When you think about it, the concept of a wedding dress is utter lunacy. Most of us spend more on this dress, that we’ll only wear ONCE in our lives, than any other item of clothing in our wardrobes, and on top of that, they are typically white (ish), the most impractical colour in the world – all it takes is one drunken uncle and a glass of red wine and it is game over. So why do we do it?
Some women (myself included) have dreamt about wedding dresses since childhood, I even went to a fancy dress party as a bride when I was six….I’ll dig that photo out some time so you can have a good laugh at me! Others only begin to get excited about the prospect of them once they are engaged, and planning the big day. And for some, the dress search is just something else to tick off the list. But one thing that we all have in common though, we want to look, and feel, amazing when we’re walking down that aisle.
So this got me thinking of the process, and having gone through it fairly recently myself, here are my ‘top tips’ on making it as enjoyable as possible…
1. An obvious one here, but BE OPEN MINDED, most brides will tell you that they had an image of their dream dress, and then chose something completely different! Even though you might think you’re a ‘Kate Middleton’ you might be a ‘Kate Moss’. You never know until you try it on. Be brave!
2. Don’t get upset if you don’t find ‘the dress’ straight away. It can be tempting to start panicking when you start hating each dress that you try on more than the one before. THIS IS NORMAL, we are all different shapes and sizes and what suits you might look bloomin’ awful on the next girl. You WILL find something that you look gorgeous in. Don’t panic buy, don’t cry (in public anyway), just keep looking, keep trying on, and keep smiling.
3. Decide on the kind of wedding vibe you are going for before you start looking for dresses. Think about the kind of wedding you are planning, if you’re having a low-key, festival-style day, you might not want an enormous ball gown with a long train. Similarly, if you’re getting married in a posh hotel, your barefoot, bohemian, floaty number might look out of place. Having said that, if you fall in love with a particular style – go for it! It is your day, do what you want!
4. Wear the right undies. Wedding dress shopping not the time to get your sexy lingerie out, (even though you’ll probably have more seeing you in your knickers than any other time in your life!) It is all about the flesh coloured, seamless, no VLP pants, and a really well fitted, strapless, nude bra – trust me, you will look so much better on the outside, if you are well supported underneath. Once you have more of an idea of the style of dress that you want, you can start thinking about the need for basques/shapewear etc. but for now – get out the granny pants!
5. Think LOCAL, there are probably a number of fabulous bridal shops on your doorstep that you just haven’t noticed before because you haven’t needed to. In my area I love The Farnham Boutique and The White House, in Alresford, what they both have in common is a truly personal feel and excellent customer service (as well as gorgeous gowns!). From when you walk in the door, you are made to feel a million dollars, and this makes a difference to your whole experience By all means, check out the big names as well. but give your local high street some love too.
6. Do take your time, don’t let yourself be put under pressure to make any decisions or part with any money if you’re unsure. Most bridal shops are wonderful and far too professional to do this, but some can be pushy, so stand your ground, and tell them that you want to think about it. It is your decision, your money, and your wedding – take control!
7. Enjoy yourself! Take your loveliest friends or family, people that will be honest with you, and who want to find the dress of your dreams as much as you do. Try not to take TOO many people to your first appointment, it can be overwhelming to have all of the different opinions in one go, and you really need to concentrate on yourself and what YOU think, at least while you are narrowing down styles. Once you have got a general idea, invite more people along, have fun, and crack open the champagne!
Hope this helps!