Top Tips - Shopping for a wedding dress
Updated: Jul 18, 2019
When it comes to shopping for your wedding dress, it can be overwhelming to know where to start. My advice, is that you just start, however you think best, and once you have started it all gets a little better.
When you are newly engaged and you've got all of this exciting stuff to do, the wedding dress is one of those things, and one of those things that you things that you think you can do whenever. Here is what I learned on my journey to find the perfect dress.
1. Start looking between 9-12 months to go
You can start looking earlier or later, but this is the ideal time to start looking. Don't panic if you see this though and have 6 months to go; its fine, you will find the dress of your dreams! I started looking for a dress with 9 months to go, and I'd say this was about right. Some dresses can take 6 months to order and arrive in store, which leaves you plenty of time for dress fittings. If you start looking later though, its not a problem because bridal shops always ask you when your wedding date is. They can then show you the dresses that will be available to you.
2. Different shops & different budgets
My opinion is, that it doesn't matter how much you spend on a dress, it's how you look and how it makes you feel. Therefore, my advice is to go to lots of different shops, right from the 'walk in and take me off the rack' like Wed2B, to the little boutiques where you simply must have an appointment to get through the door. Don't be put off by any particular type of shop, or budget.
3. Different shopping experiences
Some shops let you go in and wander around, pegging the ones you like. Others let you go around and physically lift the dresses off the rack. Others sit you down and ask you to describe what you like and dislike, and then come back with a range of options to show you and let you try on. All of these options are great, and don't be put off by any.
4. Have a budget in mind
Even if its only a rough budget, it can be helpful to tell the bridal shops when you make an appointment what your budget is, so they can know in advance which dresses they can show you.
5. Be open to different styles
You might love the style of an A-line dress, but is it the best shape for your figure? As well as going with what looks good on a model, and what's your favourite, you've got to see what it looks like on you. I thought i'd have A-line, but went with a fit & flare!
6. Keep talking
The more you talk out loud when you are trying something on, the more the sales assistant can understand what you like and dislike, and from there will be able to go and find another dress that might suit you better. I had a really great experience of this at Emily Bridalwear in Sheffield on Ecclesall road, so make sure you keep talking!
7. Try the dress you aren't sure about
Even if its just to rule it out in your mind, try on that backless dress, or that satin dress, or that dress with a hoop. You might love it, you might hate it, but either way try it on, even if it's just for the purpose of confirming how much you love something else
8. Don't be afraid to go back
Go back once, twice, three times! If you want to see the dress again, and be 100% sure, then go back. Bridal shops won't mind a bit, however, if you are going back more than 3 times, it would suggest that you really love that dress
9. Don't worry if you don't have 'THE MOMENT' and burst into tears when you try on a dress
When i found my dress, it wasn't like an episode of 'Say yes to the dress'. I didn't cry hysterically, break down in tears, have a nod with my mum, or even put it on and straight away say 'this is it!'. We found one dress that my mum teared up at, but that was probably because i'd tried on 50 dresses across 8 different store by then, so it was probably exhaustion.
10. Go with your gut
In the end, there will be one dress you like slightly more than the other. I had 2 dresses stuck in my mind, and I really couldn't decide, it took a while. If I close my eyes I can still see myself now in the fitting rooms with both dresses on, and they were both gorgeous. I pondered over the decision for about 2 weeks, they were both on my mind, and both gorgeous, but I think one was on my mind just a tiny bit more. If you are really really stuck between two, remember that its because you feel and look gorgeous in both, so you really just need to choose one.
Here are some dress shops I recommend, based on personal experience when I was shopping. All the ladies in there were very helpful
- Lulu Mae, Ouighterbridge ££ - Lauren is lovely!
- Emily Bridal, Sheffield £££ - Danielle is super helpful!
- Blushes, Sheffield ££
- White Rooms, Sheffield ££££