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10 tips for wedding dress shopping

by | 11 February 2017 | Bride

So you’ve found ‘the one’ but now you have to find the other ‘one’. Yes, we are talking about the wedding dress, and finding the perfect one is certainly no mean feat. So take a deep breath, and before you go rummaging around the bridal boutiques, equip yourself with our ten tips for wedding dress shopping.

1. Get inspired

There is so much inspiration online. Pinterest, Instagram, wedding blogs… they are overflowing with designers and boutiques vying for your attention, and they are also filled with wedding day snaps from endless brides. That’s plenty of ideas for you to draw from before you start dress shopping. Keep any photos of styles or designers you particularly love.

2. Know your budget

We know, it’s a dirty word when it comes to your dreams, but you really do need to know your dress budget before you shop. We can all get carried away in the moment while wearing a couture gown; do not try on anything that is over your spending threshold because nothing is worse than standing in a dress that you really really want but you really really cannot afford. Just don’t do it to yourself.


3. The gaggling crowd

We know you probably promised your best friend, and your best friend’s friends they could come dress shopping, but as fun as a girly day out can be, too many opinions can hinder a lot more than help. Take your closest friend, or your closest relative, but try to limit it to two other people. You can always invite others for your final fitting.


4. Always wear good underwear

You probably won’t have bought your wedding day lingerie before the dress, but do try and wear something gown appropriate when you’re shopping. A good bra can make all the difference to the fit and feel of a dress.

Old fashioned underwear

5. ‘Tis the season

Summer bride? Or perhaps you’re planning a winter wedding? Keep the season in mind when you start shopping. You don’t want to be sweating down the aisle just because you fell in love with a velvet layered dress and you’re getting married in August.

Bride and groom on camels

6. Keep an open mind

Although you may have an idea of the kind of dress you want, very often, brides end up in something completely unexpected. Be open to suggestions to try something different, listen to your sales consultant’s advice, and you might just be surprised.

Back view of a young woman in wedding dress looking at bridal gowns on display in boutique

7. Limit your try-ons

Of course, you’ll be tempted to try on the whole shop to find the ultimate dress, but go slow. Don’t confuse yourself by trying on an endless array of dresses, think of it like perfume shopping, try too many fragrances and eventually you will find yourself unable to tell the difference between them.

Too many options

8. Write it down

Many bridal boutiques don’t allow photographs, so there’s no chance of a selfie here. Take a notebook and write down styles or details you like, things you hate, names of bridal designers… it’ll give you something helpful to come back to if you don’t find ‘the one’ on the first go.

Wedding notebook

9. Extra costs?

If you’re buying off the peg and you need alterations, make sure you factor these into the final cost. Ask the boutique what they will charge, or check out any local seamstresses before you go. Alterations can be costly, so you need to keep this in mind if you’re trying to stick to a budget.

Bride wedding dress fitting

10. Ignore the films

This might be hard to hear, but life isn’t always like the movies. You may not have that wow moment when you put on THE dress. You might end up deciding between two, you might feel like you’re compromising, or you might grow to only love a dress after a second or third fitting. Just like love, it’s not all fairytales and fantasy, so be prepared and be realistic.

Fairytale wedding carriage

About to embark on your first wedding dress shopping trip? Or perhaps you’ve found the one, you’re now a pro and you want to tell us how it’s done? Share any tips you have with us in the comments box below.

About the author

Laura Feasey

Having studied journalism at the London College of Fashion, Laura trained in crafting features and articles, not only in the subject of fashion, but in lifestyle, art, travel and culture. For the last few years she has been writing for a number of clients, from holiday companies such as and lowcostholidays, to design retailers such as and Debenhams.


Bride 10 tips for wedding dress shopping