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What To Expect When Wedding Dress Shopping

Wedding dress shopping can be a daunting task and brides have lots of questions when we meet them at fairs. When to start looking? What will suit me? Do I need to book an appointment? What should I wear to the appointment? How much does a wedding dress cost? Etc etc. So I thought I’d give you a bit of advice.

Timing wise, the ideal would be you have secured your wedding date at your chosen venue and have around 9-12 months until your wedding. However, we are able to help brides that have a lot less time, (in fact recently we helped a bride with two weeks) and if you would like to pay your dress off with a payment plan then I would suggest looking around 18 months before. Basically, some designers can take 20-22 weeks just to get the dress to our store. Then ideally we like 6-8 weeks for the alteration process.

No doubt you have been looking through magazines and trawling the internet ‘pinning’ dresses to your mood board. If there is a designer that is standing out in your selections find out where those dresses are stocked. There should be a stockist list on the designers website. Also, ask friends that have recently got married where they got their dress from or where they would recommend. Check out the websites of these shops and if you like the look of them book an appointment. I’d always suggest booking an appointment, that why the shop can guarantee you a changing room and consultant. Saying that we will always try to accommodate a ‘walk in’ if we can. Personally, I’d book 3 shops and not all on the same day. It can be tiring physically and emotionally trying on dresses.

Now that you’ve booked a few appointments, make sure you have 2-3 members of family or friends that you can take with you that you absolutely trust and value their opinion. Ultimately, it is your dress and you should have a dress that you love. But these people should be able to see that you love it and know that you are happy.

On the day of your appointment, just wear clean underwear and a strapless bra if you have a good one. Otherwise just a white bra, and we can always pull the straps down to the side. There is nothing worse than seeing a black bra through a beautiful ivory gown. If you already have your wedding day shoes, bring those along, after all you want to make sure they go with your dress. Although most bridal shops will have shoes for you to use. Another good tip, bring a hair band along in case you want to tie your hair up. Some of these dresses have gorgeous back detail that needs to be shown off. Please please please do not have a tan up for the day. They just ruin our dresses!

At your appointment, your consultant should listen to what you are looking for and ask you what price point you are comfortable at. They will then help you pick out dresses to meet your criteria. If its your first time trying on dresses, here at Turner and Pennell we will advise to try a variety of shaped dresses until we find the shape you love. That will help you narrow down your choices and make the right decisions for you.

Wedding dresses can range from the £££’s to the £££££’s. If you have a price point you would like to stay under, please mention this to the consultant. There is nothing worse than falling in love with a dress then realising its wayyyyyy out of your price point. A good consultant should only show you dresses that a) fit your criteria of a dress and b) are within your price range.

How will I know if it’s ‘the one’? Trust me you will know! There maybe tears from your friends and family, you might have the biggest smile on your face or you will be swishing and swaying not wanting to take it off. Some people over think the whole process and normally we find those people have tried too many dresses in too many shops. This can make it very stressful, but we will get you there eventually.

The most important thing to remember though, is to enjoy the whole process. At the end of the day you are marrying the love of your life and they will love you no matter what you are wearing.


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"Amazing shop, run by the loveliest ladies who are extremely helpful and patient! I am so happy I bought my dress from this shop, and will continue to recommend to every bride-to-be!"

Amy Lou

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