Things I Learnt From Wedding Dress Shopping

Things I Learnt From Wedding Dress Shopping, Wedding, Wedding Planning, Wedding dress shopping, Bride to be, Bridal, Lifestyle

Guess what?


Okay sorry for the shouting, but I am EXCITED and RELIEVED- okay let me calm down.

So last weekend, I found ‘the dress’ – I was starting to lose hope a little, as I’d felt like I’d not found anything that wowed me yet. But when I really think about it, I hadn’t been looking for that long and this was only my fourth appointment at a bridal boutique so it’s not like I’d had thousands of appointments, but I have to say, that I feel so much better now that I’ve found ‘the dress.’

I still have to order my dress, but I’m retrying it on next month and then fingers crossed if I’m still in love with it (which I am 99.9% sure that I will be) I’ll be ordering it eeek! But shopping for my wedding dress definitely wasn’t what I was expecting, in fact, I found it a little stressful. Today, I thought I’d share some things I learnt from A; wedding dress shopping and B : some advice from my five years of working as a Saturday girl in a bridal boutique.

Hopefully it may make any of you struggling with wedding dress shopping feel a little better, so let’s get started.

1. It Isn’t Like It Is In The Movies:

You do have this idea of what wedding dress shopping will be like ; boutiques that look like the one in Bridesmaids, (pre food poisoning incident!) That you’ll be showered in champagne, and twirl around in dresses like you’re Carrie Bradshaw. However, whilst some shops may be like this, not all of them are. In fact, I don’t think I’ve ever been to somewhere where you get champagne, I don’t even know if this is a thing? What I would say, is to not put too much pressure on your wedding dress fittings. Don’t take lots of people with you, just the people who’s opinions matter to you the most (personally I think you should only take a couple of people) and don’t go in, expecting to find your dream dress there and then. You very may well find it in one outing, or after ten, just don’t go in with too high expectations but that doesn’t mean that it’s not an exciting experience, of course it is, have fun and don’t stress!

2. Wedding Dresses Look Completely Different On And Off The Hanger :

From working in a wedding dress shop whilst growing up, I know all too well that all wedding dresses look different on and off the hanger. It’s also important to try all styles as what you may have in your head, may not feel right, and something could surprise you. Have an open mind and try everything, even if you’re not sure about it on the hanger. The amount of times that I saw someone do a full 360 on the kind of dress they wanted was un real! Is my choice what I had in my head? Yes, it’s exactly what I wanted (with a few changes) but remember I have had a lot of practise haha, also you have to try on, at least one big Princess dress, because why not!

3. Do Your Research:

Something I found very helpful, was to do a bit research into different styles and brands. Whilst your first appointment is good to go in to with a an open mind, once you have found what kind of styles suit you and you have a good idea of what you want, it’s good to then start doing some research. I had a certain style of dress in mind, and I knew what elements I wanted, so I could very easily look at brands and dis-count them from looking at their dresses.  I would then find the stockists of designers/dresses I liked, and would go to try on there. It was a sheer coincidence that I found my dress/the designer, and I realised that this designer was literally so up my street. I didn’t want to just go to shops where they might not have the kind of thing I was after, so by having a clear idea of the designers and dresses I wanted, at least trips out wedding dress shopping wouldn’t be wasted.

4. Take Lots Of Pictures:

Firstly, let me just say that it boggles my mind a little bit when wedding dress shops won’t let you take pictures, because looking back at those pictures will be so helpful when it comes to making up your mind. I mean, I know that some places are perhaps worried you’ll copy their dress, but if you’re going to do that, you could probably just research the dress that you tried on anyways. Okay so rant over. I found that looking back at the photos was really useful. For example, on my first wedding dress shop outing, I thought I’d found ‘the dress’ and this dress was gorgeous, but it was completely different to what I thought I wanted. I of course, know this happens, but I think I got a bit caught up in the moment, caught up with standing in a gorgeous dress, everyone telling me how lovely it looked and my Mum being in love with it. I came away genuinely thinking ‘I’ve found the dress!’ But then when I got home, I uploaded the pictures from my camera of the dress and as soon as I saw them, I was like ‘Oh.’

The dress just didn’t look as amazing in the pictures, and I of course know it’s not all about that, but to me, it didn’t look like ‘the one.’ I felt like it didn’t really flatter me in the pictures, and I felt deflated. I told myself, I’d see if I still thought the same in a few days, and honestly, I pretty much forgot about the dress. I knew then that it wasn’t the one, it compromised too many things that I wanted and I knew I’d probably regret ordering it. Having those photos really helped to give me another opinion, it’s so hard to remember what the dress looks like just from memory. Get someone to take photos of all angles, even videos, so you can study it later, as you need time away to process and think about things.

I can’t stop looking at the photos of my actual dress. Every time Henry goes out of the room, I look at the photos, I’m obsessed with this dress and love how it looks. Seriously though, pictures will help you out so much, when it comes to making your decision.

5. You’ll Know When It’s The One :

A few weeks ago, I’d have rolled my eyes at that statement. I was starting to think that wedding dress shopping was a bit meh, maybe I’d never get that ‘wow’ moment and more of a ‘yeah this is nice, it’ll do’ but when I put on my dress last week, I looked in the mirror and got a feeling. A feeling that said ‘I think this could be the one’, I felt giddy and excited, and also a little relieved when everyone else loved it too.

Tash, my sister in law to be, said that I just instantly relaxed in the dress, and I knew it was the one because I didn’t want to take it off. Then afterwards, any other dress just didn’t compare and since coming away from the shop, I keep looking at the pictures and I feel content. I have no plans to look at any other dresses and I have even unfollowed all of the wedding dress designers that I was following on Instagram. So if that’s not commitment then I don’t know what is!

6. Don’t Worry- You Will Find The One :

Finally, if you’re reading this thinking ‘I’ll never find the one’ don’t worry- I totally get it. What I will say though, is don’t stress. You will find the one, just keep trying and keep looking. Perhaps take a break from looking, or go and try different places and remember it’s not a chore, it’s an exciting time. I wish I’d chilled out and not put so much pressure on the appointments, and let myself enjoy the process more. In the end, I found my dress when I was least expecting to.

So there is all my pearls of wisdom re wedding dress shopping, I am so, so excited to try on my dress again, and feel like a little kid at Christmas. To be honest with you, wedding planning is something I’ve found pretty stressful, but finding my dress has made me excited again.

I’d love to know if you have any advice for wedding dress shopping?