How To: Shop For Your Wedding Dress

Congratulations if you are recently engaged! It’s such an exciting time, that can also be quite daunting if you are planning on getting married quite soon. There’s just so much to organise! Now that I’m happily married and have friends who are busy planning their weddings, I’ve noticed how keen they are for advise. So this post is not only for those friends, it’s for you too.

The wedding dress is one of the most anticipated aspects of wedding planning for many brides to be. Here’s how to hunt for a wedding dress like a pro.

 Do some research


Before you even start trying on dresses, I really advise that you do a little bit of research. It’s always better to go into a Bridal Salon with an idea of what you’d like to try on. Time is often limited, and most places ask you to pay for the appointment. Here are some things to think about when you start searching for dresses:

  • Look at different styles to find out what you like the look of.
  • Think about how much detail you like on a dress.
  • What sort of detail is it that you like? (lace, beading, tulle etc.)

Once you narrow things down you might start discovering a couple of designer’s that you really like. This is really helpful, becuase then you can find out where the gowns are stocked and make an appointment to try them on.

Styles I recommend trying

  • Ball Gown
  • A-Line
  • Empire
  • Mermaid
  • Sheath/Column
  • Try different strap types vs strapless dress


Empire Waist/A-Line Skirt


Sheath/Long sleeves


Strapless/Mermaid/Sheath Overlay

Make An Appointment To Try On Dresses

This is where your research comes in handy. It’s ideal if you can show up to an appointment prepared. By that, I mean with a list of dress styles you would like to try on. If the shop has a website, write down the dress names or numbers that you want to try on. Or at least have a list of styles and details that you want to try.

My biggest advise at this stage is to be daring! Try on a few styles that aren’t exactly  what you’re after.  The thing is, you only get to do this once. So enjoy it! Bridal gowns are the most exquisite garments that most of us will ever have the luxury to wear. Don’t limit yourself before you’ve even begun.

If you are adamant that you want a princess dress – try on a slim fitting one. I mean it. And if you’re sure that you want a strapless dress – try on a dress with straps. You might be surprised at how they look on you. I’m speaking from experience, because I had very set idea’s when I started out. Only to have them blown away once I started trying gowns on.

Bridal gowns are a totally different from anything else you’ve ever worn before. The craftsmanship, quality and the amount of fabric involved is nothing short of exquisite. I hope you fall in love with them as much as I did.



White’s white. Right? Nope. Sorry.

There is bright white, off-white, Ivory and cream, plus so many other variations.

If you are thinking of having a white dress, find out what shade of white suits your complexion. There is a shade of white that suits everyone. The easiest way to find out which shade is best for you, is to make an appointment with an image/colour consultant in your area. (If you live near Hamilton, I would love to meet with you for a consultation.)

Here are a few general tips:

  • Bright White: suits people with a cool skin tone and high contrast between skin and hair colour.
  • Off-White: suits people with a cool skin tone and less contrast between skin and hair colour.
  • Ivory: suits people with a warmer skin tone and high contrast between skin and hair colour.
  • Cream: suits people with a warmer skin tone and less contrast between skin and hair colour.

Your wedding day is the day that you want to look like the best version of ‘you’ possible. So getting the colour right on this day is so important. Choosing a colour that suits you, will make you look more radiant and beautiful than ever. The right colour diminishes the appearance of lines, dark circles and blemishes. You will look healthy and glowing.

This is the question to ask yourself, when trying to decide on a colour: Do I see the colour first, or me? Make sure you are the thing that ‘pops’ first. You want people’s reaction to be ‘didn’t the bride look stunning’ not ‘wasn’t the brides dress lovely’. See the difference? Of course, having a lovely dress is great too. But don’t let it steal the show. It’s your day.

Custom made? Bridal Salon? Online purchase?


It’s a great debate. But it really comes down to your set of circumstances. There are many great reasons to go for any of those options. I can only speak from my own experience when I give you advise on this catagory.

I considered every option. First I wanted my dress to be custom made, then I fell in love with a designer dress at a bridal salon. Next, my money saving practical mind stepped in, and I just couldn’t justify the price tag . I went for the alternative option. I took a gamble and found an almost identical dress online. I ordered it and when it came it was amazing. It needed a few alterations but the quality of the lace was even nicer than the first dress I fell in love with. I was extremely happy with it and I saved $2000 dollars.

What I will say; is that if you buy a dress online, you are taking a risk. I was prepared to risk a couple of hundred dollars if it could save me a few thousand. It’s up to you. But your best bet at receiving a nice dress in the post is to keep the design simple, with minimal detail. Also, do some research into the website you are buying from. It’s quite easy to find reviews online.

No matter which option you decide to go with, I strongly recommend making an appointment at a bridal salon to try on dresses. I helps to know what suits you first.

Most of All

Have fun! And enjoy every second.

Find more Wedding Dress Inspiration on my Pinterest board