If you’re a budding bride to be then picking the perfect wedding dress can seem pretty daunting, but don’t stress it doesn’t have to be as daunting as it might seem! We’ve teamed up with Norfolk Wedding Photographer Steven Brooks to put together our top tips to help you pick the perfect wedding dress!
If you’re planning on getting married, we recommend you start looking for a dress around seven to ten months before your big day. If you’re looking to get a dress manufactured it can take about four months for a manufacturer to create a dress and another two months to finish the alterations. Very elaborate gowns will take longer. Short on time? Many shops do rush orders for an extra fee, but your choices will probably be limited. They also might have a sale section with samples you can buy off the rack. If you’re lucky, you can get one that needs just minor alterations.
Once you know when you’re going to buy your dress make a plan for the day picking the shops you want to go to and give them a call before you walk in. Finding out the designers they carry and the price can save you time and money! Finding out if they sell accessories and supply alterations can also help you in the long term. Most salons need you to schedule an appointment. If you can, shop on a weekday but not during your lunch hour when you are going to be as rushed. Don’t shop till you drop–limit yourself to two stores each day, it’s straightforward to think that you have to get it all done in one day but don’t stress! Carry a journal and jot down dress information (photos are usually prevented until you purchase a gown).
Having the venue and date of your wedding blocked will help you narrow your search down. Are you using a daytime service on the beach? It is possible to rule out ball gowns with long trains and dramatic embellishments. Exchanging vows at a candlelit cathedral? Keep away from a short slip dresses or whatever looks like it could be worn to a cocktail party. Most fabrics are an appropriate year long, but some, such as linen and organdy, are more suitable for warm weather, while velvet and brocade are best left for winter.
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Take anything you know you want to wear, accessories like a classy necklace or a family heirloom. Bridal shops will often provide bustiers, strapless bras, and shoes, but you might choose to bring your own. You will also need the recommendation of a few trusted confidantes, but not too many: An opinionated entourage can be confusing and frustrating. Invite a couple of individuals who know your taste, will be honest with you, and whose judgment you trust.
It is not every day you see terms like Basque waist or Watteau train or attempts to try help you differentiate between various shades of white. Spend time taking a look at bridal magazines, books, and websites to learn about fabrics, silhouettes, and the lexicon so that you may better convey what you’re searching for. Start a folder with pictures of dresses or details that interest you, and take it with you as soon as you shop.
It doesn’t have to cost the earth to find the perfect gown for your big day. On top of the standard sales racks, many bridal boutiques will have sales a couple of times a year to clean out “gently worn” or discontinued samples (usually in sizes 6, 8, or 10). To discover when these are, call stores, go to designers’ websites, and register for their email lists if they have one.
Setting a budget for your dress is the first step to picking your perfect wedding dress, and making sure you inform the salesperson before she starts bringing out gowns can save time and embarrassment later on. This way you won’t lose your heart to dress you can not afford. A wedding ensemble, including veil, undergarments, and any other accessories, accounts for 10 percent to 15 percent of the entire wedding cost. Factor in extras, like alterations–which can add a few hundred or a few thousand dollars depending on how involved they are–and shipping fees. When the dress arrives, it may require professional pressing or steaming, which may tack on a hundred dollars or more.