Going shopping

On the hunt for the wedding dress of your dreams

Whether your every shopping trip is organised with military precision, or you usually forget to bring something important (like your purse), shopping for a wedding dress requires even more care than usual to get the most out of it.


Choose your shopping partner

Many brides – more than 70 per cent according to a confetti survey – choose to take their mothers if possible when they go wedding dress shopping. However, you know your mother best, and if there’s a chance that this particular pairing may cause more rows than harmonious agreements, steer clear. It’s best to avoid situations that you know might get a little heated.

Whoever you take, make sure it’s someone whose taste you trust and who will be honest with you. Furthermore, take someone who is genuinely interested in watching you try on dresses all day – friendships have been tested when brides have felt their shopping partner wasn’t showing enough commitment…

Time it right

Most stores require an appointment. As trying on dresses can take a long time and a lot of attention from the staff, this is a good idea. When making appointments, remember not to make them too close together, and timetable regular breaks. Try to avoid scheduling appointments for when you have your period or are feeling bloated.

Dress for success

In order to make the most of the dress, and get the right size, you need to try on dresses wearing the same kind of shoes as those you plan to wear on the day. If at all possible, aim also to have roughly the same hairstyle, as many stores will have tiaras and veils for you to try on at the same time.

Understandably, you probably won’t know what kind of underwear you need until you have chosen your dress style, but if you know you are looking for a clingy or halterneck dress, for instance, make sure you are wearing appropriate undergarments!

Essential equipment

Take a pad and pen, or a PDA to note down ideas, thoughts and reminders. Baby wipes are essential too – they’re invaluable for cleaning your hands and generally freshening up. Take a camera/camera phone –you’ll want to remember what Your Dress (or candidates for the title) looks like, and bring along the bottled water – most stores will offer you some but do take your own.

Are you being served?

The store staff should be thoroughly knowledgeable and able to give the help or advice you need. It’s important that you buy your dress from a shop you feel comfortable with – after all it’s quite a lengthy process from choosing it to taking it home, and you have to feel you can trust them. Good store assistants recognise the importance of this purchase and treat every bride and dress as special.

Stay sober!

If you are suffering from nerves, or just feel in need of some support, it may be tempting to have a large glass of wine – or something equally fortifying – at lunch while you are shopping. Remember, though, that our most intelligent and considered decisions are not necessarily made while we are a little tipsy, and it’s important to keep a clear head.

Some bridal stores may offer you a glass of wine. Depending on your tolerance of alcohol, this is fine – as long as you don’t visit four stores in a row and have a glass of wine at each…

Find Wedding Ideas, Inspiration, Venues and Services

mail icon

Subscribe to our Network

Stay connected with our network and get all the best Wedding Planning, Inspiration and Competitions directly into your inbox.