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Your Wedding Dress Shopping Checklist

Guarantee your wedding dress shopping trip is as effortless as you imagined with our easy-to-follow tick off list.

wedding dress shopping in essex at bellissima weddings

Wedding dress shopping should be magical. It's an experience that should be cherished. At Bellissima Weddings finding our brides their dream bridal gown is a passion, bordering on obsession! And now, as we celebrate our 21st birthday, we're still just as driven as ever. What comes with our impending anniversary is experience. Experience of how brides feel when they enter our little shop for the first time. Nervous, excited, and feeling desperate to 'yes' to a dress are all common. But the most successful brides don't just feel those things, they also feel relieved. Relieved that they've done some research, and thought ahead, before they enter the shop.

When wedding dress shopping, there are certain things you need to bear in mind before you visit your chosen boutique that can dramatically alter your success. Bridal shopping is a little different than strolling into Zara on the high-street, and spending 5 minutes in the changing room. There are things you should bring, timings to think about and a mentality to reflect on. To enjoy the wedding dress shopping process, it's important to plan ahead and take a breath on the day.

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Hopefully, this will be the one opportunity you have in your life to invest in such a significant 'outfit', so we want you to enjoy the experience and, most importantly, get it right! Here is our wedding dress shopping checklist that will help you get the most out of your experience.

Wedding Dress Shopping Tips from Bellissima Weddings

Give Yourself Plenty of Time

Let us explain. Most bridal gowns require around six months to be made for you. So if you're planning on walking in to a wedding dress shop and strolling straight again with your dream gown that day, ready to go, you may need to change your plans.

Wedding dress shops in the main, hold samples in-store that you can try on. Once you've found the perfect style for you, we'll then order that dress in your size. This dressmaking process can take up to 6 months depending on the brand, usually it's less, but by giving yourself 6 months you'll allow for any delays.

Let Your Boutique Know Your Budget

We're British, we don't like talking about money, but when it comes to wedding dress shopping – its important that we know what is in your price range. There’s simply no point falling for a £5,000 dress when you’ve got £2,000 to spend. Brief us before, and we'll select the dresses for you that match your style and budget.

Ask the Wedding Shop if Alterations are Included in the Price

Following on from the last point, it's essential to consider all the costs involved in wedding dress shopping, and the price of alterations is often something that brides forget or are unaware of. Pretty much every dress will need to be altered to some extent in order for it to fit you perfectly. So factor that into your final budget.

Try on the Dresses Recommended to You

The wedding dress you're being shown might be a million miles away from what you think you want, but just try it… you never know! Our girls know our dresses like the back of their hand, and they know what looks good. Trust in them and at least try their suggestions on, 9 times out of ten our brides walk out happy in a gown they never would have thought of choosing before their appointment.

Try a Few Different Silhouettes to See What's Best for You

We’ve heard from enough brides who originally wanted a fit and flare, but fell in love with a ballgown to know that an open mind is essential!

Try Your Dress on with a Veil

It's like when you try on an outfit with no shoes on, you hate it, doesn't look right. Pop your heels on, and suddenly, you feel a million dollars. Trying on a veil while wedding dress shopping can really elevate your look and help you feel like a real bride.

Think about the Season You're Getting Married in

A dress with sleeves will keep the chill off during a winter wedding, while layer upon layer of tulle could see you sweltering on a hot summer’s day. Remember the season you're getting married in as you browse, and mention it to whoever is looking after you, so they can factor it in while they select gowns for you.

Get a Second Opinion from Someone you Trust?

Invite your mum, future mother-in-law, family, or friends to each appointment to gauge their reactions too – but not too many as they'll cloud your judgement!

Try on Just the Right Number of Wedding Dresses

Too few try-on's might leave you wondering what if, but try too many, and you’ll end up in a right muddle. Don't worry, we'll pick out just the right amount for you at a pace that will make it easy to decide on the one!

Make Sure to Walk and Sit Down in Your Dress

What’s comfortable posing in front of a mirror, might not feel so brilliant doing other things… Have a think about the other actions you'll be doing on your big day such as hugging, drinking champagne or crouching down to get the flower girls to just calm down! You may feel a little silly, but going through the motions will really help you decide on what's right for you. Go on, throw some shapes in your dress!

Think About Shoes & Underwear

Check with the wedding dress shop about what shoes and underwear you should bring to your consultations and fittings. A well-fitted bra can make a massive difference to the fit of a dress. Equally, the size of your heels can dramatically affect your alterations. In a perfect world, bring your chosen underwear and shoes to your first appointment and all the others after.

Wedding Dress Shopping & Weight loss

It’s not uncommon for brides to be on a weight loss plan. This is a tricky one as many people will not even start looking for dress until they have reached the goal weight they expect, whereas others start off at one size and are planning to reach another. Our advice would be to get started on your weight loss journey, but speak to your boutique about your expectations. Your wedding dress will have to be altered, but it is unlikely a wedding dress shop will order you a gown size based on what you expect to be in 3-6 months. Be realistic, and be honest with your boutique.

Laura & the girls xx


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