Wedding dress shopping experience

  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 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 max 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 a 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 make up 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 its 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.

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