One of the most frequently asked questions is “But how do I choose?” You’re faced with rails and rails of dresses. You’ve chosen the ones you want to try. Fairy Tale. Boho. Vintage. Glamour. Fitted. Full. Sleeves. Strapless. Beads. No beads… Your head is spinning, you like them ALL! Or maybe that elusive, perfect dress that combines the neckline of that dress, the fabric of another, the skirt shape of the one you sort of liked umpteen dresses ago….maybe that one just can’t be found.
Let’s dispel some myths first:
- It’s always the first one you try. Actually, no. Sometimes it is, but it’s all going to depend on which dress you try first isn’t it? You will hopefully buy the first one you tried that you really liked, but that might be dress number seven or number thirty.
- You just know when you put it on. Admittedly, it makes your decision easier if you DO know, but a lot of brides can be torn between two dresses. Friends who ‘just knew’ tend to think it will be that way for everyone.
- It’s the one that makes everyone cry. Well, they might. Or maybe they’re so happy for you that they smile instead. Perhaps they’ve seen you in several beautiful dresses and know how gorgeous you are without having to shed a tear.
So, how to start? Try different shapes to see what suits you. Be advised by your bridal consultant – she’s seen these dresses on, she knows how they look and her suggestions of what to try are worth listening to. Keep in mind your venue, your colour theme, the general look and feel of your wedding. And keeping an eye on your ideal spend might be a good idea too, if that matters to you.
The one thing most brides agree on is how the dress makes you feel , whether that’s beautiful or confident – or as one lovely bride recently said, “I feel ready to get married”.
It also helps if you rule dresses out as you go along. If it’s ‘nice’, you really want more than that. Rule that one out. You will prefer some dresses more, and these go on your shortlist. Any dresses that you don’t like as much as the ones on your shortlist, well, rule those out too!
Don’t take pictures. A bad picture of a good dress, or a good picture of a bad dress, and you’ll make the wrong decision. And let’s be honest, you’re stood in a shop in a dress that doesn’t fit, your hair and make-up aren’t right, you don’t know what to do with your hands and your friends have turned into the paparazzi. You’re choosing your wedding dress, not snap chatting your take away. Put those phones back in your bags. Remember how the dress made you feel.
OK you’ve got your shortlist, so what now? Go and have a cup of tea and a break, that’s what. You need to choose with your heart AND your head, and in the wonderful euphoric excitement of finding gorgeous dresses you need to step back briefly and make sure you’re ordering what YOU want, not what anyone else thinks you should want.
Go back, try it again, ask all the nitty-gritty questions about costs and alterations, any other charges, storage, fittings, deposits, after sales service and so on. And if it’s still right, then go ahead and place your order!
Still struggling? Accept that you have to find just one dress. And that at some point, you have to stop looking. You have to commit to just one, a bit like marriage itself. Finding the person you want to spend the rest of your life with is the difficult part, wedding dress shopping can be easy – if you let it.