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HOW TO FIND YOUR PERFECT WEDDING DRESS

how to find the right wedding dress

I’ve spoken to lots of brides and everyone’s experience is completely different when it comes to finding your perfect wedding dress. Some people absolutely love it and others find it really difficult. Personally, I felt overwhelmed by the amount of choice out there and soon came to realise that the styles I liked often didn’t suit me. I found it really difficult to find something that loved the look of, suited my shape and felt comfortable in.  

I spoke to Lucy from Lucy Hart Bridal and Becca from Serendipity Brides to get the lowdown how to find your perfect wedding dress. 

HOW FAR IN ADVANCE SHOULD I GO DRESS SHOPPING?

With so many other things to tick of your wedding to-do list, it can be difficult to know where to start. Lucy has some tips about when to start looking at dresses. 

“Depending on whether you want to order a brand new dress, buy off the peg or order online will determine how far in advance you need to start shopping for your dream gown. My advice would be don’t start too early. You’ll always find pretty dresses and if you buy too soon you have a long time to wait and will no doubt be tempted to continue looking. I get a lot of calls from brides who’ve bought a dress and then changed their mind! Typically most made-to-order bridal shops require a minimum of 6-9 months to order a dress. If you’re going down this route you need to leave enough time to shop around, order your dress and include alterations time (4-6 weeks minimum). Buying off-the-peg is a little different and does allow you more time as all the dresses are ready-to-wear. Therefore you can leave it much closer to the wedding date to make your final choice.  Buying off-the-peg is a great option if you’re getting married in a hurry or don’t want the stress of waiting for your wedding dress to arrive in time.” 

Lucy Hart Bridal | @lucyhartbridal | www.lucyhartbridal.com

HOW MUCH SHOULD I SPEND ON MY WEDDING DRESS?

It can be very difficult to establish a budget, especially if you’re not the one paying which is sometimes the case with wedding dresses. Becca has some great advice about working out what you should spend. 

how to find the right wedding dress

“Spend what you feel comfortable spending. It’s not about what people can afford, it’s about what they are happy to spend on their dress. We appreciate that no matter what a bride’s budget is, to them it is a significant amount of money & the priority is to find something they love within that.” 

Becca from Serendipity Brides | @serendipitybrides | www.serendipitybrides.co.uk

WHO SHOULD I BRING WITH ME WHEN I GO DRESS SHOPPING?

When I was dress shopping, I actually found it much easier to go on my own. It can be difficult deciding on a dress that’s right for you when there are other people’s opinions to consider.  

choosing the right wedding dress

“Bring the people who offer you the most support; who will be honest but not brutal; constructive but not negative. Keep this to a minimum number of people as the more you have the more opinions you’re likely to face. Remember that everyone is different and unknowingly may influence you towards a style they like rather than the style that flatters you the most. Always have the person with you who you’d want when you find ‘the one’, you won’t be able to make that final decision if they’re not there and don’t be afraid to shop on your own. Sometimes this is the best way to keep a clear head and be true to yourself.”

Lucy Hart Bridal | @lucyhartbridal | www.lucyhartbridal.com

WHERE CAN I FIND INSPIRATION?

It’s always a good idea to get a feel for what styles and designers you like before you go dress shopping. That way you can find the boutique that stocks dresses that are right for you. 

bride and groom walking at minstrel court

“Pinterest is a great source of wedding dress inspiration. You can create your wedding dress board and then start pinning all your favourite gowns. Follow bridal shops on instagram, if they’re active on social media then they’ll regularly post images of their current collections. This will also help you plan which shops to visit when you start shopping for your dress.”

Lucy Hart Bridal | @lucyhartbridal | www.lucyhartbridal.com

“Pinterest & Instagram are great online tools for that first step into researching your dress, but nothing beats putting a dress on & having that surge of excitement!”

Becca from Serendipity Brides | @serendipitybrides | www.serendipitybrides.co.uk

TIPS & TRICKS

I asked Becca and Lucy for some final tips and tricks for finding your perfect wedding dress.

bridesmaids fluffing the wedding dress
  • Underwear – Wear good underwear to your fitting. It makes such a difference to how a dress can look. Don’t be ashamed to wear shapewear either, the smoothing effect is perfect to enhance any gown. 
  • Don’t overdo it – Don’t visit too many shops in the same day. Two appointments with lunch in between is more than enough. You’ll feel completely overwhelmed by choice and the more shops you visit, the more likely it is that you’ll become completely confused about which style you actually like.  
  • Feel great as you are – Don’t put too much pressure on yourself to lose weight. My advice is always to choose a dress you look and feel great in as you are. That way if you don’t reach your target weight then you’re not left with a dress that doesn’t fit or feels uncomfortable. Dresses can be taken in by two sizes but it’s very hard to make them bigger. 
  • Keep it fun! – It is a truly exciting time of your life & you only want fond memories of the whole planning experience.  
  • Don’t overthink it – Follow what your gut tells you & don’t overthink your decision.  
  • Stop looking! – Once you’ve said ‘yes to the dress’ stop looking! There’s so much temptation out there so disconnect from all the places where you were looking before you purchased your gown. 
  • Perspective – Above all else, don’t lose sight of what the day is about. Everything else will work itself out. 

If you have any other suggestions about finding the perfect wedding dress for your big day please leave your comments below. 

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