Wedding Dress Shopping Tips

wedding dress

Starting your search for your perfect wedding dress can be daunting. With the internet offering so much inspiration and options for your big day it can sometimes be hard to know where to start and what will be the best style. Here we provide some wedding dress tips for the bride-to-be to consider before heading to the shops. We hope these tips will help ease stress and allow you to slow down and enjoy the process to find the dress for you.

Set a budget

Wedding dresses are expensive. A lot of work and time goes into creating a wedding dress. Add in the cost of 40 to 50 metres of good quality fabric and it’s no surprise that in 2017 the average cost of a wedding dress is £1385. Be realistic about what you can afford, and stick to your budget.

Our first tip is to factor in the cost of alterations. Some bridal shops do include alterations, but most do not. This does not apply to bespoke gowns that are made to fit you from the beginning.

Choose your wedding dress shop

Lots of tips here to keep your stress levels down. Resist the temptation to visit every bridal shop you know. Once your budget is set, contact bridal shops to see which hold collections that fit your budget. You can also ask if the shop stocks the style of wedding dresses you like. Bespoke designers usually do not list prices as each dress is unique, but they will be able to tell you their starting prices.

Shopping for your wedding dress is supposed to be fun and exciting, so one of our tips is to decide what sort of shopping experience you want. You can choose a shop that does private consultations if you prefer not to share the shop floor with other brides. If you are getting married far from home, decide if you want your wedding shop to be close to your wedding venue so that it’s easier to collect your dress en route or perhaps you would prefer somewhere close to home so that you can get to fittings around your normal schedule.


You may have your heart set on a Vera Wang, but before you do our tips include considering whether your dress you have in mind works where and when you are getting married. Check that the dress will be suitable for the climate and environments of your wedding celebrations. The dress choice may also be influenced by how long plan to be wearing it.

Don’t try too many styles at once

wedding dress

When you first visit your wedding designer or shop, one of our tips is to keep an open mind even if you have your heart set on a certain type of dress. Designers will have skirts and corsets you can try with a range of fabrics that can be draped and pinned to create different styles. This will help you be clear about all the things you don’t like and you may be surprised by what you find you do like.

Remember, when you visit the shop, designers and sales assistants are there to help and guide you. Ask questions so you feel comfortable about your final choice. If you are self-conscious about a particular part of your body being on show, let them know as they can advise you on options.

Take two

Probably one our most important tips: don’t take too many people along when you look for your dress. Too many voices often leads to confusing, conflicting opinions that makes you so stressed you will no longer be able to hear yourself think. Take just 1 or 2 people whose opinions you value. You can bring along others at a later fitting. Make notes of what you loved and what you hated. Note the names of the designers you tried. This will help you see if a pattern is emerging about the sort of dress you want.

Wear the correct undergarments

Tips for getting the right feel for your dress include wearing your wedding day lingerie to each of your fittings or something as similar as possible. If it gives you confidence wear shape supporting undergarments. If you’re not wearing a strapless bra, you might consider taking one with you just in case the wedding dress you fall in love with is a dress that needs more invisible support.

Be prepared

Not every bride will find there perfect dress. Don’t give up! Everyone is different and not everybody’s needs are going to be covered by bridal shops. With the notes you have made, you can think outside the box for other options like a rock, Gothic or vintage style dress. You also have the option of designing your own bespoke wedding dress.