There are so many wedding dresses out there and from experience you very rarely decide on the dress you thought you would! You may want a ball gown but when you try one on you may find it's size and layers swamp you and choose something like a fitted sheath or mermaid dress. It is all about trial and error so try on a variety of styles until you find the style that suits you and then chose which dress within that style range you love the most (you will know when you find the right one).
Research shops and what dresses they stock. Some shops will get you to choose some dresses from their ranges to try before your appointment so they get an idea of what you are looking for.
It is very tempting to visit every single bridal shop in your area and try on a lot of wedding dresses.....not a good idea. You are better off choosing two or three shops or you will get very confused. Be strategic about where you shop to maximise your shopping time. Would you prefer somewhere that does private consultations or are you okay with trying on dresses in an area where there are other brides choosing a dress too? Does your favourite shop even stock the style of wedding dresses you like? Just make sure you choose a few different styles for a variety of looks.
Do designers matter…?
There was time when a bride "just had to have a designer dress!" In some circles this is still true but in reality most brides realise that none of their guests will have a clue or care who your dress is made by when you walk down the aisle. It should be more about what suits and flatters the bride and what makes her feel extra special. There are some lower priced wedding dress shops which sell beautiful dresses but then you may need add ons or accessories which bump the price up. Just be careful and if you have a budget set try to stick to it......tough I know but unless you have someone along who is happy to get their credit card out and pay the extra you could end up spending more than you wanted to. Designer dresses sometimes have all you need within the dress so what seems more expensive can actually work out a very similar price.
Wear the right underwear
Make sure your underwear is as close to the underwear you will be wearing on the big day as possible as this will affect how a dress lays on top. Go with neutral colours and if you feel more confident, shape supporting. If you are not wearing a strapless bra you might want to take one with you just in case the dress you fall in love with is a strapless or a bit more revealing than you thought. It will all help to give you the best idea of how your dress will look on the day.
Leave the entourage at home
The biggest sin of wedding dress shopping is bringing too many people along. Although you might think it’s a wonderful day out for your bridesmaids, your mum and other members of your family, it could just end up with you being very confused with too many other opinions and you could end up with a dress you aren't 100% happy with to keep everyone else happy!
We would suggest bringing along may be 1-3 of your most trusted friends of family members (mum, bridesmaid or best friend). Anymore and you may become overwhelmed with too many voices. You want this special day to be all about YOU!
Be honest about your budget
For whatever reason some brides think they need to be cagey about how much they want to spend on their wedding dress. It may be because they don't want to admit they haven't got the budget for an expensive designer dress or they just want to try on some really expensive dresses, but the stylist can only really help you if they know what you can actually afford. Don't over estimate your budget, you know you will fall in love with the budget busting dress and then nothing will compare!!
You’ve probably have heard this advice a few times before but even if you have got your heart set on a certain style of dress, make sure you try other styles on when you go for your appointment. This will help you rule out for definite all the things you don’t think you like and you may be surprised by what you do like. Be openminded and you never know what will come your way. It could surprise you and your wedding guests!
Think about where and when you are getting married
Where are you getting married and at what time of the year? What will your bridesmaids be wearing? Has your groom decided what he is wearing yet? Are you going to have more than one dress.....one for the service and a different one for the reception? Are they going to be completely different? These things will influence the dress/es you choice.
Believe it or not....It's not just all about the dress...
Your bridal look is not only about the dress but also the accessories that you wear with it.
A lot of brides are now using their dress as a base and building their look from there. A simple style can look amazing by itself for the service and completely different when accessorised for the evening reception. You could add a sparkly belt or a wrap to go round your shoulders in the day and obviously a veil can take a look to the next level. Big jewellery such as a necklaces, ear rings and/or bracelets, hair jewels or pins. Hair up in the day and down in the evening....there are so many different look you can achieve.
Most of all have FUN! This will probably be the only day you get to try on amazing dresses and embrace being beautiful YOU.