Ultimate Guide to Wedding Dress Shopping

Choosing your dress is like choosing your future husband - you'll know when you’ve found THE ONE!

Now, we’re certainly not experts in this area - we’ll leave that to the amazing bridal shops - but we have both purchased a wedding dress, so we can guide you through and help you receive the perfect dress shopping experience!

caroline and her mum on the morning of her wedding

caroline and her mum on the morning of her wedding

Caroline’s Dress Story

I would highly recommend going dress shopping with an open mind. I had a very clear idea of the style I wanted when I got married - I wanted a full on princess gown, strapless with a really full skirt! When I tried on my dream dress it just wasn’t right at all. I came out of the dressing room and my mum laughed! It wasn’t quite the reaction I expected. She said I looked like a fairy that would go on top of the Christmas tree! It just wasn’t right for me. I didn’t know what to do, everything I’d looked at was that same style. I looked around the store and picked a few other things I liked, and the consultant picked out a few she thought would suit me as well. I ended up choosing the dress that the consultant selected for me, and whilst not completely different, it wasn’t exactly what I thought it would be. I loved my dress and it fitted and suited me much better that my original choice. I paired it with the veil that my mum wore on her wedding day - I hope that one day my daughter might wear it on hers.

Victoria’s Dress Story

For me, finding the dress was always going to be a challenge! While it was of course something I was looking forward to as part of planning my wedding, I just knew how difficult it would be for me! I have been lucky enough to wear some absolutely gorgeous gowns while modelling in various bridal shoots, so I had already seen myself in a wedding dress, equally, being a wedding planner I have easily seen hundreds of dresses and while they each have their own wow factor, they certainly don’t hold the same special weight for me as they often do for fellow first-time brides! My fiance and I can also be a little ‘off the wall’ or unconventional with our style sometimes, for example…I have always loved the idea of a coloured wedding dress, favouring black, grey or red! So stage one of the search: I went to an amazing bridal shop in Woodbridge, Amelia and Alice, along with my mum and two sisters. I was well looked after, tried on a huge range of awesome designer gowns by the likes of Sassi Holford, Halfpenny and Charlie Brear - all of whom bring something a little ‘different’ to their bridal wear - but they just weren’t right for me. Next I went to The Wedding Gallery in London with my Maid of Honour, I tried some amazing dresses, including some coloured, and fell in love with a layered red dress by Needle and Thread - but upon FaceTiming my Mum, and her being so shocked at the colour I just didn’t feel settled enough the call it ‘The One’! Feeling like I’d never find my dream dress, I spoke to a lovely friend of mine, Charlotte, who runs The Bridal Lounge in Hadleigh. We had always said to each other that as much as I love her dresses, we just didn’t think she’d have the right one for me, but she invited me to have an afternoon in the shop, just the two of us, for me to try on as many as I’d like. Now, in case Gryphen (my future Mr!) reads this, I won’t be giving you much detail, but a couple of dresses in, with some customising and ‘miss-matching’ from other designer pieces, Charlotte and I knew we had created my dress. We both felt emotional! So a few weeks later I invited my Mum and grandmothers to come along to view THE ONE! My wedding is a little later this year so you’ll have to come back to the blog to see images of the dress in Autumn!

And there you have it! That’s how we found our dresses - the main message here is that you should trust the consultant in the boutique. They are dressing brides every single day and will often choose something for you that you end up loving but never would have picked yourself. Go in with an open mind and you will find the one!

Happy Shopping!