Newly engaged brides may want to rush to their nearest bridal boutique and try on as many dresses as physically possible. You should, however, do your homework before you hit the shops.
There is such a thing as shopping too early and too late for your wedding gown, and whilst the 10-month mark is the perfect time to start the wedding dress shopping experience, preparing yourself for the fun, frolics and faff of finding your dream gown is a must.
There are a number of questions to answer in the wedding dress department. We reveal what every bride should know before shopping for their wedding gown.
Know your theme
Whether you have a vision of what you want your wedding day to be like or not, rifling through various sources of inspiration and developing a concrete idea of your dream big day will help you make the many decisions that go hand-in-hand with wedding planning confidently.
The theme of your big day will influence every part of your preparations, including what your wedding dress will look like. Those having a laid-back luxe wedding, for example, will want an entirely different ensemble than brides sticking with tradition.
The season that your wedding date falls into can also have a significant impact on your dress design and associated accessories. A spring wedding like the beautiful ceremony and reception we hosted here at Gosfield for Emma and Jack will call for a completely different style than an autumn or winter wedding. Cover-ups and other accessories may be required in the cooler months too.
Know your budget
As well as spending those early days post-engagement gathering and refining your wedding inspiration, you and your fiancé should talk numbers.
Shopping within your means will save you a lot of heartaches later. Before you start shopping, devise a realistic figure that you can dedicate to purchasing your dream dress. If a generous family member is footing the bill, set a strict budget too. You may want to explore just above this budget to get the dress you want if you can pay the difference yourself.
You should also budget for the hidden costs of getting the bridal look you want. This should include accessories, hair, makeup, beauty and wedding dress cleaning.
Know your style and shape
You should know your style and shape when you begin to gather inspiration, but don’t be afraid to try on styles that you didn’t consider in the research phase. Arm yourself with an open mind and take suggestions from those shopping with you as well as the boutique’s bridal consultants – the results may surprise you!
Know bridal sizing
Unbeknown to most, bridal styling differs from the sizing you’re used to when shopping for regular clothes online or on the high street. Here Shade Bridal Boutique reveals just one of the reasons why:
“Bridal Gowns are not usually made from materials with a lot of stretches or give in them. They are structure garments and some will have fitted bodices or seam shaping around the hips and bottom area. Almost every bride will have to have some degree of alterations carried out on her dress even if it’s only the hem. Bridal gowns are bespoke items of clothing, more importantly, so if the gown is fitted. They need to be tailored by a seamstress to fit you perfectly.”
Bridal sizing can make you one or two sizes bigger as a result. But this shouldn’t be a cause for dismay. A wedding dress is an entirely different type of garment, and working with bridal sizing and having the alterations that most brides have to have will guarantee the perfect fit.
If you have ambitions to lose weight before your wedding day, don’t shop with your desired size goal in mind either. Shop for the size you are instead of going smaller, it can always be altered closer to your wedding date.