Finding the perfect dress

Some girls know the dress they want to walk down the aisle in, and others haven’t got the faintest idea where to start

Whichever side you fall into, be open-minded and have fun – choosing your wedding dress is a truly unique experience, so make sure you enjoy every second of the process.

WHERE TO START

It’s a good idea to start by thinking about a few of the practicalities. Wedding dresses can range from hundreds of pounds to tens of thousands, so work out your budget before you have your heart broken by a gorgeous gown that’s out of your range. The good news is, that with so many department stores and even second-hand shops now selling bridalwear, there is plenty of choice for every budget.

Magazines are a great place to get inspiration, but try not to get fixated on a particular style or cut of dress until you’ve actually tried it on. Many look very different in reality, so start by making appointments with a few bridal shops to see what they have to offer.

Try on all sorts of dresses, even those you might not usually choose. You may be surprised by what you like – and listen to what the shop assistant has to say – after all they have plenty of experience. Even if you choose to have a bespoke dress made, trying a few on will help you decide what you really want.

If you go for a second-hand option you can always enlist the help of a dressmaker to adjust the dress or adapt it to your style.

Many bridal shops require at least six months to order your dress and a bespoke dressmaker may need up to a year

TAKE YOUR TIME

Many bridal shops require at least six months to order your dress and a bespoke dressmaker may need up to a year, so make choosing your dress one of your top priorities.

But don’t feel pressured to make a rash decision. Your wedding photos will be a lasting memory of your beautiful day and you don’t want to regret your choice of dress every time you look at them.

Take along a friend, sister or your mum who knows your taste and personality, what suits you and can give an objective and honest opinion. Take lots of snaps on your smart phone if the shop allows, which you can browse through at your leisure before you make your final choice.

ACCESSORIES

Wedding-one

Alongside the dress, you’ll need to think about your accessories. The veil and shoes are probably two of the most important. You’ll be on your feet all day – and may well be doing a lot of dancing! – so make sure you choose a pair you’re comfortable in.

Don’t leave it too long before you buy your shoes, as the height of the heel will affect the length of your hem. If you have a floor-length dress, shoes won’t be on show that much, so a lower heel or even a pair of bejewelled Indian slippers may be a good choice.

Veils are still as popular as ever and your bridal boutique will have some options for you to try once you’ve selected your dress. You’ll need to give special thought to the way you plan to wear your hair and any tiara or hair jewellery that will sit alongside your veil.

FINAL TOUCHES

As the big day approaches, have a final dress fitting no more than a week or two before as many brides lose weight in the lead up to their wedding.
Get the dress professionally pressed and stored in a box or material dress cover so it’s pristine for the day.

Also consider what you will do with the dress afterwards. You could organise for one of the bridesmaids to get it professionally cleaned and boxed up so you can treasure it forever.

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