Time and time again brides ask us how they can make the most out of their visit to a wedding dress boutique. Considering this ahead of time is already a sign that you've got this bride thing down. We wanted to give you the very best advice possible, so we put the question to our experts - the handpicked boutiques on our wedding supplier directory, The List. Well, they couldn't have been a more helpful bunch, and so today we're bringing you ten fabulous tips for how to get the most from that very exciting (sometimes daunting and that's totally normal, don't worry) first visit.
1. RESEARCH WHICH WEDDING DRESS BOUTIQUE
Browse the glossy pages of Rock My Wedding to get some inspiration, and save dress pictures you love as references. Then seek out a wedding dress boutique (or a few) who sell similar styles, or designers you like. Don’t limit yourself too much though, you’ll often be surprised at the gowns you’ll fall in love with once you've tried them on. You will be able to find out which designers a boutique stocks from their listing on our supplier directory, The List, or their website. “You may not be able to find the exact dress, but you can show pictures to your stylist at the appointment and see if they can recommend similar styles.” Aneberry
Consider your dress budget, and stick to it! We know that shopping for your wedding dress is incredibly exciting and it’s tempting to go crazy and try on every dress in every boutique, not even looking at the price tag. However, if you have a budget of £1500, it’s asking for trouble to try on that collection which starts at £3000. You will inevitably fall in love… don’t even go there! It’s a much more sensible idea to try styles that are within your budget and your stylist will be happy to guide you.
3. WHO FIRST?
Get your dress sorted before you even think about bridesmaids' gowns. This is your one day to shine, and the outfit you choose is a vital part of how you feel on the day. Compromising on your gown isn’t on the agenda. The bridesmaids are there to complement you, not vice versa. “So often brides come to me and fall in love with a dress but are totally thrown because it won't match the bridesmaid's dresses they have already bought.” Ghost Orchid Bride
4. MAKE A DAY OF IT
There’s no reason why you shouldn’t make a day of dress shopping. A couple of wedding dress boutique visits with a light lunch in between, or a second visit followed by afternoon bubbles to celebrate. Any excuse!!
5. YOUR BRIDAL GANG
You will often see lots of conflicting advice about this one. You will, of course, want your entire bridal gang to see the dress you choose, but for your first appointment we recommend taking along a couple of carefully chosen people whose company you enjoy, and opinions you trust. Too many opinions, sometimes conflicting, runs the risk of turning your first wedding dress boutique visit into a confusing one. Once you’ve found your dream dress then a second appointment is the perfect excuse to bring along a few more folk, crack open the bubbles and celebrate finding the one. “Bring the people who make you feel amazing but also know how to give constructive opinions. You need the balance to get the right dress.” Fern & Foxglove Bridal
6. WHAT TO WEAR
Wear underwear you’re comfortable in that flatters and be prepared with your bra. Nude and strapless is best. Don’t wear fake tan to your appointment, and keep your make up to a minimum. Almost all dresses are made of delicate fabrics in light colours which look far better without make up markings! It’s also a great idea to keep some hairbands and bobby pins in your handbag if you’re thinking you may have your hair up on the best day.
7. EXCEPTIONAL SERVICE
All of the boutiques on The List, have been handpicked because they deliver amazing service to brides in what can be a daunting situation. Many brides feel apprehensive before their first boutique visit and whether this is due to visions of stuffy service, pushy assistants or body image worries, we want you to relax. Open up about any anxieties with your stylist, it is their job to make you feel amazing, and they should be discreet and friendly. They no doubt will have had the same concerns themselves, or heard it before from other brides.
8. DON’T FRET
“We don't pass judgment on your underwear, body hair, chipped nail polish… so please don’t apologise!” Coco & Kate Stylists in a wedding dress boutique really aren’t concentrating on these things - all they care about is helping you to find a wedding dress which flatters and makes you feel incredible.
9. IF IN DOUBT, TRY IT
Be honest with your stylist about what you like and don’t like - they don’t design the dresses so won’t be offended, but remember, if in doubt, try it! You may have assumed a style isn’t right for you but then will feel completely different when it is actually on. Trust your stylist to make suggestions, they’re experts, and you never know, you might be pleasantly surprised. “Some dresses just don’t have the hanger appeal of others but could look incredible on you.” Fairytale Weddings
"It’s an emotional gut instinct reaction that tells you it just feels right. No one else can tell you what your particular ‘right’ is but as the bride, you’ll know when you find it. And don’t stop looking until you do." Rachel Scott Couture Relax and have fun. You’ll know when you have your dress on, trust us. Now, the next step is to find the wedding dress boutique where you will start your search. You should probably head to The List as your first port of call. Not only do the handpicked boutiques stock the most insanely stylish and beautiful gowns, but they also deliver that exceptional service and amazing experience that every RMW bride deserves. Enjoy the search.