Bridal Tips

Top 10 Tips for the Ultimate Wedding Dress Shopping Experience

Congratulations! You’re getting married and now you’re planning to find your dream wedding dress. Whether you’ve been looking forward to this moment for years or haven’t given much thought to what kind of dress you’d like, Wedding Belles of Four Oaks in Sutton Coldfield, Birmingham, has a dedicated team of bridal stylists ready to help. We strongly believe shopping for your wedding dress is an occasion in itself, while our focus is always on you (the bride). That’s why we’ve put together ten top tips to help you have the ultimate wedding dress shopping experience.

1. START WEDDING DRESS SHOPPING TWELVE MONTHS BEFORE YOUR BIG DAY

Your big day may be twelve months away, but the ideal time to start wedding dress shopping is now. At the latest, you ideally need to have chosen your dress nine months before your set wedding date. With dresses taking six to eight months to order from new collections, you want to make sure you allow plenty of time to get the design of your choice. 

Top 10 Tips for the Ultimate Wedding Dress Shopping Experience - Bridal Tips

But there’s no need to panic if you’re getting married in the next four to six months. Most designers offer ready-to-wear and in-stock programs for brides short on time, and designers can provide rush programs which deliver the dress quicker than standard delivery times for a fee. Dresses can also be purchased straight from the collection if brides have short wear dates.

2. DO YOUR RESEARCH

While it’s a great idea to research what style of wedding dress you’d like to wear on your special day, it’s even more important to research the wedding boutique you’re going to visit.

Be sure to check out the boutique’s social media and website to see if it resonates with you and your style, and don’t forget to read their reviews on Google and Facebook. Do they update regularly? Do they have excellent customer service?

Once you find a boutique that is a good match for you, bridal stylists will be able to provide you with the style advice you need to help you find the dress of your dreams. At Wedding Belles of Four Oaks, we pride ourselves on giving you an exceptional and unforgettable #wbbride experience from your first appointment all the way to the aisle.  

Top 10 Tips for the Ultimate Wedding Dress Shopping Experience - Bridal Tips

3. MAKE AN APPOINTMENT 

As tempting as it is to just turn up at a bridal boutique with your friends and loved ones, avoid disappointment by booking an appointment. 

An appointment allows you to have the one to one service you deserve and need to find your dream dress. Plus, it gives you time and space to make decisions without being rushed or interrupted. Most wedding dress shops are busy midweek and weekends are their busiest times, so be sure to book ahead.

Another tip is to try not to book too many appointments in one go. We recommend booking one appointment to start with, so visit your favourite wedding dress shop first. Then if you don’t find the perfect dress there, book more appointments with different wedding boutiques as and when you need to.

Top 10 Tips for the Ultimate Wedding Dress Shopping Experience - Bridal Tips

4. CHOOSE YOUR BRIDE TRIBE CAREFULLY

Wedding dress shopping should be about celebrating finding the perfect dress with your friends and your loved ones, but too many opinions can be confusing. Not everyone has the same taste in dresses, and while some people are tactful when it comes to voicing their opinions, others can be too vocal, and before you know it, you can end up not being able to hear your own thoughts. 

We suggest picking two to three people who mean the most to you and who’s opinion you value, for example, your mom, sister, or stepmom, and bringing them with you to your appointment. This way, you can take on board the views of those who matter most without feeling overwhelmed.

5. KNOW YOUR PRICE POINT

Even though your wedding dress is likely to be the most expensive dress you’ll ever buy, everyone has a budget, so it’s best to be open with your bridal stylist. They can then find the right dress for you that not only looks stunning but also fits in with what you want to spend. There’s nothing worse than finding the perfect dress only to have to find another one you love just as much that costs less.

Before you arrive at your appointment, try to have a clear idea of how much you want to spend, and if possible, know how flexible you can be. Your dream dress may cost a little more so it would help to know in advance if you can stretch your budget a little further.

Also, don’t forget to factor in alterations and accessories, like shoes, veil, jewellery etc as the cost of these can add up quickly.

Top 10 Tips for the Ultimate Wedding Dress Shopping Experience - Bridal Tips

6. PREPARING FOR YOUR APPOINTMENT 

Another great tip includes taking shoes of a similar heel height with you to your appointment and wearing nude or seam-free underwear. Doing this will give you a better idea of what dresses will look like on you, and it will mean you can see your dress without having your underwear showing through the gown. 

Taking a strapless bra when you go wedding dress shopping is another great idea although most dresses don’t need you to wear one on your big day as they have far more structure in them than your regular high street dresses.

7. FORGET ABOUT SIZING

The wedding dress samples you try on in wedding boutiques are definitely NOT one size fits all, so relax and trust your stylist. It’s their job to make the dress of your choice fit as well as possible and to show you how it would look when it’s the correct size. 

We all know clothing sizes vary from designer to designer and wedding dresses are no different. When it comes to ordering the dress of your dreams don’t worry about the label size, wedding dress sizes are vastly different from high street sizes, and most brides tend to wear one to two dress sizes bigger than their regular clothes. It’s also worth noting that alterations are almost always needed on wedding dresses, so ask your stylist if they don’t mention it.

Top 10 Tips for the Ultimate Wedding Dress Shopping Experience - Bridal Tips

8. BE OPEN-MINDED

This is all we ask from our brides-to-be. So often a bride’s perfect wedding dress is different from what they imagined they would end up buying, so it’s important to trust your stylist. 

Located in the West Midlands, Wedding Belles of Four Oaks has an extensive range of wedding dresses to choose from, including, long-sleeved, boho, beach, princess, mermaid, ballgown, simple wedding dresses, and more. We also have a stunning collection of bridesmaid dresses and accessories. But we understand that with so many options and prices, the shopping experience can begin to feel a little overwhelming for some.

This is where wedding boutique stylists are worth their weight in gold. Bridal stylists are the experts when it comes to matching brides with their perfect dress, so take a leap of faith and trust your stylist and boutique to find you the right one. 

Remember, wedding dress shopping isn’t like normal dress shopping, so by keeping an open mind and letting your stylist work their magic, you may find you end up with a dress that exceeds your expectations.

9. DON’T BE AFRAID IF IT’S THE FIRST DRESS YOU LOVE

Bridal stylists are amazing and will most likely find your dress straight away, or within the first few dresses you try. When this happens brides sometimes think they’ve found their wedding dress too quick, but what stylists notice is that they often go back to their wedding boutique later in the day and say yes to the dress!

The best way to know if you’ve found the one, and we’re talking about the perfect dress here, is to trust your gut and your heart. The best decisions are made when your head and your heart meet, and when the two come together, you’ll know, so make sure you seize the moment and celebrate. 

Top 10 Tips for the Ultimate Wedding Dress Shopping Experience - Bridal Tips

10. ENJOY, HAVE FUN AND CELEBRATE 

Remember, shopping for your wedding dress is exciting and should be fun. This is one of those moments in life you will always remember, and it’s a special time to share with family and friends, so take time to enjoy it.

At Wedding Belles of Four Oaks, you can trust our professional stylists to guide you from fitting to finish. By booking an appointment with us in our ultra-chic Sutton Coldfield boutique and ordering a dress, you can relax knowing you’re in safe hands and can celebrate with your bridal tribe on becoming a #weddingbellesbride.