Wedding Dress Shopping: A Must-Read Guide
The time has finally come; your time has finally come. At last, the doors to the magical world of wedding dress shopping are opening, and you're the one in the hot seat. Excited? Apprehensive? Tearful? In this flurry of emotion, thank heavens Dress In Love Bridal Boutique are here to tell us how to get the MOST out of your bridal shopping experience! Over to you, ladies...
It is normal to experience mixed emotions on your first visit to a bridal boutique. As the hunt for ‘The One’ commences you may find a little comfort, right here, in our guide to what to expect from your bridal boutique appointment. Firstly, lets just clarify that it is perfectly normal to feel stupidly excited and to feel a nervous wreck all at the same time. You may have pinterest boards bursting with pictures or you may not be the type to wear a dress at all. You should book your first appointment when you have confirmed your venue and wedding date. This gives us all an idea of the timescale we are working to and will help you visualise the look which you are wanting to achieve. Your chosen venue can have a big impact on your final dress choice; Someone getting married in church may want a very different look to someone getting married in a field under an oak tree!
Research the boutique - All good bridal boutiques will have a website that represents their brand, their style and most importantly price point. Make sure the boutique you are going to sells gowns within your ballpark figure as this will avoid disappointment. Most of the time a bridal boutique will be well known for a particular style of dress for example, (50’s inspired) Vintage designs, the Boho look, slim fitting fish tails or a bespoke service. We are very proud to only work with British designers, we have a beautiful collection of gowns all made with 100% natural silks. As we work directly with the designers we can customise the gown to your exact requirement, add sleeves, add sparkle, even change a neck line, it’s all possible.
Make an appointment - Weekend appointments are like gold dust and you will find most boutiques are fully booked, we often have a waiting list for Saturday appointments. Planning ahead will avoid disappointment and give you time to prepare and gather your bridesmaids and loved ones to attend your appointment with you (should you want them with you.) We are open on Sundays, not all boutiques do this but we fully appreciate that amongst all the wedding planning, time is precious. Mid-week appointments are more likely to be available and you could turn up on the day but we still highly recommend calling ahead just to be sure.
Be open minded but don't get carried away - It is advisable to try on no more than 10 gowns as it can get confusing, always try to stay open minded about the type of dress you think you would like. So many brides come in with a strong opinion about which style they would like, only to find that “The One” is totally the opposite.
Take Only Your Besties - It is tempting to bring all your friends dress shopping, but often it can lead to confusing, conflicting opinions. Take just 1 or 2 of your closest friends and relatives whose opinions you value, you can always bring along others to your fittings.
Underwear - Wearing a strapless bra is a must, if you don't have one make sure you tuck the straps in. Bra straps will completely change the neckline of a gown it is important you get to see the dress in all its glory, without added straps. Nude, comfortable and well fitting underwear is also advisable, remember you will be getting undressed in a small space with a stranger. We are very lucky to have a very spacious dressing room, plenty of room for gowns, bride-to-be and Lindsay - the queen of bridal styling! Not all boutiques are the same, some fitting rooms are small and you will be shoulder to shoulder with the shop assistant.
Think about shoes - At the dress buying stage you are not likely to have chosen your bridal shoes but it is a good idea to think about heel height. If you are planning on wearing platforms, kitten heels, wedges or wellie boots try and bring a similar shaped pair with you. The way you stand in a pair of shoes will make the gown hang differently, it is very important to see how the gown changes as you walk and stand in your chosen footwear. We have a selection of shoes in all sizes for brides to use whilst trying on the gowns, a little heel makes a big difference to your posture!
When to place your order - In a perfect world you should place your dress order 9-12 months before the big day to allow for your dress to be made (this alone can take up to 6 months) and the fittings and alterations to be carried out. If you have a shorter timescale don’t panic, we work with some amazing designers who can offer much shorter delivery times on some of their gowns so always ask. Remember it may also be possible to purchase the sample you have tried on.
At Dress in Love - The Bridal & Honeymoon Boutique, we offer some very unique services that you just won't find anywhere else.
When a bride is in our boutique we lock the doors! You have exclusive use of our entire boutique for an hour and a half, this allows time to discuss the wedding plans and try on as many gowns as the bride would like. We have our own in-house ATOL protected travel agency that arranges honeymoons exclusively for our brides. As an elite honeymoon only travel agency you won't find anyone else that can arrange such a special trip. We welcome you and your partner back into the boutique for a full consultation, we have learnt that the grooms often like to take the lead on the honeymoon planning, but don't worry, we cover up all the gowns so no one can peak! Whatsmore, all Dress in Love brides receive a complimentary upgrade to the VIP lounge at their departure airport, our gift to you, start that honeymoon off in style!
As members of the British Bridal Retail Association, all of our brides receive £1000 complementary dress insurance to financially protect your deposit. This is really important as it can be quite some time after ordering until you see your dress, it is good to know your money is protected. Bridal styling is quite possibly the second most exciting appointment after your initial try on of gowns. After you have purchased your gown you are invited back into the boutique to have full bridal hair and make-up styling with our professional stylist, you can try on our sample of your chosen gown and see your complete look ahead of the big day. The philosophy behind our brand is to give every bride who enters the boutique the same high-touch, bespoke service regardless of their personal budget....its all about the experience…..The Dress in Love experience.