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8 steps to help you choose the perfect wedding dress

The proposal has been made, your answer of course was ‘YES’, you’re over the moon…really excited.  Then you remember your childhood dreams of wearing the most beautiful wedding dress for your momentous day.  This will probably be one of the most exciting and anxious dilemma’s you will ever have – choosing the perfect wedding dress.

We recently spoke to a few lucky ladies who are in this dilemma and asked for their tips and recommendations when choosing the perfect wedding dress.  They have given us some valuable advice, which will most certainly help any ladies who are about to embark on this very special experience.

1.  Give yourself plenty of time

This is a tricky one, as some of you may be getting married 6 months after getting engaged and others might be planning 18-24 months in advance.  If possible, you want to give yourself as much time as you can.  One of the Bride to Be’s we spoke to had some very fortunate news when she found out her mother was kindly going to buy her dress for her!! I know lucky so and so!  Her original plans were to buy off the shelf and have it altered but with her mother’s backing, it was all systems go and she enquired to some designer dress makers.  They hand make the dress from scratch and often requires being ordered up to a year in advance.  This allocates time for the order to be booked in with the makers.  Then 6 months prior to the dress being made, final measurements are sent off.  It’s returned for you to admire within 4 months, leaving at least 2 months for final alterations in plenty of time before the big day.

2.  Get organised

Read as many magazines as you can to give you a good idea of what is out there so you can begin to build a picture in your head of what you want.  Wedding magazines such as Wedding Ideas are brilliant for showcasing wedding dresses.  When you see something you like, simply cut the picture out and file into your wedding dress folder.  Think of it like this – you then only need to take your folder to the wedding dress shops rather than 20+ wedding magazines!  The professionals at the shop will be able to get a really good feel for what you want.

3.  Take someone who isn’t afraid of telling you the truth

Before you head out to start finding dresses, draft in your most honest girly friend who isn’t afraid of telling you the truth!  They need to have your best interests in mind.

4.  Don’t go in with tunnel vision

The perfect dress is the one which complements and suits your figure.  Even if you’re not keen on the shape as it looks on the hanger, you never know how it will fit until you try it on.  One of the Bride to Be’s we spoke to knew the style she wanted before trying any on, but when she tried it on, she realised it wasn’t what she expected.  She ended up going for something completely different.

Make sure that you check that you can walk ok…try hugging someone and check that you can sit down ok too – it’s all about attention to detail!

5.  Know what you want and know what you don’t want

Go to a variety of shops – from boutique to high street.  Recognise the materials you like, the level of quality you are looking for (and can realistically afford).  Then you can assign a budget based on this.

6.  Don’t be afraid to ask

Speak to boutiques and bridal shops to find out when they are having a sale, or if they have any discontinued lines.  There might be that little gem hiding in the stockroom!

7.  Get everything down in writing

If you have to have your dress ordered in or it is going to be made from scratch, make sure it’s in writing when it will be ready and that it must be ready by that date or the purchase will no longer go through.  It’s important it’s ready in good time!

8.  Keep some money in reserve

Once your dress is ready, it will probably need alterations.  Always ask how much this could cost so you plan accordingly.  It’s also good to ask if the shop can save the dress for you until the day before the wedding and have it pressed ready and looking its best. 

It’s a big decision but with careful planning and preparation, it won’t be as stressful as you might think.  So go on, enjoy this journey as hopefully you will only do this once!

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