Prosecco & Petals
The straightforward guide to planning your wedding
Shopping for your perfect wedding dress should be a dreamy process filled with trying on spectacular gowns that make you feel utterly gorgeous, but too often it can start to feel like an exhausting search for the elusive dream dress.
Avoid any potential 'wedding dress burnout' by following our guide to wedding dress shopping below.
Book a bridal dress appointment in advance: Bridal shop appointments get booked up quickly. Therefore, do plan wedding dress appointments a few weeks in advance, which will enable you to visit two-three shops in one day.
Keep an open mind before visiting a shop: Looking online will give an idea of designers they have, but the actual dresses in the store can massively vary from what is online.
Learn what colours and styles flatter your figure: To optimise the time you spend trying on dresses, it is crucial to know what colour white and fabric will suit your complexion and what style of wedding dress will make enhance your figure.
When starting, it is recommended to visit a larger bridal stores where the choice and range of dresses are more extensive. Nationwide stores such as David's bridal, Wed2be and Debenhams will enable you to get an idea of your style.
Follow this by some visits to smaller specialist boutiques where the service will make you feel like a bride. Locate these by a google search in your local area. While it may seem that you can visit a few stores in one day, a wedding dress 'white out' can set in quickly, so we recommend to only fit two-three shops in one day.
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Bridal dress appointments usually last 60-90 minutes and will tend to follow a pre-defined structure. Brides-to-be will be greeted by a consultant who will ask initial questions about the day and dress style preferences. Usually, there is the time to browse the shop and select a few dresses to try initially.
While trying on these dresses, the consultant will carefully listen to your preferences and feedback and bring out other dresses to fulfil your wants. Once an ideal dress or choice is determined, the consultant will get accessories such as a veil to finish the look. At the end of the appointment, the consultant will give full details on preferences.
Wear heels when trying on dresses: Standing on a block will give you a distorted view of how the dress would look on you (unless you are suddenly going to grow 6 inches).
Clip your dress to fit your figure: Ask for the bodice to be clipped and avoid foam blocks stuffed down your back. Clips will give you an idea of how the dress could look from behind.
Ask to try an underskirt: Irrespective of the dress, ask to try an underskirt to see the effect this has on the skirt's shape. These can dramatically alter the skirt shape and feel.
Walk, sit, jump and dance: On your wedding day, you will always be moving, and will need feel comfortable.
Snap away: If pictures are strictly not allowed, make a note of the dresses you liked and any specific detailing. Always return to your favourite dress before leaving, so it is fresh in your mind.
It is recommended to order your dress between eight to ten months in advance. While this may seem too far in advance, a wedding dress can take up to six months to be made and delivered. A summary of timescales are outlined below:
Next steps: finding the right wedding dress