So you're going wedding dress shopping...

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So you're going wedding dress shopping, 8 tips before you go wedding dress shopping for the first time
It's one of the biggest moments of your life. You've probably been looking forward to and planning this day since you were a little girl. You're going to take you mum, sisters and besties that have been through all the tragic boyfriends and heartbreaks over the years. You're going to all giggle and drink champagne and everyone's going to tell you how beautiful you are in a zillion different dresses. You're going to look like the most perfect, sun kissed goddess, sophisticated but sexy, elegant but charming, sensational but effortless, princess bride there ever was.You're going to know exactly when you've found 'the one' and everyone's going to tear up at the site of how drop dead gorgeous you are...  I hate to break it to you, but it's probably not going to go how you imagined. Finding your perfect wedding dress is one of the biggest and most hyped up moments of your life. The amount of pressure you can feel when shopping for THE dress can very easily spoil the moment (and don't get me started on finding the money to pay for said dress!). As a bride to be, I get it. You want everything to go perfect, but you have to know what you're getting yourself in for. I kind of put off dress shopping for a while due to the expectations of how perfect the experience should be. I've since braved the wedding boutiques and have been on my first outing to get that all important dress of a lifetime. I want to share with you some of my tips that should make shopping for your perfect wedding dress, that little bit easier!

So you're going wedding dress, 8 tips before you go wedding dress shopping for the first time
1. Take a shit ton of screenshots! You may not have a clue what kind of wedding dress you want, don't stress, that's totally normal (you've probably never had to wear a wedding dress before!). The wedding dress industry is soo overwhelming - the thousands of designers, style, fabrics, shapes, sizes... it goes on and on and don't even get me started on the accessories. Where do you even start!? I found the most useful thing to do to narrow down what 'I thought' I would like, was to spend hours searching dresses on instagram, pinterest, google any kind of platform I could find and taking a shit ton of screenshots. You need to do your research. Once you've got a bunch of photos of what you like, you can take this along with you to boutiques and wedding fairs.

2. Figure out where you're going and your budget. Once you have some kind of idea of the kind of dress you like, you can start planning your trip. If you have a budget - stick to it. There's no point going to try on Vera Wang gowns and finding 'the one' knowing you can't get it. Why torture yourself!? Who cares about the designer. No one is going to know the make of your dress, or really care how much it cost. Find a boutique or two within your budget that holds a few designers/styles you would like to try and go from there.

3. Don't bring the whole squad! Once you have your day planned, you need to figure out who's coming. I know, I know it's very tempting to bring your family, you childhood ride or die, your bridesmaids and your work bestie - but too many people, bring too many opinions! Even if you can manage to organise that many people to be available for your special shopping trip, it just isn't worth it. I don't know about you, but I just don't want any added stress when trying to find the dress I'm going to look and feel most breathtaking in. You just don't need all those opinions, it's hard enough trying to form your own. Yes, it's a lovely special moment to have your family or your best friends there, but limit the numbers. You've finally found a dress you kind of like, maybe you love the neckline and finally made some sort of decision - but one of your friends say they preferred the other one! No no no! - this is MY wedding dress, I don't want anyone to tell me that something else is better! Honestly, hearing someone say you look less than perfect in something you love is just not the one. Don't get me started on the opinionated sales assistants...
I adore my family and friends but I would highly recommend just bringing 1-2 people. As much as I value their opinions, I value my own more.  Make time to go by yourself! The next time I go wedding dress shopping, I think I'm going to do it alone. I can't wait to take my time, relax, soak up my own opinions and enjoy the experience - I may even find the one.

4. Create your bridal hair and makeup. If you're anything like myself and are more talented in buying all the makeup than actually applying it like a pro, then you'll probably be hiring your own makeup artist and hair stylist for your big day. Despite this, it's so helpful to get a feel for what you're actually going to look like walking down the isle. If you know you're going to have a hair down moment as you say 'I do', then let your locks down when trying dresses. If you want lashes for days, then get those falsies out before you go shopping. Create your bridal look, there's no point trying to find your dream dress with your hair scrunched up into a messy bun! It's so much easier to find the one if you wear your makeup and hair how you would like it on your wedding day.

5. Say bye bye to your strappy bra. You want to be able to try on different styles, so you're going to need to wear a strapless bra. This will allow you to get a real feel for each dress, without those dreaded strap marks. Be prepared to say goodbye to the bra all together! You may find a gorgeous strapless dress but your bra pokes out the top - that's probably not the look your were going for. Ask the assistant if you can go braless to get a real idea of what the dress will look like and if it does your boobies any justice! Don't worry, they will have seen all kinds of different sizes and shapes on a weekly basis - it's literally there job to fit you into the dresses and a lot of dresses are designed to make you look gorgeous without a bra in the way.

6. Take a ton of pics in different styles. I found it super helpful to get photos of myself in different dresses. It can be so overwhelming trying dresses on, you don't really know how you feel about a dress in the moment - actually it can be very underwhelming. You expect this big princess moment, but to be honest I didn't know how I felt about a lot of dresses. Having photos of you in every dress can be so helpful to look at later. It can be hard trying to make a decision about your dress of a lifetime and you don't have to make it there and then.

7. Try on the whole shebang. So you've found a dress you kind of like, but you can't quite say yes to the dress yet. Maybe it's missing something. I highly recommend trying on dresses with veils, shoes, belts etc. I didn't think I would be a belt kinda gal, but honestly when I had a particular dress on and the assistant added a dainty little belt and veil - I finally felt like a bride! Small little touches can really change the way you feel about a certain dress.

8. Chill the fuck out and have fun. Stop putting pressure on yourself! You don't have to find the dress a year in advance, you don't need to bring the whole squad and you don't need to find it right away - you don't even need to feel like it's 'the one' the second it's on your body. The more you chill out about it, the more enjoyable the experience will be. Stop trying to please everyone, it's your day and it's your dress. It only matters how you feel about your dress. Your partner loves you no matter what and they are going to think you look drop dead gorgeous in the dress you feel a million dollars in - not the dress your Aunt prefers. Go on as many or as little shopping trips as you like, take who you like and also go alone! You only get this experience once - so enjoy it.



Images are not my own, sourced from pixels.com (brb, I am totally going on the hunt for those gorgeous Ted Baker heels!)


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