Are you starting your wedding dress shopping and have no idea where to begin? Feeling overwhelmed by ALL the choices of dress styles and shops? Here are some ideas to get you from overwhelmed to the owner of your dream wedding dress.
1- What is your wedding dress budget?
Think about how much money you have available for your wedding dress. I know this can be a pretty boring place to start, but it is actually quite important to think about how much money you have available. A wedding dress can cost anything from 50 pounds to 50,000 pounds. So to make sure that you are looking at designers and retailers that fit into your budget. Neither you or your designer want to waste your time if the cost of their garments does not suit well with you.
2- What style is your wedding venue?
Your wedding venue can make a really big difference to the style of wedding dress you choose If you've decided to get married in a teepee in a field, you may well want to wear something different than you would do if you're getting married in a registry office. Of course there are no rules with wedding dresses and you can wear whatever you want, but a venue can often help you define the style and feeling you want from your wedding and your wedding dress. Think about how you want the wedding to feel for you and your partner and your dress will probably reflect this vibe.
3- Do your designer research.
Now that you've got your budget and your venue, a really good next step is to have a look at retailers and designers. Take some time looking at prospective brand’s social media and website to see if they have designs that you can picture yourself wearing. Also pay attention to the way they describe their dresses, their brand values and how they speak to the camera online. Do they talk about things that are important to you? Do they seem like people you want to spend time with? Service is so important when shopping for your dream dress so take your time to make sure they are right for you. Tip top: pick up the phone and have a chat with a prospective designer to see if you get on. Dress shopping will always be a joy if you are around the best people.
4- What’s your bridal style?
Now take some time to look around on magazines blogs, Pinterest and social media. Build an understanding of the dresses that you like. Compile a mood board and see if there are elements that keep on cropping up. Maybe it's a sleeve. Maybe it's a full skirt or an off the shoulder lace number. Whatever it is, see what you like and bear that in mind when wedding dress shopping. Similarly, if there's things you know you definitely don't want then let your bridal shop or designer know and tell them straight away so they can help you. If you know that you definitely do not want a strapless dress, there is no point in a wedding dress designer or retailer picking out strapless dresses for you. It's totally okay to say that this is not your style or how you envision yourself looking on your wedding day. Knowing what you dislike is actually very helpful in picking your wedding dress.
5- Non negotiables
Think about elements of your wedding or your wedding dress that are non negotiable. If you know that you really really want a big flowing, glamorous ball gown then it's okay to say that. It in in fact great to know your mind! Similarly, if you know that you really want to be able to spend the evening flying around the dance floor and so you want something short. Then make sure you remember that and communicate your feelings to your designer when trying on or creating a sketch.
6- Wedding dresses are a process
Bear in mind that when you go to try on sample wedding dresses or start your bespoke wedding dress journey, that the dress you try on is not going to be the dress that you buy. Your dress will be made for you and will be fitted to your specifications. It can take a little bit of faith in the beginning to visualise what your final wedding dress will look like. But please put your trust in your designer to let that process happen. Ninety nine percent of dresses will need alterations or will need to be made to your measurements. And you may need several fittings to get the dress to sit and look just right. Don't be worried about this process. Your seamstress or designer will know exactly what to do. All you have to do is sit back and relax. Enjoy the process and you end up with the most amazing wedding dress.
7- Don’t over shop
My final and biggest tip for wedding dress shopping is to not overwhelm yourself by going to 75 shops. Your wedding dress needs to feel right and look right but it's very easy to get overwhelmed with all the choices available. You don’t have to try on thousands of dresses to find ‘the one’. Trust yourself and don’t be afraid to buy a dress that looks and feel amazing even if it’s the first dress you try on. You don't have to overthink it. It really can be that easy and fun.
To start your wedding dress journey with Caroline Chamberlain Bridal, contact us now to book your appointment.
Photos by Georgi Mabee Photography