Updated: Oct 4
Ready to head out there and find your dream wedding dress? We're so excited for you! But where to start wedding dress shopping?
There are a few things you should consider before you start making your appointments, so let's discover how to ensure you can choose a bridal shop who will understand your bridal vision and help you find 'the one!'
DECIDE HOW FAR YOU'RE WILLING TO TRAVEL
Are you willing to travel to find your dream dress?
Decide how far you're willing to go in search of your perfect gown. There are some designers who will only have a limited amount of stockists across the UK, so if you find a wedding dress that makes you feel excited - you need to be sure you're willing to travel for it. We'd recommend considering travelling up to an hour to give yourself a really good selection of bridal shops to discover.
KNOW YOUR IDEAL BUDGET
It is so important to have a budget set before you start making appointments. Most bridal shops will tell you their price range so check your budget is a match, this way you're able to fall in love without walking away. There are lots of options for all brides, so make sure you have an enjoyable experience by feeling comfortable with your maximum spend.
Did you know that it can take up to 9 months for your wedding dress to arrive with your bridal shop once ordered? Thanks to covid-19 delays and the impact of Brexit on imports, gowns are taking much longer to arrive with us. If you only have a short amount of time before your wedding, you may need to consider purchasing a sample gown from a boutique or looking at off the rail stores where you can take your dress away the same day.
FIND YOUR VIBE
If you're looking for a dreamy boho gown, a shop who stocks more traditional bridal gowns will not have many (or any!) options for you. Likewise, if you're looking for something more traditional feeling, a shop who specialised in modern gowns will struggle to find you anything. The easiest way to find out if a bridal shop matches your vibe is to look at their website and social media. If it doesn't feel right, keep looking. We know that choosing local shops can be easier, particularly if you're wanting to bring lots of family and friends but your experience will not be fun if you have a bridal stylist who can only show you one or two gowns that don't compliment your style. If anything, it's a little awkward and you'll be desperate to get out of there!
DON'T BOOK A BUNCH AT ONCE
You've been waiting for this! You want to make the most of it, right?
Imagine this. You go to shop number one, you're having THE BEST time. You find a dress you fall in love with and don't want to take it off. Your family and friends are in love too. But now you have to leave because you've got another appointment to go to. You walk in and the atmosphere is different to the place you've just been. The dresses are ok but all you can think about is the one in the other shop. You just want to get back there. Now, what could have been you finding the one, celebrating and going home on a high with your nearest and dearest has turned into something less exciting. So how should you do it? One shop at a time. Find the RIGHT shops. Give your fave a go and if you don't fall in love with anything, move onto the next one. If you do, then it's okay to say yes to that dress. We've had brides buy the very first dress they've ever tried. We've had brides go to 11 shops and come back. We've seen it all! Trying too many dresses can get you confused and overwhelmed so when you find a dress that gives you that feeling, know it's okay to stop looking!
CONSIDER THE DESIGNERS
It's a little known fact that not all shops have access to the same designers. If there's multiple designers you love, there might only be a handful of stores that have that exact combination. Additional to this, stocking a designer does not mean the store will have all gowns from their collections so if there's a certain dress you'd like to try, make sure you check beforehand.
CHECK THEIR REPUTATION
For most brides, wedding dress shopping is a one time thing. We know you want to make the most of your experience and finding the right shop will let you do this, even if you don't go anywhere else! If the shop is local to you, see if you know anyone who has been there who can tell you what the experience was like. If not, head to their reviews so you can understand how other brides felt.
That's it! Happy shopping bridey - we hope to see you really soon!