Dress Shopping Tips

Since becoming engaged, the first thing on your mind is probably to start wedding dress shopping.

Finding the right dress is certainly the most exciting part of your wedding plans and once you get started you will quickly understand that it is a long process and isn’t always easy. 

I hope these tips will serve you well as you begin your search for The Dress. If your favoured option is leaning towards having it made from scratch, then trust in an experienced dressmaker to take you through the exciting process from the sketch to finishing your Dream Dress.

Here are a few tips to get you started to help you find your dream dress

1. Do your research 
Your dream dress will be the centrepiece of the day, so it can feel like the pressure is on when searching for your dress… So before you begin your search, it will be useful to get familiar with some wedding dress shopping language … A-line, neckline, waistline, silhouette, style, bustles, illusion, tulle, organza. Also read up about the basic dress silhouettes, and figure out what kind of style will be best for your shape. The more you know about which dress styles flatter you, the easier shopping for your dress will be. 

2. What’s Your Style?
With all eyes on you, you’ll want to look perfect on your wedding day. Deciding what your “perfect” style is, for some brides, might be a classic ball gown. For others, form-fitting mermaid gowns, or more forgiving A-lines… It helps to also try on other different styles, you just might surprise yourself and fall in love with a look you hadn’t anticipated.

3. Set a Budget 
The wedding gown you select will be the most meaningful (and expensive!) piece of clothing you’ll ever wear, so deciding on your budget beforehand is really important. The last thing you’ll want to do is fall in love with a wedding dress that is way over your budget. The best advice is to have a wedding dress price range, instead of a hard and fast amount. By creating a range, you will have options on either end of the budget which will help you to narrow your choices in dresses to try on.

4. Begin Dress Hunting 
It’s ideal to start looking for your wedding dress around 6 to 9 months prior to your wedding date. (Remember that nearly every wedding gown will require alterations, so allow extra time for it.) By this time frame you would probably have had your venue confirmed, and have some idea of your colours and themes… which brings me to the next tip. 

5. Your Venue
Your overall bridal look sets the tone for the wedding as a whole and should be cohesive with the venue. For example, a crystal embellished mermaid gown would suit a glamorous ballroom, while a simple, flowing sheath dress would be the ideal silhouette for “I dos” on a sandy beach, as opposed to trying to hold down a flimsy chiffon skirt, being blown around on a windy beach. 

What about a more rustic setting like a country barnyard? You could have a tulle or lacy boho design with your boots, to add contrasting softness into the rural landscape. 
Whether you’re having an afternoon garden reception or planning a destination wedding, keep the season in mind when you’re trying on gowns. 

6. Other Options 
Explore all opportunities to find what’s right for you. Consider pre-loved gowns. It’s a great option and with a little bit of thought you can make it your own, by perhaps adding straps.. or changing the straight across neckline into a sweetheart neckline. Or maybe remodelling your mother’s wedding dress by taking off the big puffy sleeves and making it strapless.