Let’s be honest, bridal shopping can either be super exciting or completely nerve-wracking and foreign to a lot of newlyweds. From flicking through magazines, to scrolling through Pinterest, to trying on dress after dress, your bridal journey can sometimes be a long and tedious process. Along with the pressure and expectation to find that one and only perfect dress, brides definitely don’t have an easy task ahead. It can often feel quite overwhelming, especially if this is your very first time. We’ve gathered together a list of 5 easy tips that can make your bridal appointment full of fun, laughs and unforgettable memories. Afterall, it’s not every day that a girl gets to go find her dream wedding gown. Whether you decide to opt for pre-made or custom couture, these tips can be useful for all. Remember to have fun with the process and don’t worry about the opinions and pressure from others around you. This is a once in a lifetime opportunity for you to feel and look like an absolute queen and we’re here to tell you exactly how you can do it.
- SELECT THE BEST BRIDAL ENTOURAGE
Designer: d’Italia // Photographer: Shot from the heart // Bride: Becky Falsone
Some brides may prefer a more private consultation without the opinions and influence of friends and family, whilst other brides like the idea of bringing their nearest and dearest along for the ride. There is absolutely no right answer and this is a decision that simply comes down to personal preference. When inviting along your bridal entourage, it’s important that you bring along people that you trust and will have your best interest at heart. We also recommend bringing a small number of close-ones to your bridal consultation as a large entourage can often end in mixed opinions and influences, along with great confusion. It’s also recommended to leave children and babies with a loved one, as bridal shopping often requires great focus and any distractions can make your experience in store a little less enjoyable. Your bridal entourage and designer are there to hold your hand throughout the process and help you make decisions when you’re a little confused and uncertain. It can also be a super exciting and memorable moment when your bridal party is there to see you say ‘yes to the dress’. From tears, to laughter, to happy celebratory bubbles, you can’t go wrong with your gal pals by your side.
- TAKE HEAPS OF PICTURES
Designer: d’Italia // Photographer: Madeline Kate Photography // Bride: Gabrielle Lopser
We understand that trying on dress after dress can often turn into a tedious and exhausting task. To ensure your bridal appointment is a memorable and fun one, bring along your bridal tribe to share and express your thoughts with. Get your family and friends or even your bridal designer to take pictures of you throughout your bridal appointment so you can easily look back on all those glamorous and gorgeous dresses you’ve tried on. This can be a great way to see how the dress actually captures on camera. It can also make for some beautiful mementos that you can later look back on. When trying on gowns in store, it’s always important to ask your designer for permission to take pictures throughout the duration of your consult. Don’t be disheartened if you’re not allowed as it’s actually very common for some bridal boutiques to restrict this. In this case, get your nearest and dearest to keep notes of how you felt in each dress.
- COME PREPARED
Designer: d’Italia // Photographer: Julia Archibald // Bride: Sarah Kennedy
Whether you opt for custom or pre-made, it’s always a good idea to do your research before jumping right into dress shopping. Quite often, brides that have little idea of what they like, can find dress shopping very overwhelming and confusing. To ensure your bridal appointment is a fun and stress-free experience, first, head onto some bridal directories such as Ivory tribe, easy weddings, Bride.com or PolkaDot Bride (just to name a few) to get inspired and check out a whole range of real weddings. You can get an incredible insight into different dress styles, laces, how other brides style and accessorize their bridal looks and tie in with their wedding décor and bridal florals. Screenshot/save your favourite looks and compile them on a mini mood board or Inspiration folder. Share all your research with your designer and consultant so they can best assist you in bringing all your ideas together and exploring all the possible options to bring your vision to life. Pinterest and Instagram are also great resources to find images of various gowns to get you inspired and thinking about which is the perfect dress for you.
- BE OPEN-MINDED
Finding the perfect dress can be a difficult task, especially when you have the pressures and opinions from your nearest and dearest. Our best advice would be to walk into this with an open-mind. When you get your heart set on one particular style and look, it can be pretty disheartening when you can’t seem to find it anywhere. In some cases, your initial vision may not look how you expected, which can also make the process quite off-putting. The more open you are, the better your experience will be. Continue to gather all your ideas prior to visiting a boutique, but don’t be too restrictive with what styles you try on. Have fun tyring on a variety of options, from fit and flare to extravagant ball gowns. Afterall, this may be the only time you get to have fun and play dress-ups with the most exquisite of gowns. Trust in your designer and consultant as they will know all the tips and tricks that can bring your dream wedding gown to life and make your personalised experience, truly one of a kind.
- FORGET ABOUT SIZING
One of the biggest reasons that brides tend to put off bridal dress shopping is because of the limited sizing often found in store. The first thing every bride should know before diving right into dress-shopping is that the wedding gown sizing system is vastly different to everyday streetwear sizing. Unlike most retail stores that are relatively consistent with sizing, the bridal industry uses various different size charts. This means that it’s very common to fit into a size 10 in one bridal boutique and then a size 14 in another. When you begin shopping around, it’s important to realise that every dress is usually made for a completely different body size and height so the sample gown you’re trying on is definitely a “one-size-fits-no-one”. Don’t worry if you can’t fit into that wedding dress you’ve been eyeing off on the rack, because you’re definitely not the only bride. Forget about the size and focus on finding all those gorgeous elements you love and dream to have in your very own wedding gown. Whilst it may be difficult to visualise at first, just remember that nearly every gown will require alterations to ensure its tailored fitted perfectly to your figure.