A GUIDE TO WEDDING DRESS SHOPPING
UK WEDDING PLANNING ADVICE BY EMILY 21st SEPTEMBER 2021
Going wedding dress shopping is the start of the reality that you really are going to be a bride. A lot of the time I am in on the secret of my client's wedding dresses and I really love seeing what they have chosen! Knowing what they are going to wear before the big day is also an amazing insight into their style and helps with wedding design. But, finding the perfect dress is not as easy, you need to do your research, get your timings just right and remember that you should choose something that makes you feel unreservedly you!
BEFORE YOU BUY YOUR WEDDING DRESS
Wedding Budget & Research
All wedding attire accounts for around 15% of your overall budget (if you choose a bespoke wedding dress possibly more), this not only includes your wedding dress but your partner's outfit, and your bridesmaids or groomsman attire, shoes, and accessories too! Also, it's important not to forget about the cost of alterations, as these can be anywhere from £60 to over £200.
If you are considering a bespoke wedding dress head to my recent interview with Emma Beaumont on the process of designing a bespoke wedding dress here.
Baring this in mind, it's good to have an idea of how much you can realistically spend on 'the dress' before you start browsing, as going to boutiques with no idea of a budget can be dangerous. Especially if you're like me and would likely accidentally fall in love with the most expensive dress!
Once you have a rough budget you can take your time to research wedding boutiques on Instagram and make sure you peruse their websites. note down their collections, pricing range and if they stock designers you are interested in. It is really helpful for bridal boutiques if you create a Pinterest board of wedding dress ideas to show them on arrival too.
TRYING ON YOUR WEDDING DRESS
Book In Advance
Timing your wedding dress journey is really important, once you have found your dream dress it can take up to 6 months to arrive, and you will still probably need alterations and a final fitting. I would recommend looking for your dress around 10 - 12 months in advance depending on how bespoke you wish to go.
Once you have booked your appointments in advance with your chosen boutiques, get excited to start trying on dresses! Think about who are you going to take with you, and why not make a day of it and book lunch with your trusted bride squad too?
On the day of your appointment don't forget to wear nude underwear that you're comfortable in, take a few different pairs of shoes of varying heel heights, (or your actual wedding shoes if you have them!), and a big hair clip so you can compare hairstyles with each of the wedding dresses you try on.
CHOOSING 'THE ONE"
Make Sure It Is You
The most important message I wanted to get across in this wedding dress shopping guide is to remember that the dress you wear should be YOUR CHOICE, not the one your mum loves or you think your groom/bride will love.
I will always tell clients to leave their phone out of the equation and focus on how the dress makes you feel, the one you feel beautiful in is 'the one' and a mirror selfie doesn't capture that.
Also, don't feel pressured to purchase the first one you think you love. If you need to shop around at different bridal boutiques that is fine and you can always sleep on it and go back another day for a second appointment!
My 3 favourite most fashion-forward bridal boutiques are featured in this blog, Frances Day Bridal in Southwell Nottinghamshire, The White Closet in Manchesters Didsbury and Londons Morgan Davies Bridal.
Not only do they have an incredible range of stunning bridal designers but they are all independently run by some lovely ladies. Julia, Millie and Maddie offer an incredible luxury service and will go above and beyond to help you find your perfect wedding dress.