Wedding Dress shopping – our tips on how to enjoy the experience
The perfect wedding dress is considered by many to be one of the most important purchases of your life, so it is little wonder that finding and deciding upon THE dress can often cause Kent brides an overwhelming amount of stress. We are here to tell you that, although slightly daunting, this part of the wedding planning should be both fun and a significant moment to share with loved ones; for a lot of brides, the act of choosing their dress symbolises the official start of the wedding countdown.
Let’s get this boring detail out of the way first! Ideally you should work out the absolute maximum you are willing to spend and stick to it (you also need to be clear with yourself and those accompanying you whether this is for the dress alone or the total budget to include the dress, any alternations, underwear, veil or other hair accessories such as a tiara, shoes, jewellery and a bag if you opt for one…)
Be true to your style
It is inevitable that in the first shop you visit you will be encouraged by your entourage to try on multiple shapes and styles, which can be a bit overwhelming. We would suggest looking through photographs of yourself well in advance to identify the neckline and dress style you tend to go for – and look most flattering in – and of course you could also flick or click through some wedding magazines or websites ahead of your outing to get some inspiration, perhaps collating an ideas file or Pinterest board as you go.
So, where to go Wedding Dress shopping?
Kent is home to hundreds of beautiful wedding dress shops, all stocked with a long list of designers. We know that some brides look for the ease of local appointments whilst others will travel miles away for their dream designer.
Right on our doorstep we have Mollydolly’s Bridal Boutique, a small independent wedding dress shop stocking designers that include Phoenix Gowns and Danielle Couture.
On the outskirts of Canterbury is located the Bridal Boutique at Chilham, Kent’s ‘go to’ luxury bridal boutique for ex-sample and pre-loved designer label wedding dresses. Their off the peg collection also consists of the latest styles and trends from the most recent bridal collections featuring designers including Pronovias, Justin Alexander, Modeca, Willowby and Stella York.
In Canterbury itself there are many wedding boutiques, such as Amore Brides and Victoria Grace Bridal, all within walking distance from each other – so you really can make a day of it if you plan carefully!
The occasion of wedding dress shopping could also be a great excuse for heading into London (and perhaps even making a weekend of it!) – some of the larger department stores can be a great place to start to ensure you find variety, including John Lewis and Harrods (here you will most certainly feel like a princess and the prices are not quite as eye-watering as you might think!)
Who should you take with you?
Before you embark on the dress shopping day of dreams, it is important to consider who will be the best companion. If you are lucky enough to have an abundance of important women in your life, you may find it tricky to narrow this down, but it is always worth taking at least one person along who is most likely to give you their honest appraisal! Do remember also that you probably have more than one day of dress shopping ahead of you so you can invite different friends or family members to join you on the different days. Most importantly though, this day is about YOU, and you need to feel comfortable with those around you. We suggest inviting between two and four people per outing; this will mean that you won’t have too many opinions to take on board but enough support to help you decide on that all-important dress.
What to wear?
Whilst it is essential to be as comfortable as possible, it is also worth wearing or taking along the right underwear for different dress options so you will get an accurate idea of how you will feel in your dress on the actual wedding day. For most dress options, seamless nude underwear will be the best option. The boutiques will advise on any alterations required to ensure the dress fits you perfectly.
Ultimately, do try and have fun with this important part of the wedding build-up. And remember, your wedding dress is ultimately your decision! You will likely be wearing this dress for the ceremony, the wedding breakfast, your photography session with friends and family, as well as when you take centre stage for your first dance and probably dance well into the night, so it has to be right for you!