I don’t often delve into weddings on Florence Finds but it’s not an era of my life that is completely over yet, particularly as I’m going to be a bridesmaid for Jess next year. I’ve written about wedding dress shopping in the past but it’s interesting how your perspective changes as you get older – it’s easy to say that’s as a result of having ‘had’ one type of wedding whereas I think it actually stems from a certain degree of maturity, because I notice similar theories from Jess. I also think that the older you get, the more in-tune with your personal style you are and therefore less likely to be sucked into the ‘you only get to do it once,’ advice.
The way Jess and I have been looking for her dress has been such a lovely stress-free experience (so far!) that I thought I would share my tips and how we have gone about it. I would love it if those of you who are married would chip in with any advice you have on finding the perfect dress too.
1. Pinterest is your friend.
The temptation on getting engaged is to rush straight out dress shopping, (it’s what I did,) but I think it’s a much smoother process when you have a look around at what’s available first and try to narrow down what you’re looking for. Make a Pinboard (see some of my favourites here) or a paper scrapbook of everything that you like and narrow down the shapes and styles that you see emerging as a trend.
2. Identify the designers you like.
You might find that the dresses that you like all come from a certain designer which makes this bit easy, but looking at individual designers is also very useful for expanding your search. Designers tend to have a trademark style and so chances are if you find a dress you like they may have several similar ones that you would also like.
3. Find the Bridal stores that stock the designers you want to try.
I’m pretty sure most people do what I did and head off to a local bridal store hoping to try on a selection of dresses and find ‘the one’. I know that I then found it very off putting to arrive at said bridal shop and look around seeing nothing but the opposite of what I thought I was looking for. It’s a waste of time and leaves you feeling deflated. Whereas if you go to a store that you know stocks dresses that you think will suit you and you like, you’re already onto a winner.
4. Use your wild card.
It’s always worth scheduling an appointment at that local bridal shop that has pretty dresses in the window to try some dresses that are the opposite of what you want. You never know, you might find that the opposite of what you imagined is actually the dress you feel sensational in. I think it helps you have confidence in your eventual choice to know that you have ruled something out with full knowledge of what it is rather than ruling out an ‘idea’.
5. Stay Strong.
Remember, it’s your wedding. So much ‘advice’ is thrown at you from every direction when you’re planning and spending money on anything wedding related that is essentially a sales pitch, it’s easy to lose sight of what you know is right for you and your fiancé. Whether thats keeping a tight rein on the finances, not letting things get too formal, or just staying true to your vision of the day, you have to hold onto it. Trying to conform to what you or anyone else thinks you should have is the quickest way to regrets post-wedding.
Please do share your wedding dress shopping tips and perhaps any thoughts you have as a married looking back… would you change your choice of dress if you did it again?
*All images taken by me in Morgan Davies Bridal – our first port of call and an absolutely wonderful experience – I’d highly recommend them. 🙂