Always Book an Appointment
While you may get lucky and snag a salesperson just by walking in, but scheduling an appointment is the only way to ensure you'll get a full hour of undivided attention to find the dress of your dreams.
If you’re the type of person who hates being rushed when shopping, if you can, make an appointment on a weekday morning or afternoon. Saturday is the busiest day at bridal salons, so skip the crowds to get some peace and quiet whilst making your decision.
Limit Your Entourage
Bringing a big group to the boutique is the biggest wedding gown shopping error. Enlist one or two of your closest friends or family members to help you start your search, perhaps your mum and your Maid of Honour. This way you can find the gown that best suits you and your style and not feel pressured by too many opinions. At the end of the day the only opinion that matters is yours.
Shop for Your Figure
When wedding dress shopping it’s important to focus on the shape and frame of your body. Your weight is constantly fluctuating, especially during highly stressful situations, so don’t let that be the deciding factor in choosing a dress. Concentrate on finding silhouettes that accentuate the features you love and make you feel amazing.
Undergarments Are Optional
If you have a favourite strapless style or plan on wearing a particular body shaper for your wedding day, go ahead and bring it. You'll ultimately need your gown-specific undergarments for your first fitting but not your initial appointment. Most bridal shops have a few different types of bras in the fitting room and wearing an undergarment is completely optional and based on preference and style of the dress. The same goes for shoes… if you have your wedding shows take them along or another pair of shoes at the same heel height as you want to wear on your wedding day so you’ll know how the dress will sit.
The Hidden Costs
Remember, your wedding gown budget doesn't just include the dress. You also need to consider your veil or headpiece, accessories like jewellery, belts, head pieces and shoes, undergarments and alterations will also add to your bottom line. Factor in these costs before you give the salesperson your final shopping budget. Be aware that you may need to pay a deposit or the final balance the same day to secure your dream gown.
When it comes to wedding dress shopping the more you ask the better. To help guarantee your experience is a pleasurable one, ask as many questions that come into your head. For example, if the store manager can suggest an expert consultant for the brand or style you are looking for. Remember just because a bridal salon carries your favorite designer doesn't mean it'll have the exact wedding dress you've been wanting to try on, so be sure to ask ahead.
Have a look through our latest Ronald Joyce wedding gown collection and find your nearest retailer.
Photos credits: Emma J Smith Photography, K Photography