How to Wedding Dress Shop in London
Wedding dress shopping can be an exciting yet daunting experience for many brides; it’s often difficult to know where and how to begin the process! As the owner of Betty Gets Hitched bridal studio, a North London bridal boutique, here are some of my best tips to help brides find their dream wedding dresses in London (and beyond!)
Bring guests to your bridal appointment that understand your style
It’s a go-to for most brides to pick their nearest and dearest to bring to their bridal appointment. However, it’s much more important to pick the people close to you that know your style well, and can respect what you’re looking for and want in a wedding dress. All too often guests who are thinking more about their personal taste and not what the bride wants can get carried away picking out dresses they like, which can make it awkward for the bride if they’re not keen on any of them! It’s advisable to bring one or two people that know more about your personal style and want you to feel sensational and comfortable in your wedding dress. That way, as well as having some helpful and more balanced opinions from your chosen guests it will be a more enjoyable experience altogether for you!
Know your budget
Work out before you start shopping what you can afford to spend on your wedding dress -it’s also best to factor in the cost of alterations; within most bridal boutiques in London this tends to range from around £250 to £400. Also make sure that the bridal collections in the boutiques you book an appointment with are within your budget; there’s nothing more frustrating than falling in love with a wedding dress out of your price range, and so it’s best to eliminate the possibility of it happening! That way you’ll feel reassured that the wedding dresses in your bridal shops of choice are all viable options.
Don’t visit too many bridal boutiques
In all the excitement of your wedding dress journey, it’s easy to over-book yourself with appointments in shops across the city. In my experience most brides will find their wedding dress within 1-3 different bridal shops, so it’s advisable to book no more than 2-3 bridal appointments. On average brides will try on anywhere from between 4-7 wedding dresses in one boutique, which soon adds up - that’s when the different styles will start to become a blur! Think of it this way; you only need 1-2 favourite wedding dresses to choose from, so as soon as you’ve found them if you’re still unsure which is ‘the one’ then re-book appointments at those shops and try them on again – this always confirms which one has your heart!
Book all of your bridal appointments over a short space of time
Try to visit your chosen bridal boutiques over a short space of time, preferably over a day or two. Generally the longer you space your bridal appointments out the more difficult it will be to remember the details of the wedding dresses you really liked, and how it felt wearing them. It’s much easier to decide on your wedding dress when the ones you’ve tried and loved are fresher in your mind!
Plan your journeys in advance
London is a bustling big city, with bridal shops dotted around in different areas. To eliminate stress while wedding dress shopping, plan each journey and book appointment times according to which part of town each bridal boutique is in. Leave a good amount of time between each appointment so you and your guests aren’t rushing from place to place, and make sure you schedule in a nice lunch – while it’s a lot of fun, shopping for your wedding dress can be hungry work!
Wear suitable underwear to try underneath wedding dresses
To help you to get a better idea of how a wedding dress looks and feels on you, it’s advisable to bring suitable underwear to your bridal appointments. The best options are a nude or skin-toned strapless bra. The Wonderbra Ultimate strapless bra is a great choice and useful piece to have in your wardrobe, and no VPL (visible panty line) skin-toned knickers or shape wear pants/shorts really help with smoothing lines underneath a wedding dress.
It can also be useful to wear your hair in a similar style that you’re thinking of for your wedding day (of course it doesn’t need to be as put together!) and minimal make-up as you may be putting wedding dresses on over your head. This is to avoid leaving make-up marks on the bridal gowns, which from experience isn’t a fun task to remove! Bridal boutiques generally will have shoes for you to try on, but it’s always handy to bring a pair of shoes in a heel height you’re comfortable with just in case.
Don’t be afraid to Say Yes to the Dress!
It’s quite common for a bride to find their wedding dress after the first few they’ve ever tried on, and this can completely throw them! Often as a bride you may think there is a magic number or minimum amount of wedding dresses you should try on before finding ‘The One’. Just remember, whether it’s the first gown or one further down the line, you will know once you try on a wedding dress that you love – you’ll feel amazing in it and won’t want to take it off. It’s your wedding dress and you don’t need permission from anyone else to say yes, so go for it!