Guide to wedding dress shopping

  1. Set a budget: Before you get carried away with
    all those diamond-encrusted wedding dresses, take a look at your wedding budget
    and set a number you are willing to spend on your wedding dress. Do not try on dresses
    outside of your budget.
  2. Start shopping 9-12 months ahead if you can,
    wedding gowns can take anything from four months to ten months to be made or
    buy. Some brides can have a shorter period for shopping and most bridal shops
    will take care of your requirements and ensure your preferred gown will be
    available for your wedding date.
  3. Do some research before you go shopping and use
    social media to find and save gowns. Pinterest and Instagram are brilliant for
    discovering the endless gowns on the market at present.
  4. Make a bridal appointment with your bridal shop
    in advance. There may be a two-week wait to get an appointment. They take
    appointments during the week and at weekends. Some make take a credit card to
    secure weekend appointments as this would be their busiest time and if you
    cannot make the appointment scheduled, do call the shop in advance so they can
    allocate your time to another bride waiting. Plan a lunch afterwards.
  5. Choose wisely who you bring along to your dress
    shopping, the bridal shops do recommend that you take a max of three persons with
    you. Take a good hard look at who needs to be with you on that day: is anyone
    helping pay for the gown like your mum, bring a sister if you have one, chief
    bridesmaid or mother in law, just make sure you have a good relationship with
    them and they have good judgement.
  6. Bring the proper undergarments and shoes with
    you, chances are you have not bought your wedding shoes as yet and most bridal
    shops tend to have shoes at hand. I would suggest nude coloured undergarments
    and go braless, unless you have an issue with support or want to be
    comfortable.
  7. I would also suggest not to wear any tanning
    products or makeup when going wedding dress shopping as this may damage
    wedding gowns.
  8. Be open-minded about what dresses to try on and
    forget about sizing. The dresses you will try on may not fit and can be
    altered. What you have in your mind as your perfect wedding gown may not suit
    you at all, so be open-minded and try on different styles.
  9. Plan your wedding dress around the time of year
    and your destination. If you are having a summer wedding and it's on a beach,
    make sure you choose the dress appropriate to the season. If you are planning
    an autumnal or winter wedding you could choose a dress with sleeves and full
    skirts with loads of fabric.
  10. Listen
    to your bridal stylist as no one knows the gowns at the shop like her and quite
    frankly she/he is likely to have a more objective opinion than your family or
    friends. They are thinking of what you like not what your friends or family
    like. Really it is your gut feeling at the end of the day, make sure you
    absolutely love your wedding dress, you are the one wearing the gown and who
    will make the ultimate choice.

Tip of the week

I know every bride would love to take photographs of her
gown on in the bridal shop but normally this is not permitted when bridal
shopping, just so you are aware of this. Try to buy the veil and any
accessories when buying your wedding gown and keeping it within the same bridal
shop. Keep a copy of your receipts, delivery dates and schedule any alterations
at least six weeks before your wedding date. Enjoy the experience.

Trend of the week

Lennox by Enzoani: Simply sweet and divine, this full A-line gown is sure to captivate with embroidered floral lace that beautifully flows throughout the deep, unlined illusion v-neckline bodice and soft organza skirt. The unlined, low v-back compliments the front as it continues with a sweet v-back, embellished with delicate crystal buttons. Available at Belladonna Bridal, Galway.