Oh, the wedding dress. Most young girls dream of the day they’ll float up the aisle in a puffy cloud of lace and tulle, while a hundred pairs of eyes gaze at them. I say most girls, because I certainly wasn’t one of them. Last year when I got engaged, I knew exactly what I wanted everyone to wear, except me, which is ridiculous – it’s all about the dress, right?
I had some idea about the kind of thing which best suited me (or so I thought) so when I started shopping, I knew kind of what I was looking for when the time came to venture into the bridal boutiques. What I definitely wasn’t expecting, however, is how much time and energy actually goes into ‘saying yes to the dress’. I’ve shared some of the things I wish I knew when I first wriggled into a wedding dress.
Wedding Dress Styles
The first thing to consider is obvious – which style is your favourite? I knew the styles I absolutely did not want to try on from the off, but I didn’t consider which fabrics I did and didn’t like the feel of. When looking for dresses, some of the most common fabrics you’ll come across are tulle, lace, organza (ew) , chiffon and satin. It’s important to note that how your dress sits depends on the fabric, and I’ll write a post on this soon!
Know Your Budget
This is so, SO important. When I first started looking, I decided on my absolute maximum budget, and then thought about what I’d ideally like to spend. Films are misleading when it comes to price, and every single bride seems to manage to afford the Vera Wang they just HAVE to have, but in reality, that ain’t happening for most of us gals! The average price in the UK for a wedding dress is £1300, so be prepared to be horrified at a price tag or two.
When to Go
The first time I went was in September, about three months after getting engaged. We hadn’t set our date then, but the girl in me was ITCHING to put on a dress (even though I had my eyes shut most of the time). I think it’s always a good idea to get a feel of the experience before you jump right in and make a purchase, it’ll make you more comfortable when you’re seriously looking at buying your dress, and you get more chances at prancing around like a princess.
Where to Visit
This is a toughy. Dress shops are everywhere, but they don’t necessarily have fantastic service, and not all of them will stock the designer you want. I spent hours and hours trawling Google to find boutiques close to me that carried the designers I liked and catered to my budget, but I also looked at millions of reviews – some of which were appalling. A wedding gown is one of the most expensive garmets you’ll purchase in a life time – look at it as an investment. You wouldn’t purchase a car from somebody who sucked, why should this be any different? It’s only one of the BIGGEST DAYS OF YOUR LIFE!
Bringing the Band of Merry Women
This is fine, the first time. When you’re just trying on dresses to see what you like and what you really do not. The problem with inviting your bridesmaids and your mum and your fiance’s brother’s sister is that every single one of those people will have an opinion, and nobody will be too scared to divulge. When it comes to seriously shopping, only bring a couple of people you trust to respect your decision, and also those you know will get excited and drink champagne with you afterwards! I had my two oldest friends with me and it was the best time!
What to Wear
A white strapless bra and white undies. No compromise, this is what you wear. You’ll have to strip down to that when you’re in the booth with at least one lady you’ve never met, and you’ll spend more time semi-naked than you will in a dress. There’s a very good chance you’ll try on a strapless dress, so you won’t want to ruin the effect with your loudest, proudest polka-dotted brassiere! Also remember to shave and wear deodorant – bitch is gonna get close.
Footwear and Accessories
I didn’t bring heels with me, because every place I went to either supplied their own or had a platform for you to stand on, so you kind of got how long it’d be on you – give or take seven feet if you’re just over five foot like me. I’m wearing my mother in law’s veil and tiara, so I brought those with me to see how they sat with each dress I tried on, but if you’re thinking of wearing one and don’t have it yet, a good shop will provide examples which best match your chosen gown.
Remember, the sample dresses won’t always fit you. Most shops carry a size 12 as that’s the standard size of a female in the UK. Your assistant should pin or clip the dress in the right places so you’ll get the right idea, and you’ll just have to imagine the length, because the dresses are all designed for the taller lady.
I bought my dress a couple of weeks ago and I can’t wait to wear it again! If you’re in the process of buying yours, let me know how it’s going in the comments below!