If you're getting married this wedding season or are starting to plan your wedding, the chances are you've put more than a little bit of thought into your dress. Every woman wants to look and feel fabulous when she's heading down the aisle and the dress is a big part of that.
While choosing your wedding dress should be fun, it can also get a bit stressful; especially if it takes a while to find. Even if you go into a shop with a good idea of what you're after, you may find that this isn't actually what you want or what suits you.
To help you find your dream dress, here are some steps you should follow:
Research, but don't get bogged down
It is a good idea to have a look at the different types of wedding dresses available to get a basic idea of styles. This makes it a lot easier to translate the wedding dress jargon when it comes to doing the shopping.
While research is good, you don't want to do too much or create a detailed list of everything your dress has to have. This can leave you feeling overwhelmed and give you unrealistic expectations.
Instead, think about the length, skirt type, neckline, colour and material. These are some of the basic things you should at least have a rough idea of before you shop, however, you should also be prepared to totally change your mind.
Communicate with and listen to the sales consultants
Sales consultants in wedding dress shops know what they are talking about. They help hundreds of women find their dresses so they really know their stuff. This means it is important to tell them your ideas and to listen to their recommendations.
You should start off by explaining the way you want to feel, your theme and your general style. Let them know if there's anything you really want or anything you definitely don't.
The chances are they'll have you try on a few different styles that they have picked as well as the ones you choose and at least one of these will be something you originally said you didn't want. This helps you definitely rule a style out or realise that actually you really like it.
Listen to their suggestions and try on what they suggest.
Ignore how it looks on the hanger
So many brides end up with a dress they didn't like the look of on the hanger, this is because wedding gowns can totally transform when you put them on. Wearing them gives them shape and lets you see them in all their glory.
Even if you really don't like a dress on the hanger, try it on and be open-minded. You may find that you actually fall in love with it. This is when listening to your consultant really pays off.
If you're not sure, it's not the dress
You'll probably find that you try on a few dresses that you like but that aren't totally perfect. This means they aren't the one. If you're wearing a dress and are thinking about the things that it's missing or that you would change, then it probably isn't right for you.
You want to have that 'wow' moment when you put on a gown, not an 'it'll do' moment. Even if everyone else is telling you how amazing you look, if you don't feel it, try something else on.
You can always come back to dresses later and try them on again to see how they compare. But it is important to remember that although you can alter dresses, there's no guarantee that you can transform a dress you kind of like into the dress of your dreams.
Don't be afraid to walk away dressless
If you don't find what you want in the shop, walk away. You don't have to buy a dress just because you tried some on. If you don't like anything or aren't sure, it is best to leave without parting with any cash.
There are loads of wedding dress shops out there, so you'll have plenty of different designs to look at. Don't feel like you have to buy something at the first place you visit.
When you know, you know
If you do find something and you think instantly 'this is my dress' snap it up. Trying on other dresses will just confuse and have you doubting your decision. If you put on a dress and it feels right and you love the way you look in it, then that is your dress.
It doesn't matter what other people think, if you love it and you feel amazing when wearing it, nothing else matters.