So you have recently become engaged!! Congratulations! and now the most exciting part of the wedding journey – the search for your dream dress.
So many brides start the process of planning their wedding using the internet and social media as a starting point! And this is great, homework is always crucial. However looking at gowns online, becomes overwhelming, and we recommend booking an appointment as soon as you feel ready. For most brides, they would start looking normally at least 12 months out from the big day, and this is a good time to begin.
Scheduling an appointment.
First start by googling the bridal stores that are around you, and looking at their websites to see whether their style of dress matches your wedding vibe. Often brides will also hear from friends and family, and we totally love word of mouth recommendations.
Booking online or over the phone! Feel free to call the store you wish to book (if you are after a Saturday don’t be surprised if they are booked out weeks ahead) especially if it is in the bridal peak season. Some stores have booking fees and others don’t. Some bridal boutiques have online forms – which ask you for your wedding date and typically how much you were hoping to spend on your gown. It’s important to note that for some brides, setting budgets is crucial, where as others don’t want the budget to determine what they fall in love with. Either is fine – as long as you accept it from the beginning.
You have made your appointment, what’s next?
So many brides start feeling anxious or worried, and questions start piling up in their minds. “Will any dresses fit me” “what if nothing looks nice” etc..
This is probably pretty normal behaviour, and most brides start overthinking the whole thing. Stop overthinking – it will be okay.
Appointments generally run for one hour to 90 minutes. Generally it’s a good idea to bring a small number of guests with you (i.e mum/sister or MOH) While bringing the whole bride tribe may seem like a great idea at first, we find most brides start regretting that decision really quickly (way too many opinions becomes way to overwhelming for the bride). Bring people who are important to your dress making decision. You never know when you’ll find your dream wedding dress, so you want those people to be apart of that experience!
The next big question, what to wear and what to bring to your bridal appointment.
We generally recommend wearing something that is easy to take on and off. We recommend you wear no bra during your fitting as designer gowns generally have well structured bodices that are made with boning/padding and have in-built support inside the bodice. If you would prefer to not be bra-less with your stylist, we recommend bringing/wearing a strapless. If you want to bring a pair of heels, you’re most welcome, most stores also have blocks that you can step on for height purposes.FYI – most stores like to see their brides avoid wearing heavy make up or tanning products, this is just to help preserve the condition of their white dresses.
How will your appointment be structured?
Every appointment structure is different at every store. At the Adelaide Bridal Collective, on arrival you will be greeted by one of our trained stylists who will show you through the store and talk with you about your wedding, inspirations and vision for your big day.
You will be able to select several gowns to start with – this gives your stylist an idea of what you are loving and from here they will start to compile other options for you – It is important that you trust your stylist, she knows these gowns better than anyone and can find you the perfect dress if you let her!
Then it’s time to start trying! As these gowns are extremely valuable and delicate, your stylist will be on hand to help you zip them up or in cases when they are a little too big, they will pin you in, so you can visualise the dress properly fitting.
Once you step into a dress that makes your heart melt, and you get a special kind of feeling (different feeling to any other dress) then it’s time to pop the bubbles and to say ‘yes to the dress’.
Ordering Your Dress – what you need to know
To order your dress all we need is a 50% deposit and your measurements which will be taken in store. The remaining balance can be paid off via monthly instalments with a layby agreement or paid off in full once the gown arrives in store and is collected.
If your wedding is 12 months out, check with the store, as they may be able to do a pre order (smaller deposit) and delay your sizing closer to your wedding date (generally 7 months out).
Your dress will typically take 4-6 months to be made and arrive in store, however if your wedding is sooner, your stylist can see if a rush order is possible with the designer (not all designers can fulfil rush orders so it is always important to note your wedding date on arrival) Sometimes gowns can also be purchased “off the rack” will essentially means you take the one from the store and make alterations if need be.
After your dress arrives you will be called in for your final fitting – in this appointment we can also finish off the final touches like veil, overskirt and other accessories,
From here you will be able to take your dress to the recommended seamstress to perfect the fit to your body.
By the way – every stylist loves seeing the wedding photos, be sure to tag them on your social media or send them an email with photos from the big day! Brides will often then go on to leave a review on Google/Facebook from the wedding suppliers that have been of great help (make sure you do – this will help future brides plan their wedding days)