Today we are looking at wedding dress buying. Here are today’s hints and tips
Starting your search for “the one” can sometimes be a daunting task. With the internet offering so much inspiration and options for your big day it can sometimes be hard to know where to start.
Here’s 10 top tips I’ve put together to help ease the stress and confusion when searching for your perfect wedding dress.
1. Set a Budget
First things first. Wedding dresses are expensive. A lot of work goes into them, the average ball gown style dress has approximately 40-50 metres in it, and good quality fabric costs. Depending on what you’re looking for, anywhere from £1500 to £5000 is usual. So be realistic about what you can afford, and stick to it! Once you have a budget you can work out where to start. Every boutique has their own price range, it might be worth ringing around to see which fits into your budget. Bespoke designers often won’t list prices as each design is unique, but they will be able to tell you their starting prices.
Most brides can frequently get quite nervous when wedding dress shopping; it’s a completely different experience to a normal shopping trip so it’s not surprising it might feel a little daunting. Remember that this is supposed to be fun and exciting, designers and sales assistants are there to help and guide you in this experience; don’t be afraid to ask questions!
2. Don’t try too many styles at once
The more you try in one session the more confused you’re likely to get. 5-10 dresses are a good place to start. At my design studio we have skirts and corsets you can try with a range of fabrics that can be draped and pinned to create different styles. Often we will sketch different ideas and options for each style, for this option choosing 3-5 designs is your best place to start.
3. Take only your besties
It might be tempting to take a gaggle of girlfriends dress shopping, but often it can lead to confusing, conflicting opinions which might actually hinder rather than help. Take just 1 or 2 of your closest friends and relatives whose opinions you value, you can always bring along others at a later fitting.
4. Wear the correct undergarments
Its best if you can wear your wedding day lingerie and shoes to each of your fittings, you may not have decided on this yet but it’s important, so make sure you wear something as similar as possible. Heel height is very important too, different shoes can affect your posture and the overall fit of your dress!
5. Think about you
Are you self-conscious about your tummy? Or your arms? Rouching is great for the middle area, think sleeves for arms. Asymmetric gowns can minimise hips, whilst A-line gowns can add to the hip line. Corsets can create a curvy silhouette – even if you don’t have one!
6. Consider fabrics
If you’re getting married in the middle of August, that duchess satin ball gown might just cause you to melt. Think light natural fibres, silks and cottons, for summer. Winter is a great time for accessorizing as you can layer – why not try a faux fur jacket and red lips for that bit of Hollywood glamour.
7. Take notes
After your first appointment, go for a coffee, have a chat about what you’ve just tried on and make notes. What did you love? What did you hate? Keep the names of the designers you tried. Does a pattern immerge? Perhaps you’re favouring floral details, or one particular designer. Be aware that most boutiques will not allow photography; this is usually due to copyright issues, so notes are important! This isn’t usually the case with bespoke designers, although they are unlikely to let you take pictures of their sketches. As part of our bespoke service we also offer a photographic diary of your dresses creation, from first pattern to final fitting, we can document your whole bespoke experience for you reminisce over for years to come!
8. Do some research
Once you have an idea of what styles/designers you like, surf the web for dresses that match your preferences and stores that stock them. Going to every local dress shop and trying on hundreds of random styles is more likely to confuse and cause you to forget what you liked in the first place.
9. Check costs
Remember to ask whether alterations are included in the cost of the dress. Some bridal shops do include alterations, but most don’t as they usually outsource alterations to their seamstresses, which come as a separate cost. This doesn’t apply to bespoke gowns as they are made to fit you from the beginning, so there is only one price.
10. Be prepared that there might not be “the one”
Not every bride will experience the spine tingling moment that is so over-hyped in films. This is one of the most important days of your life and 101 things will bound to be contributing to your decision. There might be 3 you love and any one would do. Or you might not find anything, which whilst disheartening doesn’t mean you have to give up! Everyone is different and not everybody’s needs are going to be covered by bridal shops. There’s more out in the wedding-world than you might think, try thinking outside the box (what about genuine vintage?) or perhaps think about bespoke.
As a final note, remember that wedding dress shopping is just one of the many exciting things in the lead up to your big day, relax and enjoy the experience!