First things first – set your wedding dress budget. Try not to look at dresses that are out of your price range, unless you plan on going over budget. If you don’t, then use top of the range gowns as inspiration for a less expensive design, so you won’t have to spend a fortune.
Flick through magazines to get an idea of the style of dress you’re looking for – it could be classic or contemporary, slinky or strapless. Consider your venue and the time of year, as well as what you like.
If you’ve spotted dresses you like by particular wedding dress designers, book appointments with them or with bridal shops who stock their designs. Popular names include Philippa Lepley, Caroline Castigliano, and Browns Bride.
Go for your first appointment with an open mind and a helpful friend or your mum. Just take one person with you – any more and the experience can be a little overwhelming and confusing.
Try on various styles of dress. You may find that a style you think won’t suit you actually looks fabulous!
Don’t be rushed into any decisions. If you think you’ve found ‘the one’, you can always go away and think about it before making your mind up. Think things through.
When you’ve found the perfect dress, don’t try on any more! Arrange your fittings, and start shopping for underwear and shoes.
It’s also worth asking the designer or retailer for advice on how you can clean the fabric of your gown in case you have any small spillages on the day! That way you can rest easy in the knowledge that whatever happens, you’ll still look cool, calm and amazing.
If you want to a wear a veil, for example, try one on with the dress. Equally, put your hair up if you think that’s how you’d like to wear it on the day.
While you don’t have to show your bridesmaids your dress before their own dresses are chosen, make sure their gowns tie in with the theme and colours of your wedding as a whole.