Gown Shopping Tips


Shopping for the perfect gown can be a daunting task. Here are our very best tips to help you through the process.

1. Budget

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again – ALWAYS have a budget and stick to it. You need to know how much you can allocate for your dress before you start shopping. So many brides completely blow their budget on their dress and then nd themselves out of pocket when it comes to the rest of their expenses, having to forgo details they’ve dreamed about for years!

2. Location

Where you decide to hold your big day will have a bearing on what kind of dress will suit. A velvet dress with fur trim just won’t do for a mid-summer beach ceremony, whereas something oaty and loose tting would be perfect. Consider the time of year, the elements, the length of time you will you be outside. And then consider whether the shoes that are likely to match the dress will actually suit the location – if that dress requires punchy heels and you’re tying the knot on a grassy knoll, think again!

3. When to Start?

If you are getting a dress made by a dressmaker or designer, you will want to allow 12 months, especially if you are getting married in peak season. For ordering online allow six months, plus you may need to get your dress altered once it arrives, so allow time for that. Buying off the shelf at a bridal store is more complicated – you may nd your dream dress in the rst shop or you may nd that you want to wait for the next season of dresses to come in. Allow yourself a minimum of nine months to look for a store bought dress.

4. Refine your Style

You may have seen a dress you love or have an idea of what you want. However, our advice is to visit a dress shop and try on every style and every shade before making any solid decisions. Even if you don’t like the look of the dress it helps to narrow down which style really suits your body type and which colour suits your skin tone. From there, look at what fabrics you prefer and what extras you like: lace, pearls, jewels, gathers, bands, buttons, ribbons. Consider gloves, veils, shoes and jewellery at this stage, too. If you already have an accessory you’re determined to wear, take it with you when you go shopping.

5. Take a Buddy

When deciding who to take shopping with you, consider a friend who isn’t too opinionated, one who will guide you in your decision but not try and talk you into something that they like. Although this can be a fun and exciting girls’ day out, it can also be hard to concentrate when you have too many of your girlfriends around. Listen to the advice of the bridal consultant, too. And never impulse buy! Sleep on it and try the dress on again in another few days. Sometimes that second tting feels a lot different.