Do you know exactly what you want in your wedding dress? If not, don’t worry! Keep reading for tips on how to select the perfect one! We provide a step-by-step guide to choosing the perfect outfit. Follow our advice and you’ll end up with the dress of your dreams and reduced stress along the way.
Do Your Research
Before trying on any dresses it’s important to define the kind of wedding location you are considering. Some weddings may have a different vibe and it’s good to figure out what that is. For instance, whether they’re bohemian on the beach or formal with a reception in a stately home. Also, if they’re country on your parents’ property or modern city within the confines of an apartment!
If you’re able to find a few images of the type of dress you’d like to wear on Pinterest, that can help tailor your wedding dress search. You’ll then have a clearer idea of what style suits the area and other aspects of your day. Collect images of wedding dresses, including ones from celebrities’ weddings or pictures from magazines, websites for bridal boutiques, Instagram accounts etc.
Get Your Appointments Booked
Bridal boutiques can be exclusive and we recommend booking an appointment beforehand. Once you come in, a consultant will help you find your perfect wedding dress and make sure it’s perfect for you.
It’s a good idea to start planning early with many custom dresses. They take a year on average and some may take up to 2 years. Some dresses are made off-the-peg while most others have bespoke designs – but most require custom fittings.
Some of the most popular boutiques also charge an appointment fee (£25-£50), so keep that in mind. If you are able to, try booking your appointment on a weekday to avoid the rush & make sure it’s not at peak shopping hours.
If you’re on a budget, it is important to visit boutiques that fall within your budget. Make sure to take a look at the price tags before you fall in love with a dress! This is especially true if you have already found dresses that are in your price range.
If you’re unsure about what to buy and want advice, it’s best to get recommendations or visit a reputable boutique. Once again, this will help you avoid wasting time and energy. Today’s technology can also be used for various purposes; Browns Bride’s owner Caroline Burstein told us that they can offer online consultations at this time, which give a bride the opportunity to chat with their stylist about the latest trends and answer any questions.
Dress shopping is very personal and everyone has their own opinion of what they like and what suits them best. It helps to experiment with different styles as the one you didn’t think would look good might end up being perfect for you!
Preparing for Your Appointment
When you’re shopping you should pick your entourage wisely. While it will be valuable to have their insight and participation, having too many members in tow could end up overwhelming you. When you’re dressed in an outfit that you particularly like, the most important person in the room is the one who looks at you and doesn’t smile.
Choose one or two of these people to start with and I promise that at least one of them will be impressed. The final decision is always yours, but if you feel confident with it then go for it.
Prepare your skin before the appointment, even if you’re not at your wedding weight. Either fake tan or moisturise well beforehand, but don’t fake tan on the day of the appointment nor use heavy products like oils, as you want to make sure you look your best before pulling dresses on and off.
Wash your hair and put on a tad of make-up (a light coat of foundation or natural makeup) to take care of any minor flaws you may have. It’s possible this will be the first white gown you’ve worn before, so it’s important to prepare for this.
You should also take some underwear to match with your dress. You want to look your best and wear what feels most comfortable for you. Pack some flesh coloured and white strapless bras, briefs and more. (Curved lines such as those found around the waist and buttocks areas, may require a wider hem).
Does the Boutique have the Dress in Your Size?
Some stores only have one size available for dress samples, which can make it hard to find dresses your size. You should always call beforehand to check if the shop that you are visiting has your size available or see what styles they are displaying in your size. Just because one store doesn’t have your desired style in stock, it doesn’t mean that there are none elsewhere.
One of the most crucial aspects to running a successful who-knows-what store is displaying sample sizes that cover a diverse demographic. Approaching this from a customer’s perspective can be tricky, but designer Kate Halfpenny says, “It’s important to me to provide samples in store that have a range of sizes”.
“Trying on a wedding dress should be a special experience. It’s the most important dress you’ll wear & an emotional investment, so be sure to enjoy it!”. We understand that it’s not possible to have samples in all sizes, but fortunately we do have many styles to pick from.
If you would like some particular sorts of clothing for your bride to try on before the big day, please mention this in advance.
Take a moment to consider the style of the dress that you want. Do you want a dress with a classic look? Or would you prefer a more fancy, sexy design?
A good wedding consultant will be able to help you understand the different silhouettes available for a wedding dress. Knowing about these can help you have a better idea of what they’re talking about when they say things like fishtail, empire line, A-line, sheath, fit-flare and ballgown. You may think you know what style of clothing to purchase, but what you think will suit your body type often differs from the item that actually flatters your frame the most. Keep an open mind so you don’t miss out on something more appropriate for your size and shape.
Ponder the neckline as it will be featured in most of your pictures. Should I wear a sleeved dress? What’s the weather going to be like? How will my wedding dress travel (if I’m getting married abroad)? Would a coverup look nice as well?
Be wary of any dresses that don’t have a good hanger appeal – if your bridal consultant is advising you to give them a try, just remember that she has seen it before and should know what she is talking about.
Lastly, don’t be afraid to speak up if you don’t like the style you’re receiving. You can tell your consultant and they’ll understand and adjust accordingly.
Carolyn Parmar, bridal designer and co-founder of Ceremony by Parmar Parker, says “Choosing the perfect silhouette of a dress is key, I tailored the lace panels and different fabrics of her dress to flatter her proportions, highlighting where she had a slim waistline. The sheerness of this dress meant her body shape was visible underneath, but a skirt made of layers of tulle still provided some modesty”.
Having a 2nd Dress
If you’re looking to find one or two dresses for your big day or one for the rehearsal dinner the night before, there are a few different things you may want. It’s worth looking at options like adding to, taking away from or changing parts of the outfit rather than creating an entirely new look on the day itself.
A whole new look can be achieved when you change up your outfit. One simple change like removing the skirt or adding a cape and it can turn your entire outfit on its head. Chiara Ferragni and Poppy Delevingne showcase this by adding a cape to their outfits.
There is a growing trend towards the use of sustainable clothing. Not only will it help out the planet, but it will also be a stylish option. For example, Princess Beatrice looked great in a vintage dress from the 1950s-1970s by designer Norman Hartnell. The original design has been extended with the addition of sleeves and a silk hem.
The result, created by Notting Hill designer Jane Bourvis, is contemporary and is ‘of the moment’. When buying vintage clothes find something that is workable with little alteration required to make it fit with your preferences.
Jane said, ‘If we don’t have the dress in store, we can advise you and start to search for one. We specialise in luxurious antique lace from the Edwardian era. We take original vintage pieces and adapt them for current use.
We can make silk bodices, dresses and slips out of these old piece all with working lace & beading. We found the perfect veil for Sex and the City. It really completed their look. In addition to finding beautiful veils, we always make sure to find the perfect gown as well.
We are always doing our best to make sure your dream dress is still out there, or guide you towards what you’re looking for. It’s a totally unique experience and it is really important that the bride feels well cared for and confident during her journey, leaving having found the dress of her dreams.
If you’re considering getting a custom dress, it may be worth making some space in your calendar for the extra 4-6 months of planning. Even so, it’s an excellent choice with lots of benefits to offer. this service does come with a premium price-point but the results are so worth it! Most high-end boutiques & designers also offer a bespoke service.
Adding the Final Touches
Working on the details, like shoes and accessories, will make or break your outfit. Make sure to add them with care and not too many at once like a veil which could oversaturate an outfit.
Your Dream Wedding Gown is Found
If you want to make a decision about your outfit, choose the dress that suits your needs. Often brides find themselves compromising between their own desires and what everybody else tries on. If you love the dress, it’s a good sign!