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SHOPPING FOR A WEDDING DRESS
You’ve said ‘YES!’ You’ve been envisioning your wedding dress since you were a little girl. The wedding dress you wear walking down the aisle will be the centrepiece of your special day. It will also probably be the most talked about fashion item you will ever wear. Here are some wedding dress shopping tips to get you in the know before you go…
Start Early. 9 to 12 months before your wedding is the ideal time to start shopping for your wedding dress. Unless you purchase a ready-to-wear dress that fits you perfectly as soon as you try it on, wedding dresses are generally required to be altered – usually a number of times over a six month period, until they fit ‘just right’. If you have less than 6 months before your wedding, you will need to be more flexible about your choice of wedding dress.
Visit Boutiques. Bridal boutiques are great places to shop for ideas. They carry a wide selection of gowns from a variety of designers. Try to limit your shopping to 5 or 6 boutiques and take along a notebook to jot down the details of the gowns that you like. If possible, avoid the busiest
times such as weekends and evenings, so that you can receive more personalised attention.
Seek Recommendations. Word-of-mouth recommendations are the best form of advertising in any industry and a beautifully designed wedding dress is admired for a long time. Ask past brides which stores/designers/couturiers create beautiful designs, provide excellent service, attention to detail and great styling advice.
Match Your Budget. Investigate which stores best suit your budget. Whilst stores stock wedding gowns under $1000, designer stores start at $3000. Save yourself time by making an enquiry prior to making an appointment.
Take In A Trunk Show. Wedding dress stores also conduct special events such as trunk shows. At trunk shows, a particular designer (or representative store) exhibits the latest collections for brides to view and try on. Trunk shows are the best way of viewing all the wedding dresses in the collection, rather than a selected few stocked by the store. Some trunk shows also provide the opportunity to meet the designer in person and get their invaluable advise on the best look for you.
Speak The Speak. Wedding dress shopping is a whole new world, with its own special language. Before you even start visiting bridal stores, familiarise yourself with the gown and all of its parts; neckline, waistline, sleeve, skirt style, fabric, embellishments, train etc. Research the basic wedding dress silhouettes and try to determine which ones best suit your body.
Set your style. Consider the style, formality and location of your ceremony. Your wedding dress should compliment the location, time and season of your ceremony. A full length gown with a 2 metre train will simply look out of place at a cocktail garden party or a beach wedding. Envision yourself walking down the aisle in front of all your friends and loved ones and think about what suits your style and character. Write down 5 words that best describe you (for example classical, princess, bohemian or sophisticated). These adjectives will assist you in making wedding fashion selections for your dress, accessories and hair style.
Source A Good Salesperson. A good salesperson will ask you what type of wedding you’re having, how you envision yourself looking on your special day and what styles of wedding dresses you like. A better salesperson will also identify what wedding dress style will look best on you based on your body type. Listen carefully to a salesperson’s expertise – they work closely with brides on a daily basis. Value their advice and keep an open mind. If they bring you something on a hanger that doesn’t inspire you, try it on anyway. Even though certain wedding dress silhouettes look best on certain body types, try on different styles of wedding dresses and then decide what shapes and styles look best on you and which ones you feel most comfortable wearing. Trust your instincts.
Shop around. Don’t buy the first wedding dress you try on – even if you think it is perfect. Give yourself time to look around at other stores and think about it more away from the store – just to be absolutely sure that you have found the right one. You can always go back again.
Dare To Be Different. If you are having a truly unique wedding gown designed for you by an exclusive bridal couturier, the sky is the limit! Your one-off designer wedding dress will be the talk of the town and will not be seen on any other bride. Your wedding dress will be as individual as you are. If you are shopping for a ready-to wear wedding dress, don’t feel that you are restricted to what is on the hanger. In most cases, you can still add your own personal touches to a ready-to-wear dress. If you like the skirt on one wedding dress and the bodice of another, alterations can usually be accommodated (if both dresses are produced by the same designer). Embellishments such as lace and beads can also be added or removed, however remember that the more you change, the more costly your wedding dress will become.
The Search Is Over. You have found your dream dress, you look amazing in it, take a deep breath and savour the moment!