For many ladies, the most exciting part of wedding planning is the quest to find that dream dress. Considering it’s the most expensive item of clothing you’re likely to own, no doubt you’ll want to get it just right. But where do you start? Here, we share the rules of wedding dress shopping to ensure your search is a breeze!

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Rule #1: Do your research

Just as you wouldn’t book your venue without doing some background research, the same should be applied when it comes to wedding dress shopping. If you delve straight in without any idea of style, silhouettes or materials that you like, you will probably feel a little overwhelmed when you’re met with rails upon rails of taffeta and lace.

The good news is that the research process is actually fun. Stock up on wedding magazines and browse online, noting styles that you like. You’ll soon notice similarities in what you like which will make it a lot easier when you start visiting boutiques. Plus, don’t forget to set yourself up with a secret board on Pinterest and have hours of fun pinning the dresses which catch your eye.

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Rule #2: Determine a budget & stick to it

Don’t fall for a dress that’s out of your budget. Save yourself heartache by determining your budget before you begin. Your bridal consultant will ask you how much you’d like to spend so you should only try on dresses within your budget. You should also factor in the cost of alterations and accessories including underwear, shoes, veil and jewellery.

Rule #3: Don’t bring along a Debbie Downer

Wedding dress shopping should be a happy experience so don’t bring along anyone who is jealous or competitive. Likewise, people have opinions so bringing along lots of people may lead to various different views. Bring along a select few people, whose opinions you trust and enjoy the day.

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Rule #4: Don’t try on the whole shop

You’d be surprised at how much time it takes to try on a wedding dress! All those hooks and lace up features mean they’re a lot more difficult to get into than a standard dress. This can eat into your appointment time so only try on dresses that you really like.

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Rule #5: Be open to ideas

Likewise, you should also be open to ideas. Many brides will tell you that they ended up falling for something completely unexpected so if your bridal consultant suggests a style you hadn’t considered, keep an open mind. That might just be your dress!

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Rule #6: Inform your consultant if you plan to lose weight

If you plan to lose a considerable amount of weight before your wedding, let your bridal consultant know. Don’t be tempted to purchase your wedding dress in a size smaller than you currently are. It’s much easier to take a dress in than let it out so don’t risk it.

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Rule #7:Come prepared

By this we mean, wear sensible underwear and don’t wear fake tan or tonnes of foundation. When it comes to wedding dress shopping, it’s also a good idea to wear your hair up. This will give you a better view of the neckline etc and is particularly important if you’re planning to wear your hair up on the day.

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Rule #8: Try it all on

When you try on a dress that you like, your consultant will offer to add the finishing touches such as veil and accessories. Do it! This is the perfect way to find out what accessories could potentially work with your dress. You’re under no obligation to buy them from the boutique but it will give you a good idea of style for your finishing touches.

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Rule #9: Don’t pay your deposit until you’re sure

Don’t have dress regret! Make sure you pay your deposit only when you are 100% sure that it’s ‘the one’. It’s advised not to commit to a dress just after you’ve tried it on. Leave the store and if you’re still thinking about it a few days later, chances are it’s your dress. Make one more appointment, try it on again and if you’ve still got positive vibes, go for it!

Wedding dress shopping

Rule #10: Book in advance

Nearly all bridal boutiques will require you to book in advance so make sure you call ahead and book an appointment. If you’re planning to visit a few places, try to book a couple of appointments for one day.

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