while you’re at the height you will be on your Big Day. Plan on wearing heels? Bring them with you (or at least a pair of heels that’s roughly the same height you’ll choose once you select your wedding shoes).
18. Don’t try on dresses outside of your budget
Say it louder for the people at the back: don’t try on dresses outside of your budget.
There’s nothing good that can come from this!
19. Look pretty
Seriously, if you arrive at your wedding dress appointment with dirty hair, no makeup and ratty clothes, you won’t feel your best. Instead, take time to style your hair and put on a little bit of makeup. You don’t have to go all out, but you want to feel confident before you even try on a single dress.
20. Sit in your dress
Once you think you’ve found ‘the one’, wear your dress in different positions. Walk, sit, dance and prance. You want to make sure the dress will be comfortable in all positions!
21. Make sure you love it
Before you dish out any cash, make sure you love your wedding dress. If you don’t, put it back and try on more or come back later.
22. Once you’ve found ‘the one’, stop shopping
Now that you’ve found your gorgeous wedding dress, buy it and stop shopping! There’s nothing good that can come from this, trust us.