Eight Tips To Help You Find Your Perfect Wedding Dress

 
Wedding Gowns Bride Dress Shopping Inspiration Research Planning www.unsplash.com

For some brides, buying a wedding dress is the realisation of excited childhood dreams. For others, trying to find the right dress is harder than climbing Everest.

I wore three different dresses on our (three) wedding days. The first was a very simple champagne-coloured Alfred Sung bridesmaid dress with cap sleeves. The second was a gown with a frill neckline and big skirt from J Crew. And finally, I wore my Mum's wedding dress, which I had altered. It transitioned from having an apricot flower neckline with puffy sleeves to a more fitted dress with a mocha lace belt.

Funnily enough, none of these dresses came even close to the dress I'd originally imagined wearing. I THOUGHT I wanted a larger ballgown with a lace top and long sleeves - and I may well have loved that particular dress, but for me, the $6000 US price tag deterred me from even trying it on. Even so, I loved all three dresses I ended up wearing and was very happy with how I looked and felt in them. Below, I share eight tips with you from my experience(s) saying 'yes' to the dress. I hope they are helpful...

My champagne Alfred Sung (bridesmaid) wedding dress in New Orleans. The Kate Spade necklace was double the price of the dress but was oh-so-worth-it! And don’t worry, I remembered to take my watch off…

My champagne Alfred Sung (bridesmaid) wedding dress in New Orleans. The Kate Spade necklace was double the price of the dress but was oh-so-worth-it! And don’t worry, I remembered to take my watch off…

1. Do some preparation before you go shopping... Firstly, make appointments at the dress shops you're interested in. This will save disappointment if you arrive at a store and they can't assist you at that time. (This totally happened to me).

2. Secondly, do a little prior thinking and research before you start attending appointments. Check out each bridal store's website for a catalogue of their dresses and size ranges. The internet is full of wedding dresses to drool over, from simple, to epic, to elaborate. Make a Pinterest board or simply check Google images and then print a few favourite dresses to bring along with you to give your stylist a strong idea of the kind of gown you're looking for.

3. Keep an open mind. When you actually get to the shopping part, your "dream dress" may not suit your shape or look quite right when you try it on (or, like me, be in your budget). Be prepared to try a few dresses that you may not usually consider, as they may surprise you!

4. Think about your overall 'bridal' look. I think it’s important to stay true to your own sense of style and personality! If you are a fabulous bohemian creative type, look for chic non-traditional dresses that scream out your name! If you want a voluminous princess ballgown to reflect your inner queen, go for it! You are getting married and it is YOUR dress, so it should be something you love and feel like you will totally rock on the big day (because you so will).

Also on that note, when you are trying on dresses, think about what accessories, shoes and veil you might like to wear. Would that dress work with those items? Would it fit your wedding theme? If you have already purchased an accessory or two, it can be super helpful to bring them along. For example, I had a statement necklace I knew I wanted to wear, so I brought it to my appointments to make sure a particular neckline would work well.

Wedding Gowns Bride Dress Shopping Inspiration Research Planning www.unsplash.com

5. Buy a dress you feel comfortable in! Wedding days are lengthy, so choose a dress that's comfy enough to be in all day long. If you're like me, it must be up to lasting on the dance floor too! Bustles are great for this if your dress is longer or has a train.

6. Don't overlook or overthink it. My advice is... once you've found the dress you love, stop shopping. Most brides have a few dress doubts, but going to too many other places and trying on too many dresses after the big purchase will only confuse you - especially if you are as dreadfully indecisive as I am.

7. Make a day (or two) of it. The lead-up to your wedding should be exciting and fun. Take your closest girls (or boys!) to look at dresses and enjoy the experience. Just limit the number of your 'panel' and make sure they will give you completely honest opinions and advice. Then afterwards, celebrate with a champagne or beer together - you deserve it...

8. A quick note for curvy girls like me - I'd recommend doing some prior online investigating to find boutiques that stock sizes and styles that will suit your body shape and look appealing to you. More bridal salons are realising that brides are not all one size, which is fabulous! Don't forget that alteration places can work wonders and belts and boleros/sleeves can be added to dresses to 'tweak' them too. Alternatively, you can get a beautiful gown made just for you by a talented seamstress.

My gorgeous Mama and me wearing her (slightly altered) wedding dress in Germany!

My gorgeous Mama and me wearing her (slightly altered) wedding dress in Germany!

There are no hard and fast rules when it comes to finding your wedding dress... So simply make sure that your gown reflects your personality and that it looks and feels good on. Oh, and maybe ensure that it can withstand some enthusiastic dancing too!

Do you have any other handy tips for brides-to-be while they go on their 'dress quest'? Let me know in the comments...

Happy dress shopping!! Abby xx

 

Photo Credits

  1. Photo-nic.co.uk on Unsplash 

  2. Eau Claire Photographics (our FAB New Orleans photographers)

  3. Charisse Kenion on Unsplash

    4. My talented Uncle Tony