The Ultimate Wedding Dress Shopping Guide
A wedding dress …It’s a dress you only wear once and yet it’s probably the most important, symbolic dress you’ll ever wear in your life. A dress you’ve probably thought about since you were a little girl and up until this moment only ever imagined what you’d look like walking down the aisle in it. Now the time is finally here for you to start looking for your perfect dress. The dress that fills you with emotion when you try it on. The dress makes you feel like your the only girl in the world when you look into the mirror.
Dressing To Suit Your Wedding Scene
By this point you probably have already got a date for your wedding day and determined your wedding location. These are very important factors when thinking about the type and style of wedding dress you’d like to wear.
You might be having a Winter Wedding so the temperature might be pretty cool on the day you marry. Therefore you could go for wedding dresses that have a thicker material, more layers or features a lot of lace around the upper body. You could even wear a long sleeved dress as some dresses have gorgeous designs of lace running down the arm and high up on the neck. Due to the usually fitted nature of a wedding dress especially around your waist and torso where corsets are sometimes worn, a long sleeved wedding dress and high laced neck will add to that warmth. So if your wedding day is taking place in the winter months this style of dress is certainly an option.
When choosing a dress for a Summer wedding or a wedding taking place abroad in a hot environment especially if the ceremony is an outdoor event, the style of dress you wear has to consider these factors. You don’t want to end up fainting halfway through the ceremony with heat exhaustion ! You want to feel comfortable in your wedding dress and not feel like a hot sweaty mess as you walk down the aisle. So a more flowy, light material would be recommended with a sleeveless or short sleeved design. It would be a good idea to steer away from trying on wedding dresses that have a thick or heavy material that would make you uncomfortably hot in an tropical setting.
Shop At The Same Time Of Year
Bridal Wear shops stock their dresses just like other clothing shops in the sense that the dresses reflect the current season. Therefore it’s best for brides to shop for their wedding dress in the same season as their wedding day. Albeit not in the same year though as this is normally too late for bridal wear shops to tailor order you dress in time for the wedding. Shopping for your wedding dress the year before is a good idea. This leaves enough time for the dress to be ordered and for any alterations to be made running up to your wedding day. The other benefit is you will be shopping in the same season as your wedding day.
You also want to make sure you do not shop too far in advance for your wedding dress. Shopping any earlier than a year before your wedding isn’t recommended. This is because bridal wear is like any other fashion item where styles are constantly changing and updating to remain fresh and current in the industry.
The important thing to remember when starting your search for a wedding dress is to make note of the styles and designs you like. This is your wedding day and it will only happen once. You’ve dreamed of this day since you were a little girl and you’ll have countless photos to look back on to remember this special moment in your life. Make sure you do it justice and pick a dress you love. Don’t be swayed by what other people think especially when you believe you’ve find the one you want.
Love Your Shape
The first thing to work out when thinking about the style of wedding dress you’d like to wear is what what would suit you and your body. It is important to keep this in mind when trying on wedding dresses.
Every woman has their own unique shape and each and every one of you will have an awareness of your body’s beautiful curves and assets. Each and every one of you will have your own way of dressing to accentuate certain parts of your body. So when it comes to picking a dress for your wedding day, one of the most important days of your life, you may want to start thinking about parts of your body you’d like to show off. At the same time you may want to think about parts of your body you may wish to cover. This will help you determine what style of wedding dress you’ll go for.
As we said, here at The Wedding Venue Scotland we know that every woman’s body is beautiful and unique to you. Embrace what you’ve been blessed with and love your amazing, natural bodily curves. We don’t like to classify woman’s bodies into specific body shapes but it is worth taking note, if only just loosely, of your body shape. You’ll certainly better serve yourself when searching for your ideal wedding dress by doing this. You may already know your type of body shape but we have made a quick guide for those of you who don’t know or aren’t too sure. Have a read of our Wedding Dresses & Your Body Shape guide to determine yours.
Wedding Dress Budget
Figuring out the maximum amount you wish to spend on your wedding dress before beginning your search is advisable. The good thing is that there are so many bridal wear retailers wishing your business both online and in store. So whatever your budget, you’ll be sure to find the wedding dress you’ve been looking for. No matter how big or limited your budget is, with just a little time and research you will find a dress that makes you feel like a goddess from the moment you try it on. Every woman deserves the feeling of taking their guests breath away as the first step down the aisle is taken.
Wedding Dress Alterations
Your wedding dress will most likely require at least minor alterations on the run up to your big day. Make sure you keep this in mind when calculating your wedding dress budget and leave aside some cash for alterations. If you are on a limited budget then it is probably quite important to take note of what your wedding dress budget includes. Does it include solely your wedding dress or does it include your veil, alteration costs, undergarments etc. The more honest you are with yourself about what your budget entails at the planning stage will be of a big help to you. You’ll thank yourself for breaking everything down to the finer details as your wedding day draws closer when different costs are popping up here, there and everywhere.
It might be helpful to ask your friends especially those who are married for any recommendations for bridal shops in your area. They could advise you on the cost that some bridal shops charge. They can also give an account of their experience when they attended their appointment at particular bridal stores. As coming from a trusted friend might be worth noting.
Online Wedding Dress Shopping
Online bridal wear retailers are becoming increasingly popular. If you are wishing to stick to a certain budget, online shopping is an easy way to shop only for wedding dresses within your budget. Even if you plan to attend bridal shop appointments in your area and purchase your dress in a store it still is helpful to do your research online before you go. This will mean you have a bit of an idea of what you are looking for and what your preferences are beforehand.
Online research is also helpful if you decide you would like a dress made of a certain material or with specific embellishment details on your dress. As you can find out what material and design features are within your budget quickly and easily online. This will help towards envisioning what your ideal dress will look like.
Research Bridal Shops and Book Bridal Appointments
A few recommendations from friends and family regarding good bridal shops sets you off on a good path. In addition, you can also do your own research online to find some local bridal stores in your area.
Plan to book your bridal appointments for attending them a year in advance of your wedding date. This means you’ll be shopping in the same season as your wedding. Leaving plenty of time for the bridal shop to order and make your dress. It also leaves plenty of time for making any necessary alterations before the wedding. Some bridal stores only allow bookings to be made a few months in advance so make sure you work out when you would like to attend each appointment. It’s a good idea to check when the friends and family you plan to take with you are free so you can book a time and date that suits them also.
What To Take With You
It’s helpful to prepare a few things beforehand to help you get the most out of your bridal appointments. First of all, you might want to consider the fact that you’ll be dressing and undressing in front of your bridal party and more importantly in front of the bridal staff. So make sure you think about whether you own a decent set of white bra and knickers. Have a think about whether you would prefer wearing a pair of knickers that covers your bum instead of a thong to keep your modesty. Or whether a strapless bra would look better for trying on dresses. Every woman’s body is beautiful we aren’t denying that so whatever you feel most comfortable wearing in front of friendly bridal staff then go with that. The most important thing is you feel relaxed and at ease at the appointment.
If you find you do not own a decent set of white bra and underpants then consider investing in a pair. Marks and Spencer’s offer quality lingerie at great value so it won’t set you back much and you’ll feel much more comfortable bearing your body in a nice new underwear set. A few days before your bridal appointment make sure the underwear set you plan on wearing is clean and ready to wear. Rummaging through your knicker drawer looking for a clean pair of white knickers on the day of your appointment will only get you stressed and nervous. Limit the anxiety with a bit of preparation and it will get your day off to a good start.
Who To Take With You
Another important aspect of wedding dress shopping is deciding who to take with you. It is not recommended to attend bridal appointments on your own as you most likely will want someone else’s opinion on the dresses you try on. The bridal shops you attend will have experienced staff at hand offering their expert advice more often than not. Though, you’ll be much better served having a family member or close friend who knows you well to offer you support and their opinion when you need it. Let’s face it, you want to have all the help you can get to make a big decision like picking your wedding dress.
Have a good think about who to take with you to your appointment and try to limit it to 2 or 3 people. Bridal shops aren’t the biggest and bringing a crowd could be distracting for you and the staff. Remember, this day is all about you so let’s leave out Auntie Anne, Cousin Claire and the rest of the gang for this intimate event. Maybe concentrate on the people closest to you like your Mum and Maid Of Honour.
On the day, make sure your phone is charged so your photographer (aka your Maid Of Honour) can take photos of you in the dresses you like. This might come in handy at a later date when you are stuck between two dresses and need to look back at the photos of each dress to remind yourself. However just to be polite, make sure you check with the bridal shop staff first that you can take photos of yourself in their dresses. Some shops stock exclusive designs and might prefer photos of some of the dresses aren’t taken.
Have Fun At Your Bridal Appointment
Throughout this guide we have mentioned important things to consider to help your wedding dress search easier. However, the one most important thing to keep in mind is to enjoy yourself and have fun as you shop. On a day you have bridal appointments booked why not book somewhere for lunch with your Maid Of honour and whoever else you are taking with you. Have a girls day out and enjoy a drink or two to celebrate this special time in your life.
Sharing these moments with the people you love are the memories you’ll cherish the most. Take your time to enjoy it all while it is here, you’ll be thankful you didn’t rush through it in the future.
If you would like to know more about what to expect when you attend a bridal appointment then have a read at our article ‘Bridal Appointments & What To Expect’ for an in-depth guide.