2

Feb

2010

Boho’s Tips on wedding dress shopping

Wedding Dress shopping is one of my favourite bits of the whole planning process; every girl loves to play dress up, right? Well some of us do, while others find the whole experience completely stressful, so much emphasise has been put on finding the perfect dress that it can be very daunting!
By following these simple bits of Boho advice the whole process should be made a lot easier for you.

Research:
Think about dresses that you normally wear and what style makes you feel good, most people have a good idea about what flatters them and what doesn’t. Also think about the bits of your body you like and you don’t like. If you like your neckline and shoulders, then maybe you want to show this area off more than say your waist?

Have a look through the wedding magazines and websites to look at styles and designers that you like, this will give you a better idea of where to start when you get into the shop.

If there is a specific designer that you like then find out who stocks it. Each dress shop will have a different selection of designers, especially if they are in the same city, so you need to find the right shop if you have your sights set on a certain designer.

Make an appointment:
Most shops especially on a Saturday will have an appointment only service. If you just want to pop in and have a look on a Saturday don’t think the shop staff are being rude if they don’t let you in, they are simply attending to the brides already in the shop.
Mid week doesn’t tend to be so bad and most shops are happy for you to just pop in if they are free they will see you.
But to save disappointment call the bridal shop before hand and find out what their appointment policy is

Take someone with you:
It’s always good to have someone with you when choosing your dress, but think very carefully about whom it is you want with you.
Think about whose opinion you value, who will tell it to you straight and has your best interest at heart. Sometimes taking you mum isn’t a good idea if she is going to talk you into something you don’t like.
Also try to take just one or two people with you. There is nothing worse than tacking all your bridesmaids and having a huge shouting match as no one can agree on the right dress for you. Remember it’s your day and you’re the one wearing it, no one else.

Set a Budget:
This is true for any part of your wedding planning, but very important when choosing the dress. You need to know how much you can afford before you go and try them all on; this will also dictate which bridal shops you go to.

Dress the part:
It’s always an idea to make an effort with your appearance the day you try dresses on. This will help to visualise how you will look on the day. If you already that your hair will be up or down, then wear it that way on the day, as it will give you a better idea of the whole ‘look’. Put some make up on, even some fake tan, so you know what the dress will look like once you have had your bridal pamper.
Also take shoes with you and make sure you have good underwear on. You are not gong to feel bridal like with your old grey saggy knickers on!

Take a camera and notebook:
Some shops don’t like you tacking pictures of the dresses, but most are OK, ALWAYS ask first though! If you are unsure about a dress it is always good to look at your own picture the day after instead of trying to use your memory! Also if you do find ‘The’ Dress then it’s always good to get a picture of it so you can match up your accessories.
A pen and paper will help you as well to keep notes of each dress, price style numbers etc.

Make sure you leave enough time:
Most dress shops work with very long lead times, the dress you try on in the shop won’t be the dress you buy (unless it’s in the sale) Once you have chosen your dress it will normally need to be ordered in so you can then have your fitting, either that or your measurements taken so it can me made to your size. This whole process can take about 6 – 9 months, so leaving the dress shopping to the last minute could leave you disappointed!

Get a recommendation:
It’s always a good idea to ask friends and family about certain dress shops. It’s always good to get a recommendation about the service, the staff and the quality before you spend your money there.

Be open minded:You may have a clear idea in your head what you want, but try on as many different styles as you can. Most brides will tell you that the dress they chose was nothing like the dress they imagined they would wear. Try on different styles and see what suites you the most, don’t choose something because it is fashionable, choose it because it makes you feel like a million dollars and is comfortable.

Alterations:
Most dresses will need to be altered, and most of the time this price isn’t included in the price of the dress. Find out exactly how much this is before you commit to anything.

Style of the day:
Think about the style of your day and the venue when trying on your dress. You dress needs to fit the theme, however sometimes it will be your dress that depicts the theme. If your getting married in a big castle, then maybe a more traditional full on wedding dress would suite the occasion, however this style dress isn’t going to work if you are getting married abroad. If you are going for a Vintage style wedding then the dress needs to work with the style as well.

The Fitting:Once the dress has been ordered and arrived you will need to go back to the shop for a fitting. If you are loosing weight for the wedding then this is the date you need to try and be your target weight! You will also need the shoes you will be wearing on the day, so the length can be adjusted correctly and also your correct underwear.
Again try and wear your hair the way it will be on the day.

Enjoy it:Remember wedding dress shopping is one of the best bits in the whole preparation process, it’s so much fun trying on all the beautiful dresses; don’t let it stress you out. You dream dress could be the first one you try on, or it could take 10 different shops before you get there, but don’t worry you will get there! Be patient and don’t stress about it!

Photography credits (left to right)
Chris Hanley Photography
Mark Tierney Photography
S6 photography
Annie Peel Photography

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