My beautiful sister is getting married in early 2016 and as “Chief Bridesmaid”, a number of responsibilities have been bestowed upon me
One of these was organising the wedding dress search. This I did not mind as my sister lives in Chester so I was only too happy to help. Not having been apart of a wedding party before, I was starting off from scratch. The Wedding Dress Day itself turned out to be fabulous and I did learn a few lessons along the way.
For anybody who is looking (or helping to look), here are some essential tips:-
1. Shop Early
Try to shop for a dress as early as you can. This gives you wiggle room for changing your mind, ordering the dress, getting additional items shipped etc. My sisters wedding is in April 2016 and we began to look at the beginning of June this year. Doing it early also allows you to have an idea of the cost and how much extra you need to save. Paying in installments is also an option so having the additional few months takes the pressure off.
2. Research, Research, Research.
Read reviews, go onto wedding forums and find out what people are saying about wedding dress shops in your area. Any bride will travel to find the perfect dress so don’t limit it to just a town. Whilst you should always form your own opinion, you don’t want to waste an appointment on a shop that has had a million bad reviews.
3. Make Appointments
Try to aim for 3 dress shops in one day. Any more than 3 and you will just feel rushed and lose steam in the whole process. The appointments will be roughly an hour so try to space them throughout the day. You don’t want to be rocking up to the next shop all sweaty from your 20 minutes dash across the city! #NotAGoodLook
4. Be Open Minded
We may all have an idea in our head of what wedding dress we like, but I’m sure you know that it is a small few (if any) that actually end up with that dress. Make sure you try on all styles, shapes and materials as you may be surprised what you actually love. Any sales assistant worth their weight in gold will make sure you do.
5. Bring Someone Honest
There is absolutely no point in bringing someone that you know will just want to please you and say yes to every dress you try on. You need someone who is not afraid to be honest and will tell you what does and does not work for you. The sales assistants will be very helpful but there is no honesty likes friends and family
6. What to Wear
When trying on dresses, it sounds a bit obvious but you should wear NO TAN and BRING WEDDING SHOES. Now, when I say wedding shoes, I do mean shoes of roughly the same height you were thinking of wearing on the day. It will show the dress off better and give you a more honest idea of how the shape will fall. And the no tan rule – well thats a given. You wouldn’t like to try on a dress that has tan stains all over the inside (Ewww!)
7. Ask for Deals
Buying a dress is a pretty big step. Emotionally and Financially. The sales assistants, if they are any good at their job, will become a huge part of you being happy about your purchase and comfortable handing over the spondoolies! Always ask if there is anything they can do on the price for you. They may give you a % discount, or allow you chose a veil/headpiece at no extra cost. It’s always worth it – don’t forget, this is a large chunk of the wedding budget so they should want to keep you.
8. Alterations in the Shop
Try to chose a shop that does it’s own alterations and that they are (or at least the first one is) included in the price. If they send you elsewhere for a fitting, things can get messy if something happens to the dress or you are not happy. Should something happen to the dress, where would the responsibility lie? The dress shop could say “It wasn’t us!” and the alteration shop could say “It was like then when we got it”. Keeping it all as one allows for smoother experience.
9. Enjoy it!
Weddings are so much fun so make sure you enjoy the lead up just as much. This will be the only wedding dress you plan to buy so soak up the experience. Enjoy trying on all the different styles and be comfortable when you find “the one” you will know it.
We had a champagne breakfast at home, had the 3 appointments in town and then a late lunch in the Shelbourne Hotel (€29 for 2 courses!). There was no expectations on the day which I think made it all the more enjoyable!
I hope these help and let me know how your wedding dress search goes
Love, P x
Shopping for that Wedding Dress