Our guide to Wedding Dress Shopping
On the search for the perfect bridal gown? First, check our guide for stress free, fun wedding dress shopping!
The Big Wedding Dress Search - equal parts exciting and scary. It's not the same as picking out an outfit for work or going out out! Finding the perfect wedding dress can be quite a long process and isn't always easy. So, to help you avoid any bridal faux pas or dress search frustrations and to make the process as fun and easy as possible, we've put together this guide to bridal shopping with us. It's a few simple pointers, we hope it helps!
Before you Start Wedding Dress Shopping
- Think about your day, and what kind of wedding dress is most appropriate - a beach wedding vs. formal ballroom reception, winter vs. summer, outdoor ceremony vs. restaurant dinner for 25 etc. Different styles of wedding mean different styles of dress.
- Think about your body shape and personal style - consider all your choices, the style and shape of the wedding dress, necklines, length, waistlines, trains, sleeves and so on...
- Do some at home research - spend a few days or weeks looking at magazines and wedding blogs before venturing to the shops. Save the styles you like, create a mood board and a clear picture will start to emerge (Pinterest so handy for this too!)
- Be realistic - you may trim and buff up for the wedding day, but you're not going to drop 4 sizes or grow Kardashian booty in a few weeks (well it's unlikely anyway!)
- think about what suits you now and what you love to wear, not what looks fab on someone else
- Set a budget - all our designer wedding dress's cost under £1500. Agree an amount with your other half and stick to it. Remember to budget for shoes, accessories, bridesmaids etc. too!
Give Yourself Enough Time to Find the Right Dress
- Start looking sooner rather than later. It's never too early to start trying on dresses as it will give you an idea of what you like and what suits you.
- It can take 16 to 20 weeks for a dress to be made to order, if you leave it any later you may have to pay extra for a rush order. Order 12 to 9 months before your big day is ideal.
- Make sure you take time for alterations into consideration
- While it's fine to try on, don't buy too far in advance (more than a year) as styles change each season
- You may have to wait a week or so for an appointment, particularly on weekends, evenings, or in wedding season - so if you have your eye on a date, book your appointment well in advance.
Making an Appointment with us
- Before you make an appointment, check what dresses and designers we have on our website or Facebook and see if they meet the look and style you're after, we have a range of styles from classic to vintage and high-fashion to fairy tale.
- If you have a certain dress in mind and you've found us as stockist for the designer, call us to check if they we have a sample of that dress - we tend to only keep samples of the current most popular styles, but we might be able to order it in!
- If you have special requirements or are worried about whether we will have samples to fit you, just call ahead and explain your concerns. We promise we are lovely, and we will try to meet your needs as much as possible. We stock dresses up to a size 30 to try in store.
- We don’t charge a service fee for trying on dresses, but to keep it this way please book a time you can defo make and give us good notice to cancel so we can get another bride to be in!
- Organise to go to the appointment on your own, with your Mum or with one or two friends whose opinions you know you can trust. We advise not bringing the whole #bridesquad to your first try! You need to be able to hear yourself think, and follow your own instincts about which dress makes you look and feel great
- We are kid friendly and have toys on hand to keep the little ones busy while you try on! But on your first try it can be best to get a sitter so you can focus on your bride time.
Heading to the Shop
- Make sure to wear appropriate underwear as you will be helped in and out of dresses. Bring a good quality strapless bra and nude knickers if you can!
- Wear little or no make-up to protect the dresses and to give you the chance to see which shades more flattering to your skin tone. No fake tan Please!!
- Bring along any items you have already decided to wear - like a veil or piece of jewellery to make sure it ties in with the dress. Even if you think you'll buy accessories, try on veils, belts and accessories in the shop while you're wearing the dress, just to get an idea of what goes
- Bring along heels in a similar height to those you will wear on the day
- You are welcome to bring along a camera, do take snaps of the dresses you like so you can look over later and compare them. We will provide a brochure to keep a note of the top 3 dress names or number as well as the designer and collection, so you can look them up online and save them that way
In the Shop
- Don't get too caught up with designer labels. Choose the dress not the label, and stick to a price range that's realistic for you and your budget
- Also decide on a size that is also realistic. If you have chosen to slim down before the big day, buy the dress at your size now, therefore the dress can be taken in, whereas if you put on weight it is more difficult to release the dress (seamstress speak for "make it bigger"). A dress that is too small is far worse than a dress that is too big
- Be open-minded, try on a range of styles even dresses you don't like on the hanger, and listen to our recommendations, we know our stuff!
- Don't get discouraged, you may try on dozens before you find 'The One' - try to be patient!
- Save pictures from magazines or online of designer dresses which may be out of your price range but fab bridal inspo and bring them with you when you shop, we may be able to help you look for something similar. We have styles that bear a resemblance to dresses on the catwalk as a cheaper alternative for brides who have smaller budgets
- If you have found The One, remember when you order your wedding dress it is a final sale! You pay a 50% non-refundable deposit or set up a non-refundable payment plan to order so make sure you are sure when you say, 'Yes to the dress'!
- When you have found your dream wedding dress, stop looking! We cannot stress this enough!
- When your dress arrives, put it away in your mum's house or somewhere safe. Don't look at it. This eliminates the risk of temptation and doubt setting in
Wedding Dress Alterations
- Make sure to allow for alterations in both your budget and your time frame. The average cost with us to take up the skirt, secure the bust area and lift the straps is around £150
- If you need to have your dress altered, you are in safe hands with Anne our seamstress! We have loads of personal recommendations on our Facebook page to show off our real bride experiences with us!
- We can offer an "all-inclusive" package and Payment Plan so alterations can be included in the price of the dress and the cost spread out, but usually they are separate.
- Before your final fitting, make sure you have your chosen shoes, underwear and accessories, and bring them along to make sure it all works together. As one of our #Yorkshirebrides you get 10% bride discount on all accessories and bridesmaids in store!
The most important thing about wedding dress shopping is that you have fun! You might not get that 'butterfly feeling' and burst into tele worthy tears if that's not your style, but your wedding dress should make you feel gorgeous and get you excited to wear it - if it doesn't move on!
Why not make a day of it, pair your dress fittings with an afternoon tea with your mum, cocktails with your #brideteam or a catch up with with your sister - you're a bride, make the most of it!
Ready to start shopping? contact us on 01924 900 885 or email email@example.com to get booked in!