Bridal Shopping – A Quick Guide

Posted by Aoife O Gorman

Below is a list of things every bride should consider before she starts bridal shopping:

  1. Budget. Dresses on average are between £1000-£5000 so don’t be shocked by price and do set a budget before you begin.
  2. Think location and theme if you’re having one. Example: you won’t want heavy lace for a Cyprus wedding in August or won’t want a short dress for black tie on New Years Eve.
  3. Don’t visit more than two stores in a day as will cause dress blindness and will confuse you with too many styles and options. Get your head around your favorites and styles that suit.
  4. Many brides have the idea of champagne when dress shopping. Yep it is done in many a store but with a £25-£40 appointment fee. I’m sure many people would prefer to see the dresses than limit themselves to 1-2 stores.
  5. The more people you bring, the more conflict on opinions might be offered, which may be a bad idea. I’ve had many a bride in tears due to opinions of others breaking their hearts and making negative comments on a dress they love. It’s best to bring 2/3 people: the people who you trust and who know you best.
  6. Taking a picture of every dress (even the ones you don’t like) is just wasting time and will confuse you. Narrow it down to three favourites and then be snap happy. Many stores don’t allow photos so ask before you start or you could cause conflict!
  7. Bridal dress shopping usually starts around a year before the big day. You may shop earlier with the intention of buying, but don’t leave it too late. You will get stuck with dresses on a sale rack (ex-sample gowns) or will have to pay extra to get the dress in on time from the designers.
  8. Plain simple dresses can always be dressed up with veils, head pieces and jewellery for that added sparkle, so if on a tight budget look at this alternative.
  9. Seamstress costs are usually external and may cost extra so think of this before you buy. Lace trim at the end is going to be more expensive.
  10. Last but not least: take time out to discuss your favorites over tea or coffee and be prepared that what you imagined may not be the dress you go for.  Sometimes you’ll surprise yourself.

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