10 tips to help you enjoy your hunt for the perfect dress!
I have been engaged for 5 weeks & already have my wedding dress! Pretty fast I know, but I love it!! There's a huge amount of anticipation and pressure when you go looking for your wedding dress; it can be pretty overwhelming to be honest! So here are 10 tips to help make your dress shopping experience one to remember for all the right reasons!
(Oh! And you might notice that I don't mention anything about fittings, alterations etc., that's because I managed to find a dress that fit perfectly, straight off the rack! Yay!)
1) Check the website - Before you go into the store, jump onto their website or social media sites and check if they have dresses that suit your wedding theme; modern, classic, vintage, bohemian etc. Some stores have a very specific audience and some cover them all. Checking out their website is the first step to making sure the stores you visit are on the same page as your wedding dress requirements.
2) Book an Appointment - This might sound obvious, but not everyone knows this! Some bridal stores, especially in Auckland, require a booked appointment and not only that but some stores charge a trying on fee. Always ring in advance so you avoid any surprises!
3) Ring and enquire prices - Whilst you're already on the phone, ask the price of a few dresses you've seen and loved on their website. Don't just ask what price range the dresses in the store are; be specific. If you know the price for the dresses you actually like, then you know whether or not you should book & pay for an appointment.
4) If possible, go mid week - This is something that was super important for me: I am terrible when it comes to trying on clothes! I can't imagine what I'd be like if I had to come out of my dresser wearing my possible wedding dress in front of a busy shop filled with complete strangers!! Weekends are by far the busiest time for bridal stores so I opted to go with just my mum on a Friday & I was lucky enough to have the entire store to myself. It was by far the most peaceful experience in a bridal store you could ever have imagined! If you can go mid week, do it!
5) Pick your support team wisely - As I mentioned above, the only person I took initially was my mum and then my sister who joined us later in the appointment. As much as it is an amazing experience (and that it is) it's also a very overwhelming and emotional time - for some it's the moment where you realise you're actually getting married! Make sure whoever you take is going to support you, be honest but loving & will make you feel special! It should be quality over quantity when it comes to picking who should go with you to try on dresses!
6) Know your budget - It can be super tempting to go look at dresses before anything else, but if you can, hold off until you've sorted your budget! There is no point stressing yourself out because you've fallen in love with a 4k dress only to realise your budget is under $1500. As a future bride, we have to look after ourselves and do the most we can to relax and enjoy the experience of planning our wedding. Talking finances is never fun but it is honestly worth it as it will allow you to simply enjoy the process rather than counting figures in your head.
7) Be open minded - You may have a pretty clear idea in your head of what your ideal dress is but be open to trying on different styles. Wedding consultants are the professionals: give their suggestion a go (even if it's to make it clear to both of you what you definitely do and don't suit!) Start with a dress you're confident will suit your body shape so you have a nice confidence boost to start your shopping experience. Then, be daring and try on a few styles in different shapes and materials. The last two people I went wedding dress shopping with ended up leaving the store with dresses that were the complete opposite to what they thought they would ever suit let alone wear on their wedding day! Be open minded and let the dress choose the bride!
8) Be prepared - If you plan on wearing shape-wear on your wedding day, wear it on your dress hunt! Take a pair of heels, nude under garments & anything else you might need to give you a more accurate idea of what you'll look like in your dress (for me this meant bringing along a flower crown!) And off course, do your hair & make up; you'll not only feel more confident but you'll also get a better feel for the dress.
9) Take proper photos or no photos at all - Lighting is a massive key to how a dress & body figure can look. A bad photo can easily plant a seed of deceit and convince you out of loving your dream dress. Either avoid looking at the photos too often, take no photos at all, or get a friend who knows what they're doing to take some more flattering shots of you in your dress. It's a hard one since we all love a good selfie but trust me on this! You don't want to end up doubting the dress you've just bought because of one bad photo!
10) And finally, enjoy yourself! - Let go of all your expectations (things like you must cry or have that wedding dress 'moment') and just enjoy the experience! There is nothing more exciting than shopping for a wedding dress! I picked my dress because it made me feel confident, comfortable, beautiful & most importantly like me! It was the first dressed I tried on & the dress that I compared every other dress to. You may not burst into tears or have that movie-like-moment, but you'll know if it's the dress for you!
Wish you an amazing experience as you shop for your wedding dress!
Until next time,