The things no one tells you about wedding dress shopping

“My consultant at Luv Bridal could tell how disheartened I was after trying on the dress I had fallen in love with online.” It was beautiful, but I felt that it didn’t suit me at all. My consultant turned everything around by recommending one dress. I tried it on and was so pleased that I paid for it on the spot,” says real bride Chelsea of her search for the perfect dress with Luv Bridal.

What do I need to bring to my wedding dress appointment?

A budget is the most important thing to bring to your wedding dress appointment. Knowing how much you want to spend and how much wiggle room you have is ideal. The excellent idea is to book wedding dress boutiques based on your budget. If you’re unsure, there is no shame in asking what the range of dress prices is.

“Wear an invisible bra and underwear you are comfortable being seen in. You’ll definitely need help changing in and out of dresses.”

It’s definitely advisable to wear nude, seamless underwear, lest you be battling a VPL in a fitted dress or a neon shadow under your fine silks! If you’re trying on fitted dresses and shape-wear is your style, it could be worth wearing a pair of Spanx to best showcase the dresses’ silhouettes.

“Bring a comfortable pair of shoes. The bridal boutique I went to had a pair of heels for me to use, but they were way higher and about four sizes too big for me!”

Many shoppers like to bring a shoe in their size and of the same heel height they think they’ll want to pair their dress with. This will also help with alterations and the hemming of the dress.

“Do your hair and makeup the way you envision it on the day to get an idea!”

Having your hair, make-up, and any other beauty rituals you enjoy done on the day of your appointment can help you feel like more of a bride. Steer clear of anybody makeup on your neck and decolletage, though. Although the dresses you’re trying on are likely to be sampled, you’ll want to avoid any smears of foundation on the fabric.

“My wedding dress was the first thing I bought. I have always been the kind of girl who dreamed about her wedding day and wedding dress, and I was so excited to finally try one on. I had been to so many stores, but Eternal Bridal was the only place that I felt had gowns like I had imagined,” says real bride Crystal of her wedding dress shopping experience with Eternal Bridal.

Who should I bring to my wedding dress appointment?

There are no hard and fast rules on who, if anyone, you should bring to your wedding dress appointment. With more bridal ateliers going virtual, your position could even be at your home, flicking through designers with some close friends and making an order online!

“The best part of my dress shopping experience was seeing the tears on my nan’s face at every dress I came out in. They were moments I will remember for the rest of my life.”

Still, dress shopping can be a beautiful, intimate moment to share with your closest confidants. It’s less about bringing your most fashionable, style-guru friends (although, by all means, go ahead and invite them!) and more about allowing a select few loved ones to enjoy this exciting pre-wedding experience with you.

“Don’t take your mum if she’s not on the same page as you. Unless she’s buying, of course!”

Brides and consultants agree your wedding dress appointment companions should be trusted advisors. We’ve all seen the trope of the meddling mother-in-law or negative bridesmaid who finds a flaw in every frock. Choose people to accompany you based on who makes you feel like your most confident, fabulous, comfortable self.

“I honestly wish I’d gone on my own. That way you don’t have to worry about anyone’s opinion but your own!”

There is always an option to go solo if you want to avoid confusion or unwanted opinions. If you still want to involve your loved ones in the wedding dress shopping experience, an excellent option is to select a dress on your own and then invite them to the final fitting. “I’ve purchased a wedding dress I love, and I want you to be the first ones to see it!” should be your go-to line here.

Real bride Jade knew she wanted a thigh-high leg slit, dramatic silhouette, and thin, delicate straps. She selected d’Italia to bring her vision to life.

I’ve heard some horror stories about wedding dress shopping. How can I prepare to ensure it’s a great experience?

A lot of the stress and difficulty of wedding dress shopping can be alleviated with the right boutiques. Finding a retailer and a consultant you feel comfortable with is vital. Rushing you to make a decision, making comments about your body, and not listening to your budget are all glaring red flags.

The right wedding dress consultant will make you feel at ease and unhurried throughout the process. They’ll make your budget work for you and be transparent about pricing. Take your time with decision-making and assess your options before committing.

“Be strong against pushy sales girls. Don’t let them bully you into buying a dress you don’t love.”

A good rule of thumb is to take a moment in the dressing room alone with your dress and listen to your instincts. Don’t be afraid to be polite but firm, with needing more time to make a decision. This will also help you to separate your opinion from the opinions of the friends and family you have brought with you.

“Remember your body does not fit the dress; the dress fits your body!”

Even the most confident people can feel niggling insecurities creep in during wedding dress shopping. The above real bride advice is an excellent mantra to keep in mind. After all, you’re wearing the dress, not the other way around! Finding a bridal supplier who is size inclusive can also be important. Don’t be afraid to ask this question before making your appointment. If you’re looking for more wedding dress body positivity tips, we have the perfect article for you.

“Make a day of it! Do lunch, dinner or drinks afterwards to thank your people for coming along.”

Making your wedding dress appointment a full-day outing can make it an upbeat bonding experience. Discussing your options over a meal gives you pause to solidify your feelings towards the dresses you’ve tried and acts as a cooling-off period to avoid any rash decisions in the fitting room. That said…

“We had lunch in between appointments, and so I felt bloated and gross at the afternoon shop!”

If you know you tend to get sluggish and lethargic after a big meal, perhaps leave the pasta and wine until after your last appointment for the day. Again, listen to your body and your instincts, and base the experience around what makes you feel your best.

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