Ultimate Guide to Wedding Dress Shopping

So, the time has finally arrived. The moment you have been waiting for since at least the third date, wedding dress shopping. While it may seem daunting, following our guide to wedding dress shopping will not only be less-stressful, but probably your favourite wedding to-do.

Set your Budget

We all have Pinterest boards with our favourite dresses pinned, but before you get too carried away pinning those Swarovski Crystal gowns, it is important to be realistic and set your budget. Look at the designers and styles you like and decide what you are willing to spend. Be sure to include the cost of your veil, accessories and alterations.

Not sure if the veil is for you? Have a read through our blog to decide.

Bride in Cindy Bam standing on beach brunette bride wearing a lace mantilla veil

Start Early

It’s important to start early, you don’t want to overwhelm yourself or put yourself under too much pressure to find ‘the one’. Ideally you should start shopping 12 months in advance. This allows plenty of time for shopping, delivery and your alterations. If you do not have that kind of time, some boutiques will offer rush services or allow you to purchase sample sizes (at a cost). Book your first appointment once you have the bigger picture, after you have a set wedding date and booked your venue.

Choose your Tribe Wisely

Choose who you would like by your side wisely, you want to feel comfortable trying on gowns during the day. Chat to the boutique about the number of guests they allow before telling your friends and family. You want people who are supportive and know what you are looking for. Having too many guests allow for varying opinions.

Pro Tip: Take a hard look at who needs to be there. Is anyone paying towards your wedding dress?

bride in maggie sottero dress looking over shoulder blonde holding bouquet

Be Prepared

Never book more than two appointments in a single day and be sure to take breaks in between. You may think it is important not to eat or drink anything before your fitting, but you definitely should! Not only will you be drinking and eating on your wedding day, but it’ll make sure you don’t become hangry. Practice everything you’d be doing on your wedding day so you know how it’ll feel. Sit, dance and walk around a bit. Ask your designer any questions you might have, now is the time.

Undergarments and Bridal Shoes

If you already have your bridal shoes, bring them with you. Usually the store will have heels, but they may not have your size so it is best to be prepared. Bridal experts suggest a pair of nude coloured panties and a strapless bra for versatility. If you really want a fancy bra then bring it with you to be sure it fits under the gown, but it is common for cups to be sewn into the dress during alterations.

bride looking out the window Bride standing at window

Keep an Open Mind

Even if you have a very clear image in your mind about what you want to wear for your wedding day, try something different. Try that dress with the blush undertone, or the style you thought would absolutely not suit you because you may just be surprised. It is helpful to know what you want so you can narrow down the options (they are endless!), but be open to something new.

Treat Yourself

If you can budget in the time and money, head to your salon. Treat yourself by getting your hair and makeup done, maybe even the look you’d want on your wedding day. Being in full glam will help you visualize the entire look even better. Just be careful when trying on the gowns!

Most importantly, trust your gut! The designer will have your best interest at heart and will want their gown to look good on you, but ultimately it is your decision. If you know in your heart that you have found the one, then go for it! 

Happy shopping!

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