Imagine it. You’re pulling up dress number 26, it’s been 3 months 4 days since your first appointment and you’re seriously considering calling off the wedding. It’s hot, you can’t remember which one is your favourite and you still can’t tell what constitutes ivory.
Dress shopping done badly can be seriously stressful and we’ve heard a fair few stories from our lovely customers about shopping expeditions that have sadly fallen short of the mark.

So, as our first of many blog posts, we thought we’d start with some suggestions to ensure picking your dress is as perfect as possible.

1) Choose your helpers wisely
Got a best friend who’s as tactful as Trump? Leave her at home. How about a Mother-in-Law who likes to remind you when you’ve put on a bit of weight? Drop her off at Waitrose.

Just like a night out, it’s the people that make it enjoyable so make sure you bring your A Team with you. They need to be supportive, know your hang ups and offer constructive advice to ensure that the number one priority is finding something you love.

2) Be open to suggestions
If you’re anything like me you’ve probably taken plenty of items back because it looked great on the hanger, but transforms you into Morticia Adams as soon as it’s on. It works the other way around too.
Shop owners and assistants are well versed in predicting what might work for your body shape so don’t let pre conceived ideas stop you from experimenting. A dress may look drab on the rack, but maybe it’s just sulking, waiting for you to slip into it…

3) Stop comparing yourself
We’ve all got a friend who could be Victoria Secret model in her spare time and looked INSANE in a feathery couture bridal gown, but trust me; they’re few and far between.
Don’t look in that mirror wishing you were different, or wondering why a strapless gown doesn’t quite work with your 32FF assets. There will be plenty of little design tricks to make you look gorgeous and mitigate any insecurities – asymmetric gowns can narrow hips, corsets can build you a waist and wide strap can make shoulders look more feminine. Whatever it is, I promise you we can work around it.

4) Don’t rush and don’t let anyone pressure you
Would you ever date a guy that everyone loved, but you couldn’t stand? No, didn’t think so. If something doesn’t feel right then it probably isn’t. Stick to your guns and keep looking if you haven’t found something you adore. Pushy sales people can ruin important experiences, so if they’re making you unhappy pick up your bag and go somewhere that cares more about you than about their profits.

5) It’s all about timing
Don’t start too early, and please don’t start too late. Longer engagements can mean people start looking for dresses a little too early. Remember, styles change surprisingly quickly and sometimes it’s good to have some other details in place first (style of venue or even a colour theme).
Starting too late can make you feel like you have to settle for a dress you like, rather than one that gives you goose bumps. We advise you start hunting around 8-12 months before the day, leaving plenty of time for alterations and additional fittings.

Oh, and don’t forget the small stuff

  • Have a price in mind – Be realistic about what you can afford, it’ll only end in tears otherwise
  • Call ahead – Shops can often source samples for you even if they don’t usually stock them
  • Wear good underwear – it makes all the difference
  • Bring along items you’ve decided on – If you’ve picked a veil, a heel height or have an heirloom tiara you love, make sure you bring them along so the styles match
  • Choose the dress, not the label – ‘nuff said.
  • When you find it, stop looking

The most important thing is to remember it’s supposed to be fun. Valuable time with your loved ones, whilst sipping Prosecco and trying on metres and metres of silk is such a special luxury, be grateful for it.