What you wear on your wedding day might just be the most important outfit you’ll ever buy.
Pronovias Ontario Wedding Wedding Dress
But I can imagine how its really easy to be completely overwhelmed by the process and feeling like you’ll never find The One.
I was really lucky when I bought my wedding dress. Her name was Ontario by Pronovias and she really was the most beautiful thing I’d ever laid eyes on. I knew she was the one the moment I saw her, long before I tried her on. And she was always on my mind, no matter how many others I came across.
My wedding dress
I thought I’d put together my five top tips for buying your wedding dress – things I think I would have benefited from when I was buying mine.
1. STICK TO YOUR GUNS
You may notice I’ve used the words outfit a couple of times in this post so far. That’s because I honestly believe you should wear whatever you like on your wedding day. It’s your day, do it your way. I’ve seen some blogs where the most stunning brides have been dressed in emerald green satin, chic trouser suits, short tea dresses and everything in between.
In Port Sunlight Village
I knew I wanted something more red carpet than bridal – something a bit different. But if you’re a traditionalist, that’s brilliant too. Don’t ever move away from the vision you have of yourself in your own mind, you’ll only feel uncomfortable on the day and on your wedding day, you want to feel your most beautiful, whatever it is you wear.
2. BLOW THE BUDGET
I’m so proud of the fact that I saved really hard and bought my own wedding dress, with just a little help from my late grandmother, after my mum had saved some money aside that she’d left me so Nana would play a small part in my dress shopping experience.
I’m not a millionaire but I didn’t go dress shopping on a budget, I found my dress then worked super hard to get it. There are so many ways you can cut back on a wedding, don’t let your dress be one of them. And if you find a bargain dress that you adore, that’s bloody brilliant! Just spend whatever you have to to get the dress of your dreams, it might just be a case of careful budgeting. You may also consider sites such as Sell My Wedding Dress if you really do go overboard and need to recoup some costs.
3. MAKE THE MOST OF IT
The actual experience of wedding dress shopping wasn’t quite as fairy tale as I’d imagined. There was no champagne, no cupcakes, mostly just crowded changing rooms and an allocated time slot. Did you have a different experience?
About to show Dad
With this in mind, make sure you make a big deal of your dress shopping experience, at least the first time you go. Go for prosecco with your entourage, leave plenty of time for lunch (do not worry about getting bloated, just relax!), and try on as many dresses as you can, even if it’s just for a laugh. It can be really stressful at times, especially if you’re not feeling anything you’re trying on, so make sure you enjoy all the trappings of wedding dress shopping, because the actual shopping itself can get a bit hairy!
4. SHARE THE LOVE
I totally get that you want to keep your dress a secret from your guests. You want them to be wowed when you appear at the top of that aisle, not go, oh yeah, it looks the same as in the photos.
But do you know what I think is silly, when you’re chatting to a friend of a friend or a fellow bride in the bridal shop and they refuse to give you any details of their dress or wedding, a wedding you’re not going to and a dress you’ll never see! I don’t know you love, it makes no difference to me, I’m hardly going to go shouting from the rooftops ‘This girl I don’t know is wearing an Enzioni fishtail with a cathedral length veil on her wedding day, in case any of you care!’.
Me and Ontario have a ball!
I showed my dress to a select few people both in my bridal party and total strangers who just wanted to share in my excitement. When you’re out and about, people will inevitably ask about your dress. If you feel comfortable, just give them a hint – it’s a bit of a buzz kill to the conversation to refuse! (Speaking of sharing love, look at my gorgeous friends the Hillmans tashing on in this photo! God they are so cute!)
5. ITS A DRESS, NOT AN ANTIQUE
Yep, it’s the most expensive thing you’ll ever wear but it’s to be worn and enjoyed so whatever dress you buy, make sure it doesn’t hold you back on your wedding day. It will get make up on it, the hem will be covered in mud, the lace will be trashed but that my friends, is the sign of a great wedding (as long as these things happen towards the end of the night!)
My bespoke Mrs Luxton trainers from my friends.
My dress was a total disaster at the end of the night but I had the best day of my life. I hugged my friends super tightly, I cried like a baby at every opportunity, I danced until my legs ached and I waded through grass and fields for my photos. When you look at your dress in all it’s muddy glory, remember the amazing time you had. Don’t buy a dress you’re too scared to have fun in. No matter how beautiful you look, if you’re sitting on the edge of the dance floor sipping a clear drink through a straw during the reception, it’s the boring bride guests will remember and not her spectacular dress.
I’d love to hear about your wedding dress shopping experience. Perhaps you didn’t wear a dress? Have you got any top tips you’d give to brides to be looking for The One? Comment below.
All images are down to our amazing wedding photographer Christopher Ian.