Its strange to be writing this advice for other brides, as you probably think why should I need advice about buying a wedding dress, but bridal is tiny bit different from strolling into Topshop and spending 5 minutes in the changing room.
In my head I knew exactly what I wanted in terms of style and silhouette, yes I had been on Pinterest, and following more wedding dress Instagram posts, the day after I was engaged hunting through every wedding dress, style, colour etc., drowning in a pool of ivory tulle, taffeta and lace. I knew what I wanted - Long sleeve with a romantic low back, ivory crepe with a small amount of lace.
My biggest mistake when I went Wedding dress shopping was going to as many shops as I could, and I tried on close to 50 wedding dresses. Of course, you are excited, and the temptation is to visit every single bridal shop within a 150-mile radius and try on every wedding dress.
Therein lay my problem, by sampling and trying on too many dresses, I inevitably forgot the things I loved most about my dream style. I doubted myself and got way too confused. You need to try on other styles as this will help you rule out for definite the things you don’t like, and you may be surprised what you do like. Have an open mind.
Do designers matter? There was a time when all engaged girls would say I must have this particular designer, but in reality most bride-to-be realise that none of their guests will have a clue or give a damn who their dress is made by when you float down the aisle.
After all the shops I visited my last one was L’Amour Bride. This time I came in only with my mother and sister and left the entourage of bridesmaids at home. You might think it will be a lovely day out for all of your bridesmaids, your mum, your future mother in law, your sisters and your Aunties, but all that happened was I ended up despondent and almost on the verge of homicide, with the differing opinions of “No I don’t like it”, “No its not for you”
L’Amour Bride was relaxed, and from the moment I walked in I felt comfortable. We sat down and discussed my dream dress, and the stylist asked me to choose 4 dresses I would like to try on. After I had tried my choice of 4 dresses, they suggested a couple of dresses that with their experience thought would suit me well. I absolutely fell in love with one of them, and it was totally different to what my dream dress was. We discussed putting sleeves on the dress as the wedding was in March and in the end decided to order extra lace and make the dress my own. I tried on veils and headdresses with the dress and felt so comfortable, I was not rushed and had the shop to myself, and just had the opinion of my mother and sister which was much less stressful. All the ladies in the shop looked at what I had chosen and were genuine in their opinion and was never at anytime made to feel as if I was being pushed into buying the dress. It was the most relaxed appointment I had been to.
My advice to you on your journey of wedding dress shopping: “When you find the dream dress you love, buy it! Be proud of your choice and then stop shopping. It will only make you nuts!”
I will give you a few other bits of advice and tips I learned when going through this shopping process.
Start by trying dresses on within your budget, don’t try on £9000 dress if you don’t have the budget. I did and loved it but was not being realistic. It only leads to disappointment.
Remember that within your budget, factor in alterations, which can be anything from £150 to £350, most dresses need some alterations. Factor in your budget, veil, shows and accessories.
Don’t think that just one bridal appointment, just one more dress, just in case there’s a better one out there. That’s where my problems lay, I doubted myself and got totally confused.
Don’t get tied to a notion of what a ‘bride’ ought to be. On your wedding day, you should be you. If you don’t wear tight fitting clothes, don’t suddenly strap yourself into a bodice because all you will do is make yourself uncomfortable.
Go shopping with an open mind. Be flexible.
Don’t bring a large entourage to your appointment, too many conflicting thoughts and opinions could potentially upset and overwhelm you.
ENJOY YOURSELF…. this will be the only chance you get to play dress up on this scale. Cherish the experience as part of your journey to be a wife. Being a bride means that everything is about you, so take the time to revel in that experience!
I wish you all well in looking for your wedding dress and like me visit L’Amour Bride and find the dress of your dreams.