Wedding Dress Shopping: The Hunt Is On

Wedding dress hunting is something most women dream of….until they get started with it. Some are lucky and with the first dress they try on, are perfectly happy. For others, the journey isn’t quite so easy – we are here to provide a few tips to make it a little smoother.

Keep an Open Mind

Most brides end up with something completely different to what they had intended to get. What, in your minds eye, may be the match made in heaven, could be very different in reality. Try out as many styles as possible and even if you don’t find ‘the one’ as quickly as you thought, at least you know what you don’t want. It is a process of elimination – have fun with it and take photos along the way because memories can be deceiving.



Even those slender body types want a dress that will show them off in all the right places. If you have a large chest area, an empire line many suit, slim women may wish to showcase their figure with a trumpet or mermaid style and ladies uncomfortable with their stomach and or hip area can hide any unwanted curves under an A-line skirt. There is of course, a bit more to it than this crude breakdown but the point is, it is good to be familiar with wedding dress terminology and be prepared to try out many different styles. You do not want to be worrying about whether your hips look big or if the dress seems too tight on the big day. The best advice is to find a style and shape that you look your best in, rather than trying to fit one particular design. The hardest battle you could have finding a wedding dress, is with yourself – you may have to consider compromising on that dream because you discover that reality is a different matter. You may be adamant that you will have the princess dress you no matter what – and this is perfectly ok too. All of the above is just food for thought. At the end of the day,  that ‘be all, end all’ wedding dress should be the one that you feel both beautiful and comfortable in.

Back to Front

Both sides of the wedding dress are just as important.  It kind of goes without saying that you will have more photos taken from the front but the back, the sleeves and the fall of the dress are equally worth consideration. Always take a photo of the back of the dress in the shop, back cleavages are not so sightly!


Consider Outside Influences

For brides who have no idea where to start looking, perhaps commence with the season or the venue. Will it be hot, cold? Will you be outdoors or indoors? Will you walking on grass or terrace?  Are you heading to the warm climates of the exotic for a destination beach affair? Wedding dresses can be quite hot and heavy. Are you ok with this or would you prefer lightweight and cool? Does your personality call for something short and flirty, aka 50’s vintage or do you like classic and long? Will your venue be suitable for a train? You may not have definite answers but keeping these questions in mind will help with the shopping expedition.


This always plays a key role with each aspect of the wedding. I highly suggest setting a budget and really keeping to it. The easy way to do this is to not try on anything that will be out of your wallet’s comfort zone and not to feel pressured into doing so. Remember that along with the price of the dress will come the cost of a range of other items e.g. underskirt, underwear, corset, garter, shoes, alterations, hair accessories, gloves, shrug or bolero jacket. Going over budget often ends in guilt and regret. You have to enjoy your dress and more often than not, that comes with being comfortable with the price tag.


Organza, silk, satin, tulle, lace – different materials have offer varied comfort levels. Some are hotter than others, some are more lightweight, some may irritate your skin. Will it need steaming after it comes out of the dress bag, especially if travel has been involved or will any small creases easily fall out?. It is worth baring all this in mind before you start your hunt.

Enough is Enough

You could keep on looking for a lifetime for the perfect one. Wherever you are in the world, there will be a dress for you – change that location and there would be another perfect dress….get my meaning. It’s quite harsh to talk about it like that but it is true. After a while, you will get so bogged down with choices you wont be able to make one. Sometimes less is more, although in saying this, you do have to be happy. Have fun trying out the dresses, the materials and the styles but if you don’t like what you see, keep looking – just once you find it – stop. It may be tempting but don’t continue with the search just in case you are “missing out on a better buy”. If just can’t seem to find anything you like – maybe you need to re-evaluate what it is you are looking for and you may have to compromise on your idea of ‘perfect’.


Professional Consultation

If you don’t tell the bridal shop what you are looking for and why, they can’t make suggestions. Talk to them about your venue, your hair, your likes and dislikes – they are expects in their field and will have some great suggestions that will suit both your style and your body shape. Listen to them!

More Than Three’s a Crowd

Mum, sister and best friend – all or any of these is acceptable. More than this and you will find it hard to make a choice among the myriad of different opinions. It will make your head spin. Honesty is the best policy when it comes to dishing out wedding dress advise but not everyone is cut out to handle it. Take along someone you know will be able to provide sound, objective feedback and positive criticism.