How often do you read blogs about wedding dresses and hope that the person writing it talks about actual real-life problems, something that brides really want to know and what the dress shop owner is truly thinking?
Laura from Brides of Winchester is that person and today she has hijacked our blog feature to bring you her top tips and golden nuggets of advice which we love. Thanks for being so helpful and most of all, honest Laura!
(Brides of Winchester can be found HERE)
Here we go …. before you even begin shopping, copy and paste this list to your notebook and make sure you follow these excellent tips:
Do some research into the sort of shopping experience you would like. Not every wedding shop or boutique is created equally so choose one that offers the level of service and support you feel you need or would enjoy.
Choose 1-3 shops to visit and then STOP looking. ‘The One’ will be in one of those shops and if you go to too many you may get confused, emotional and overwhelmed.
Found the dress? Then do the right thing and cancel your other appointments. Don’t go to other shops just for the fun of it. Majority of Bridal shops are independent and reply on Brides not taking up unnecessary appointments.
If you are unsure where to start use blogs or magazines to help you identify designers that appeal but bear in mind that nothing beats the excitement of getting the dresses on. If you have chosen to shop in a luxury Boutique be open minded and use their knowledge to help find styles that suit you.
When you make an appointment ask lots of questions – how long have they been trading, how long will your appointment be etc. Any good business will be delighted that you’ve asked and if they aren’t then don’t book with them.
Wear white or nude coloured underwear that doesn’t distract from the dresses you try on.
Avoid taking children along as it’s not an ideal environment, they will bore easily and the focus will be distracted away from you, your big day and choosing the dress.
Don’t start shopping too early – 9 months to a year is perfect – but if you are ready to buy 2 years out, then go for it!
Don’t leave shopping to the last minute it can take longer than you might think to get a gown made or delivered.
If you have a short lead time to your wedding, relax and just choose the shops that can cater to your time frame. Asking the question upfront will save you visiting places that then can’t supply in time.
When ordering make sure the Terms and Conditions are explained to you and that you understand them. If there is anything at all that you aren’t clear on check with the shop.
It’s perfectly normal to feel nervous or overwhelmed by the idea of dress shopping but do communicate this with the consultant looking after you. They will totally understand and be able to help you better.
If you have a clear idea of exactly what you are looking for do tell the consultant looking after you so they can direct you to those style of dresses.
Bridal shops usually require you to book an appointment so plan in advance. Saturdays book up a long time in advance in the most popular stores.
You may feel that you don’t want to discuss the amount that you want to spend on your gown but it’s important to a professional boutique that they know your budget. Think about what you want to spend on your dress before you start shopping. Imagine it in this way – when you go into an estate agent the first thing they want to know is what you want to spend in order that they can better match your needs. We all would love to live in a fairytale castle or but for most it’s just not realistic. For those who can buy a castle, being offered a 2 bed bungalow probably isn’t helpful either. Wedding dress shopping is similar in that prices and design specification vary and everyone needs to be comfortable with what is being tried on.
The venue and style of the wedding should be booked before starting looking for the dress. Different dress styles fit different styles of day.
Don’t take your whole wedding party out shopping with you, instead choose one or two trusted friends or family members. Gown shopping should be fun and exciting not stressful and if you take too many guests you will feel swamped by conflicting opinions.
Expect there to be alteration costs so do ask what you should expect.
Make sure you have put aside time to attend several fitting appointments once your dress has arrived. It’s a good idea to pre-book these well in advance if you are likely to be busy with other wedding related tasks around the same time.
Make sure you take to all your dress fittings the shoes and underwear you intend wearing on the day as it can make a big difference to the fit and comfort of the dress.
Fallen in love with a gown that is over your budget? Ask the shop if you can split payments, the worse that can happen is that they say no and to be honest that does seem a little mean !
Thank you so much Laura for these amazing words of advice, please post your comments below if you have learned something from these tips and if you are facing any problems of your own right now.
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See you on Thursday where we are talking about Wedding Themes.
Love from Marie x
www.isabellaweddings.co.uk – remember we offer lots of advice with your wedding plans or wedding business.