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Wedding Wisdom

Paperswan Bride – Top Tips for Wedding Dress Shopping

I am loving Chic Vintage Brides‘ new Wedding Wisdom posts, remembering all the little things I wish I had known when I was a bride-to-be and sharing industry insider top hints and tips. Last time it was Crafting the Perfectly Worded Wedding Invitation and today we are tackling the all important matter of wedding dress shopping. It may be fun, but is no easy task finding THE dress and who would know this even better than any bride, but a wedding boutique owner. Today’s Wedding Wisdom comes from Jennifer from Paperswan Bride…..

Top Tips for Wedding Dress Shopping

1. Budget

How heart wrenching would it be to find your dream dress only to realise that it’s half your wedding budget blown. Don’t be afraid to tell the sales consultant or designer your price range and check whether alterations are included. If you are on a very tight budget look out for sample sales as this is a great place to find a bargain.  There are fabulous wedding dresses in all price ranges these days so your perfect dress is out there whatever your budget.


2. Support Party

Do not underestimate the importance of taking the right people with you when shopping for your wedding dress. First things first, don’t take too many supporters especially to the first appointment as it can be daunting enough without 6 other people’s opinions in the mix.  Two or three people at the most is a good number, Mothers are great as they always have your best interest in mind and won’t be afraid to tell you if something doesn’t look good.  A close friend or sister (someone closer to your age) is also helpful as they will know your personal style. Don’t feel pressured to bring an entourage of bridesmaids, aunties and cousins, instead bring them to the final appointment once you’ve found your dress so they still feel involved in the process.

Wedding Dress Shopping (Image Source Style Me Pretty)

3. Underwear

Plain and simple, wear a strapless bra and well supporting underwear, they don’t need to be spanx or Bridget Jones knickers but full briefs that hold everything in and ideally in nude or white. Having the right underwear can drastically change the appearance of your figure so why wouldn’t you want to look your best?


4. Be Prepared

To make the most out of your appointment do your research beforehand. Are there any specific designers and styles that you want to try? Do you like lace, satin or tulle? Think about silhouettes you like to wear normally, the body parts you want to show off and the ones you want to hide!  What is your personal style, are you classic and sophisticated or playful and girly? Keeping these things in mind will help you stop feeling overwhelmed when faced with so many options.

Wedding Dress Silhouettes

Wedding Dress Silhouettes(Image Source Martha Stewart Weddings)

5. Under Pressure

Don’t feel pressured into buying on the spot unless you really feel you’ve found ‘the one’! This is probably the biggest clothing purchase you’ll ever make so go away and think about it for a few days before handing over your credit card.


6. Open Your Mind

Been open minded is really important as it is easy to have preconceived ideas about what will and won’t suit your figure.  Wedding dresses are built differently from everyday clothes so even if you wouldn’t normally wear something strapless, a strapless wedding dress will fit quite differently from a boob tube you once bought from a high street shop. Sometimes a dress won’t have much ‘hanger appeal’, but once on a body will take on a different shape and look. Let the sales consultant guide you to dresses they think will suit, they are the experts so let them do their thing!

Wedding Dress Shopping

7. Photos

You may assume that most shops won’t allow you take photos but don’t be afraid to ask as the worst they can say is no. If they do let you then this is a perfect way to remember your favourite dresses. The camera doesn’t lie!

8. Timeframe

Depending on your requirements it’s ideal to start looking for your wedding dress around 6-9 months prior to your wedding date. By this time you will probably have your venue confirmed and have an idea of colours and themes. Most designers require around 6 months turnaround time although will do it faster. But be aware there may be a ‘rush’ charge.

Wedding Dresses(Wedding Dresses Hayley Paige, Rosa Clara, Kelsey Genna)

9. Book An Appointment

Although some stores do accept walk ins, to ensure you get the best possible service try to book an appointment ahead of time. Having an appointment means you’ll receive the full allotted time and you’ll be able to try on a good selection of gowns. The alternative is that you turn up unannounced and they are busy and can only see you for half an hour. You leave unhappy and unable to try on many dresses.

Wedding Dress Shopping

10. ‘The One’

As with houses and men, once you’ve found ‘the one’ then stop looking!

Such great advice, I have a friend who bought 3 dresses before her big day – she just didn’t know when to stop looking!

Huge thanks to the lovely Jennifer from Paperswan Bride – for your pearls of wedding wisdom. So who is off wedding dress shopping this weekend? Or any brides-to-be out there have any other top tips for finding the one?