Selecting the right wedding dress is one of the most important decisions you will make in planning your wedding. It can be more than a little daunting, as you know all eyes are going to be on you – and your dress – on the big day and you want to make sure that you are looking your best. It’s enough to drive some brides to despair. But with a little pre-planning it’s easy to get organized and on the right track to finding “the one”. Here are 6 top tips to help you find the perfect wedding dress for you:
Look for what you like
1. Look for what you like – Some of us girls even have pictures of dresses saved from before we got our proposal! Looking in wedding magazines is always the useful first step to getting an idea of what you want – it’s fun too. Also use the internet as a resource. Keep these clippings and bookmark sites in your web browser. Top Tip: Use Google’s Image Search function to quickly browse through pictures of dresses (go to the Google homepage and click on the text that says ‘Images’ in the top left hand corner. Then search as normal for ‘wedding dresses’ – the results will be images instead of text).
2. Look early – This means looking at around 9 months ahead if possible. Say you have a proposal, set a date – ideally you can start looking then. If you are ordering a custom dress then this can take months to make and if you need alterations – as the majority of women do – this will also take time. A good seamstress is often booked up far in advance, so getting in early is essential.
Set a budget for the dress
3. Set a budget – Why does there have to be a budget?! Well, it’s way too easy to go overboard with the dress – but it is unfair to spend a huge proportion of the budget on a dress if it means your guests have to eat bread rolls all night! It’s important to strike a balance and setting a budget in advance can help you focus. And remember you can find stunning gowns for a few hundred pounds if you know where to look (check out our site below for more on this). Also remember alterations could cost a few hundred pounds, although some boutiques will do the alterations in store for you, if you negotiate with them.
How to pay for the dress
4. How to pay – Instead of using a cash deposit, use a credit card. Why? To protect your purchase in case something goes wrong. This happened to my sister-in-Law… the dress shop went out of business a few weeks before her wedding day. Thankfully it was covered by the credit card company.
Set deadlines for trying and buying the dress
5. Set deadlines – From the point you buy your dress you need to give the seamstress specific deadlines for delivering the required alterations. It’s probably a good idea to allow for a bit of leeway and set deadlines that have a 1 – 2 week contingency built in.
Bring a friend
6. Bring a friend – Or someone you trust. Someone who has a style you like – this may not be your mum and it may not be your best friend. As much as you may like the look of a dress, a good second opinion is an essential sanity check. Remember to keep things appropriate – a grand wedding probably calls for a classic wedding dress and not a short white number. A semi-formal ceremony means you can wear a coloured dress or even something more modern and funky.