Ooh I’ve just had a Say Yes to The Dress megathon – phew! – in the name of research of course! And amongst the ‘I’ve tried 150 dresses and can’t find the one’, the ‘mom, it’s my dress not yours’ and the ‘what the heck is that giant rose thing’ statements, it got me thinking about the things that can distract you from finding the perfect dress and making the decision to say Yes!
Here are the Fairy Wedmother’s tips on what NOT to do when you start your dress buying journey, and few positives to help you make the right choices.
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“The first commandment of bridal dress shopping: Thou shalt not bring a lot of people” Lori, Owner Bridals by Lori SYTTD Atlanta
♥ DON’T bring an army with you. Too many opinions from too any different people will only cloud your judgement. Everyone will like something different about the dress. And everyone will hate something different about the dress. Two or three TRUSTED people are all you need.
“Second commandment – thou shalt not covet a gown out of your budget” Lori
♥ DON’T be fluffy about budget. If you walk into the shop and say your budget is between £400 and £1200 you’re going to have an array of dresses to choose from which will just cause you a headache. Be specific and be able to narrow down your choices. Oh, and bear in mind if the budget needs to cover shoes and headwear too!
♥ DON’T go in with no idea whatsoever! The bridal shop staff need some kind of guidance to get you into that first frock, and take it from there. So do go in with an open mind. I was convinced I wanted bling galore and so first tried on the most sparkly dress. It was stunning. But not on me! Then the lovely store owner brought me my dress which i immediately fell in love with! I tried on one more – mostly because I wanted to eek out the experience – but I knew I had already found ‘the one’.
♥ DON’T be afraid to go outside of your comfort zone. I refer to the point above! Trying on what you think you don’t want could lead to knowing exactly what you do want. Case in point – my lovely friend who did the photo shoot last year (read about it here!). She thought she wanted flowing, elegant, barely there. She ended up with stunning taffeta fitted on top with ruffles down below and a sweetheart neckline! Be brave, rule things in and out and you’ll end up with a stunner.
♥ DON’T forget where you’re getting married. In a church you are expected to cover your shoulders. On the beach you might want something a little less restricting. A friend of mine bought what she thought was the perfect dress BEFORE booking her venue. Once booked, she just couldn’t picture herself walking around the venue in that dress, so she sold it on Pre-Loved and got another one that was perfect. It’s not just about how it looks and feels on you, but also how it looks and feels with your venue, wedding party and personality.
Here’s my dress buying journey ♥
Ok, so that’s a lot of DON’Ts. Let’s be a little more positive now.
♥ DO ask your bridal boutique if they are able to customise your dress for you. For example, you might not want strapless, but dresses made with straps might not be doing it for you. A good boutique will be able to add lace embellishments or taffeta shoulder cups. These could even be removable so you can have a different look for the evening.
♥ Which brings me to DO check how your dress does up for the night and make sure you’re happy with the look. Some hook up, some have a tie underneath. Some don’t lift up much at all. Some have removable trains. And if you’re not sure you like it, again DO check with your boutique dress maker, they may be able to do something for you.
♥ DO be open to ‘off the wall’ if you’re looking for something different if the white meringue princess just isn’t cutting it. Try a jumpsuit, or a tea dress; a colour or a high neck and lace.
♥ DO enjoy it! Watching SYTTD, I was quite surprised at how stressed brides got trying on dress after dress. Trust your boutique stylist, trust what you see in the mirror and trust your body. And remember the points above – decide what’s NOT doing it for you and see how that can be removed, changed or modified to create the dress of your dreams.
TOP TIP – have a day hunting out dresses in shops where you don’t need an appointment to give you some ideas before you do the main search. You never know, the lack of pressure may just find you the perfect dress! ♥