Bucket List: Wedding Dress Shopping
After booking our wedding 2 years ago, the time has come for me to go wedding dress shopping!!
Never having tried a dress on before, I thought the best place to start would be Wed2b as no appointment is needed and there is branches all over the UK. You can find your nearest store here.
Wed2b stock a large range of sizes and different designs, which was essential in my journey to find the dress of my dreams.
I didn't know what kind of style would fit my shape, which would flatter problem areas or what would accentuate my figure let alone be best suited to the hot Cypriot sunshine id wear it in!
So this weekend my sister suggested we go and take a look to get the ball rolling. Armed with a personalised letter box gift cake, to surprise her for the special occasion, we headed over to our Chesham branch.
You can read more about my pretty cake, over here in "products we love".
We arrived in time for the store to open on sunday so we would avoid the ques and get to have a look around without rushing.
Upon arrival there is a touch screen for you to register your details on before a consultant shows you around the showroom. You are then free to browse the rails. The dresses are organised by size which makes life a lot easier.
Wedding dresses tend to come up slightly smaller than highstreet sizes, so make sure to also browse the next size up rail as well as one size down, to maximise all styles being tried on.
Wed2b have a 4 dress policy in their changing rooms, meaning your invited to pick 4 dresses you would like to try and a consultant will take you into the dressingroom to get you into. Once you have finished you can continue your search on the shop floor again and come back in to try another 4 at a time.
This frees up the consultant so everyone can have their turn in the changing rooms which is important when they are a no appointment needed company.
-image courtesy of walesonline.co.uk
The changing rooms are air conditioned, well lite and inviting. It was very much an experience out of 'Say Yes To The Dress@ Tv series! So surreal!
There is lots of room for family and friends to sit (pictured above) and the changing chamber itself is really spacious, with enough room for the consultant to help you in and out of the dresses. There's enough room to do full spins in big princess gowns, I know, because I tried... So. Much. Fun!
After trying on my 4 dresses of different styles, I had nailed what suited my shape which really helped me to narrow down what I was looking for.
Bare in mind that when browsing the rails with the dresses hung up in their bags, its really difficult to know the shape and style of it, so be open minded and if it looks like something you'd love, there is no harm in trying it on!
The same advice would go for the dresses photographed on the models on the website, I didn't like quite a few on their designs on the models but when I tried them on they really suited me.
Push yourself out of your comfort zone, you will be pleased you did.
The 5th dress which I couldn't initially bring into to try first time around,due to the 4 dress policy, actually turned out to be the one.
I never thought I would get that feeling of just knowing and being totally taken back and emotional like everyone talks about... It was really special and I'm so grateful I was able to experience that.
-Got to go wedding dress shopping in a white dress, obviously!
I then got what i like to call 'Wedding Ready' where your consultant adds on the veil and all finishing touches so you can see the full look together. I really do recommend doing this, as I realized after seeing me wedding ready that I didn't actually want the extras I thought I once did and vica versa.
Veils, belts and hair accessories are all on display to look at. As well as the underskirts, over skirts and jackets. You can find Wed2b's accessories here.
Bridesmaid dresses in various colours and styles are also available to try, although none blew me away. You can see their Bridesmaid range here.
- image courtesy of wed2b.co.uk
Flower girl dresses are also available to try on in store, and a few matched certain fabric of wedding dresses which I thought was a lovely touch. You can see their Flower girl range here.
- image courtesy of wed2b.co.uk
My tips and advice for wedding dress shopping:
Book an appointment - Depending on where you are going make sure you book an appointment to avoid disappointment. As you know Wed2b do not need any appointments however the weekends can be busier.
Wear a strapless, well fitting bra - Nude in colour if possible as this will be less noticeable with any sheer panels it may appear through. Being strapless means you can try on different styles of dresses without having to tuck your bra straps in.
Wear Spanks if needed - Again nude in colour for the same reason. If your like me and need to tuck your baby baring belly into your knickers, this really helps! It also helps let the dresses slip on easier, in my opinion.
Wear something easy to get on and off - A casual dress is perfect to go dress shopping in, its easy for you to slip in and out of when you are in and out of the changing rooms. I wore a little bardot white dress so it was effortless to change out of.
Bring ideas of the style you would like to try on - This will save time and stop you feeling overwhelmed when you first arrive.
Know the sizing - Wedding dresses tend to come up smaller than highstreet clothes, so be open minded when looking at dress sizes. Remember you can always have alterations done to make the fit perfect.
Know almost anything is possible! - With professional seamstresses undergoing alterations day in, day out, know that with the right seamstress you can change little details about your dress easily. Don't want sleeves? no problem, need it tighter in a certain area, no issue there. With alterations little tweaks can make a dress into your ideal dress!
Get 'Wedding Ready' (the full look) - Before you make a decision, don't be afraid to explore the full look. Many bridal stores will have belts, tiaras, veils and jewelry for sale too. Seeing yourself in the dress with a veil may just complete the look you was looking for.
Look outside the box - Ever thought of buying a dress and a separate skirt to wear together? Look at different combos, an elegant a line with a full tulle skirt can completely transform the look. Don't be afraid of mixing things up!
Only invite people who you value their opinion - If you know a certain person will just tell you what you want to hear when your trying on your wedding dress, make sure you have others that will tell you when something doesn't suit you to help make the right decision
Know the return/exchange policy - If you find your dream dress and want to buy it, make sure you are aware of the return/refund policy in case you change your mind.
Bring a hair tie & a bottle of water - You never know if you will need to put your hair up or need a drink, after all dress shopping is hard work, isn't it?!
Until Next week,