Choosing Your Wedding Dress
Beautiful Wedding Dresses | Wedding Planning | Tips For Brides
Set your wedding budget early on
Although tempting try not to waste time choosing your wedding dress that is out of your price range. You’re better off homing in on your price point so you can spend more time editing down the amazing options you can actually afford. Remember, choosing your wedding dress budget doesn’t just include the dress but also the cost of alterations, and shipping fees if applicable—plus your veil, shoes, lingerie and jewellery, which can add up quickly.
Timing is crucial
You’ll need at least six to eight months to find your beautiful wedding dress—and that’s if you’re really decisive. If you’re a picky shopper or don’t really know what you want, start looking 8 to 10 months before your wedding. Custom wedding dresses take six to eight months to create on average, and heavily embellished ones can take up to a year. Why so much time? A muslin version of a custom dress is created before the actual dress to guarantee a perfect fit. So give yourself a cushion—if you put dress shopping off for too long, your selection of dresses could be limited or you might make a quick decision you may regret later. Once you’ve found THE dress, it will take at least eight weeks to make alterations.
Find Out What You Like | Wedding Dress Styles
Take cues from your reception venue, the season and the time of day you’re getting married to help narrow down your dress style. Rule out fabrics and silhouettes that won’t work (for example, a bulky ball gown is probably not the best fit for a midday beach destination wedding) and consider what styles will flatter your shape. Also go and check out your wedding photographers website, they’ll be a good selection of images from lots of previous weddings that have been captured, including their Pinterest boards. There are some amazing wedding dress designers, so take your time.
Don’t bring an entourage
We know it’s the most important dress you’ll ever wear, and you want to make sure it’s absolutely perfect. But having 10 different opinions makes it much harder to come to a consensus—and it can bring you farther away from what you actually want. It’s your day remember!
Call in Advance
Just because a shop carries your favourite designer doesn’t mean it’ll have the exact dress you’ve been dying to try on. If you drop them a line beforehand and request a specific style, chances are the salon will be able to call in a sample of that gown especially for you. While you may get lucky and snag a salesperson just by walking in, scheduling an appointment guarantees you’ll get a full hour of undivided attention. Plus, many shops require you to book an appointment in order to try on dresses, so you’ll want to call ahead.
When choosing your wedding dress try not to be too tempted by the lure of your dream designer gown for big discounts. Sample sales are popular among brides, but you must keep in mind that you are typically truly purchasing just that — a sample.
The dress may have been tried on by hundreds of brides and could have been torn, stained, or otherwise damaged during the process. Before making a purchase, check the dress very carefully for any damage—and if there’s anything that can’t easily be fixed, put it back. Some brides end up spending hundreds in alterations to fix what’s wrong with the sample when they could’ve found a similar brand new dress for not much more money.
(Image above taken at Bellows Mill in Leighton Buzzard | Leighton Buzzard Weddings)
Choose What Time To Shop | Wedding Dresses
Saturday afternoons are the most popular times to shop for a wedding dress, which actually makes them the worst. Instead, consider taking off a half day from work to shop on a random Tuesday or Wednesday morning when it’s likely to be less crowded. Go for lunch, takes some magazines and links to various websites for reference.
Not only does a calm store mean a more personalized shopping experience, consultants will also most likely be fresher earlier in the day and able to offer you more of their attention. If you’re shopping a sample sale, do yourself a favour and skip the first day. Call ahead to ask how many days the sale will run, then go a little later in the week—don’t worry, there will still be plenty of stock.
Buying a Wedding Dress That Fits Now
Even if you’re planning on focusing on your health and fitness in a big way before your wedding, your body type isn’t going to completely change. Besides, it’s a lot easier (not to mention less expensive) to take a gown in than to try and make a too-small dress work.
Bring Your Accessories
While most shops will have shoes and a slip on hand for you to try on when choosing your wedding dress, you should still come prepared with a nude bra and underwear for the fittings.
Read the Fine Print
When you order your dress from a shop, it’s important to triple-check the contract. Read it carefully, so you don’t end up with the wrong size or colour—and get the designer, style number, measurements, delivery date, price of the gown and number of fittings, as well as the deposit amount, all in writing.
Trust Your Instincts
If you have to be reassured the dress looks great on you, it’s probably not the dress for you. If you can’t see yourself walking down the aisle in it, move on. When you find the right dress, you’ll know—you won’t want to put on anything else.
Ask your wedding photographer to join you?
I recently attended 2 dress fittings with brides in Woburn. It really worked and started the story even earlier. Being a photographer in Milton Keynes I was able to arrive at the local shop within 20 mins to capture the reaction of the bride when trying on her dress and the reaction from those close to them.
Don’t forget to have fun when choosing your wedding dress! It’s the start of a magic few months.
Some information were sources of (Bridal Guide and The Knot respectively)