“Buy a wedding dress” Guide

Buying your perfect wedding dress can often be a stressful and confusing task. The bridal gown is such an important part of your Big Day and all brides want to look and feel great. The “Buy a Wedding Dress” Guide is a 9-point plan designed to help you buy the wedding gown to do just that! 

1. Relax – with so many choices it is easy to become bogged down and feel over-whelmed. Treat shopping for your dress as a fun experience and an opportunity to spend some time with your friends or family. Don’t put pressure on yourself to find “the” dress – you WILL get there whether it is the first dress or the 87th dress you try on. Make a day out of it by having lunch. Never try to shop for other things at the same time – just focus on you!

2. Magazines – Bridal magazines should be treated as a way of finding ideas, keeping abreast of the fashion and looking for money-off vouchers. They should not be used to choose your actual dress. Many women will not suit the dress they see in the picture and can end up making the wrong choice or being disappointed. The pictures you see are professionally modelled in a manufactured environment and often digitally enhanced. Whereas you are a real person! So just use them for ideas.

3. Planning - Make the big decisions first then plan your strategy. There are different ways to go. Are you having the dress made for you or do you want to pick one off the shelf and take it home? What is your budget? Is there a theme? What size / shape are you? Then find the dress shops that cater for your choices.

4. Make Appointments – Make an appointment with 2 or 3 bridal shops so that you have the undivided attention of the dress fitter. Walking in off the street to browse is a waste of time. Your appointment should last between 1 and 2 hours and is the best way to buy a wedding dress. It is best to take no more than 3 friends/family members with you – they all have conflicting opinions and it can be difficult to filter them out.

5. Try on -Try on as many dresses as it takes. You will find some shapes flatter you more than others – narrow your choices down to just those and try on more that are like them. Take pictures – some shops will take pictures for you and email them later along with prices and more information. This is a great way to see yourself as others see you as well as to remind you of the trip. Do not buy a wedding dress on the first visit.

6. Go Back Again – Your wedding dress is a big ticket item and you need to be sure it is the right dress for you. Once you think you have found the right dress, go home, review the photographs and sleep on it. Make another appointment with the shop and try the dress on a final time before making the purchase. Most bridal shops require a 40 – 50% deposit and the dress will take 6 – 8 months to be made. Add on to this any alteration time and cost (unless you are having the dress custom made at a shop like beau belles). Make sure you understand fully what the shop is offering.

7. Check, Check and Check Again – Phone or email your bridal shop to check on progress. Ask questions like “when did you order my dress?” and “Can you give me a delivery date for my dress?” I don’t want to frighten you but on a VERY ODD OCCASION the bridal shop will have an administrative hiccup so it is best to check they are doing what they said they would before it is too late. Keep a record of all that was said.

8. Pick it Up – Yippee – your dress has arrived! Try the dress on and use their fitting service if you are buying a standard sized dress. This can take a few weeks and you will need to go back for another fitting once the alteration is made. Make sure you are happy with the dress and check it. Many wedding dresses have Lacy, sequined footery bits – these get caught during transport and handling. Your dress shop may need to carry out minor repairs. It is up to you to check the dress before leaving the shop. You will normally be required to pay the balance when you collect the gown. If your dress is lace-up or has a method of putting the train up, ask to be shown how this works.

9. Before the Wedding – Most bridal shops will give you a hanger and a gown bag. Sadly, there are no gown-bag manufacturers out there who can make a bag long enough for a train, so the bottom of the skirt will be folded up. For best results, allow the dress to hang naturally in your wardrobe out of the bag, taking care not to get it caught up on anything. If there are any creases, use steam to smooth them out. Remember that some fabrics, such as taffeta, are meant to crush!

The important thing to remember when shopping for your wedding dress is to have fun! I hope this “Buy a wedding dress” guide helps you.


Beau Belles, providing plus size wedding dresses in Scotland including Edinburgh, Glasgow, West Lothian, Falkirk, Stirling, Aberdeen, Inverness, Argyll, Paisley, Hamilton, Coatbridge, East Lothian, Borders, Linlithgow, Philipstoun, Whitburn, Livingston, Bathgate.

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