12 Dos and Don’ts of Wedding Dress Shopping

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Golden rules to remember when tracking down the dress of your dreams.

Exciting, fun, emotional, intimidating, frustrating, scary just some of the words you might use to describe your experience of wedding dress shopping. But whether you can’t wait to get started on trawling the shops for your dream gown or are dreading the thought of trying to find the one’, try to bear in mind our need-to-know advice for making your shopping trip a success…

  1. Do demand great service. Your wedding dress is likely to represent a considerable financial investment in your big day and as such you are well within your rights to expect friendly, one-to-one service. If you go to a bridal salon and feel uncomfortable or as if staff haven’t got time for you, then give it a wide berth. If they’re slacking on service before they’ve even made a sale, it’s unlikely you could rely on them in the event of problems later on.
  2. Don’t just turn up at a bridal shop unannounced. Many stores operate on an appointment only basis, but even those that are open for walk-in appointments will be able to give you more time and attention if you make an appointment first.
  3. Do bring along one or two people whose opinion you really value and who you trust to be completely honest perhaps your mum and your chief bridesmaid.
  4. Don’t give in to the pressure to bring a whole posse of bridesmaids, friends and hangers-on. Bridal shops full of delicate, expensive gowns don’t appreciate being overrun with people some may even limit the number of people per appointment and if you bring too many people, you’ll only end up confused by conflicting opinions.

  1. Do go with an open mind. Of course, you’ll have some ideas about which style of dress you might like, but the guidance of bridal salon staff can be invaluable; they help girls to choose their dresses every day so if they make a suggestion, go with it you might be surprised!
  2. Don’t leave it too close to your wedding to begin your search. You might be lucky and find your dress in the first shop you visit, but then again it might take weeks or even months of searching to find the one’ plus the bridal shop will need time to order it from their supplier, and after that there will be alterations before it’s ready to wear!
  3. Do wear appropriate underwear when you go to try on dresses. A multi-way bra is a good idea as it can be adapted to suit various necklines, and when it comes to knickers, bear in mind that you’ll need help from the shop assistants to get in and out of the dresses so opt for something modest seamless shorts are a good option.
  4. Don’t wear loads of makeup and fake tan it will rub off and stain the dresses, making you very unpopular with shop owners! If you can bear it, give the fake tan a miss for a few days before you go dress shopping and if you can’t go out in public without your foundation, make sure it’s a non-transfer formula. Going au naturel’ also means that you know your chosen dress really suits you, and when you eventually add hair, make-up and glowing skin, you’ll look even more amazing in it!
  5. Do ask permission before taking photos during your appointment. It’s understandable that you might want a snap of you in your chosen gown to remind you what it looked like or even to show other friends or maids that you couldn’t bring shopping, but many shops prohibit this in order to prevent brides from using the photos to have cheaper copies of the dress made by a dressmaker.
  6. Don’t be put off by harsh fitting room lights and 360 degree mirrors try to focus on the dress and how it flatters your shape and skin tone rather than panicking about your pasty face and gooseflesh!
  7. Do bring along a pair of shoes of similar height to the ones you’ll wear on the big day. Chances are the length of your dress will need altering anyway but wearing heels when trying on will give you a better feel for how the dress will sit, and whether or not it will be comfortable on the day.
  8. Don’t shop after you’ve bought. The golden rule of dress shopping is that once you’ve found your dream dress, you should stop looking! If you don’t resist the urge to keep looking and trying on other gowns, doubts about the one you’ve chosen will undoubtedly creep in which could be disastrous both on a practical and a financial level!
    { top image source: Myrtle Ivory Bridal Couture}

Best of luck searching for your dream dress, and let us know how you about your experiences by leaving a comment below.

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