Monday, 30 March 2015

Wedding Dress Shopping

It's less than 50 days till Dave and I get married. There have been many stages to our planning and I've discovered a lot throughout the process and so I thought it would be useful to pass on this information. This post will focus on wedding dress shopping.

Now, if you've been reading wedding blogs, like I sure have, then you may have an idealistic picture of how this process will work. I've actually only read one blog, Love My Dress, which suggested it could be anything else. Therefore, when it comes to actually participating in such an event, the realisation may be more than you'd bargained for. Therefore, here are some things which I would definitely have benefitted from knowing.

Before You Go:
  • Think about how you want to feel on the day and try to visualise yourself too. Those big ball gowns look beautiful in the blog pictures, but can you truly see yourself in one of them? What kind of style do you see yourself in? What fabrics / colours? All of these little details will help when it comes to picking dresses from the shelf to try and when you actually have them on.
  • Identify styles you feel comfortable in / want to be photographed in. You're going to be in your dress for a long time and the photos will be around for even longer!
  • Narrow down designers you like. This will help you to select bridal boutiques to visit.
  • If you're planning on losing weight for the big day, try to do this before you actually try on dresses. You may think that this won't matter as you can 'visualise' how a dress will look once you're smaller, but you are guaranteed to feel differently if you were already approaching your target weight.
  • Think about how you'd like to wear your hair on your wedding day. This way, you could wear your hair in a similar style when you go to try on dresses and therefore gain a more true-to-life visualisation of the dress. Same can be said about shoes and underwear - try to make these as close to your image as possible.
Whilst You're There:
  • When you have a dress on you'll be asked to highlight aspects that you like / don't like / hate. Try to get in this mindset as it will help greatly in the whole process. Do you like the shape of the bodice? Do you like the satin skirt? Do you like the lacey sleeves? 
  • Don't get disheartened by the tiny sample sizes. They are all small for their sizes and therefore you will most likely be looking at ordering a size bigger than you expected. The bridal boutique assistants can work wonders with a napkin and clips, but I have to admit, I still felt sad that the samples weren't fitting me properly.
  • Walk around in it, sit down in it. Try to act as you will on the day as all of these motions will help you to decide. If it fits lovely whilst you're stood up, but when you sit down it cuts in to your rib cage, this may not be the dress for you. Or, if you've already tried these motions in the dress and found these things out, you will be able to alter your expectation for the big day.
  • Expect to feel a range of emotions. The first boutique I went to, I came out feeling flat and demotivated. This will just be a reflection of the dresses you've tried on and only suggests that it wasn't the boutique for you. But no need to worry! Think about what you liked and use this knowledge to select a different place. The second place I tried, I felt much more prepared and actually found a few dresses I liked.
  • Collect as much information as you can - styles, colour, materials, shape. Could you have a dress made using these deductions? In the end, I ordered my dress from Etsy using the key facts I'd decided upon after my dress sessions.
Some General Thoughts
  • Don't worry if you do not have a 'the one' moment. If you're like me, a wedding dress is nothing like a garment you would see yourself in, and so, trying them on was never going to have such a strong reaction. As long as you can see yourself being happy in that dress and it's within your budget, then there is no reason why you shouldn't wear it. Don't feel like you should keep trying on dresses if you've found one you like, even without that tear-jerking moment.
  • Try to separate the beautiful images you see within wedding blogs from your actual expectations. All of those photographs are so beautiful and they look great in your Pinterest board and that's where they belong.
  • Enjoy yourself! Take your family / friends and soak up the atmosphere. This experience will go into your wedding day scrapbook, even if only in your head, and so make it into a fun time.
I hope these words will help you to prepare, even if only to get you thinking about how you do not relate to what I'm saying. I know that I could have used something like this in the run up to my bridal visits.

In my next posts I look to divulge some of my DIY successes, detail some simple moves to make for a budget but awesome occasion, as well as my take on the 'traditional' vs 'modern' discussion.

Good luck!


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