We know that starting the process to find your dream wedding dress can be a daunting one. You may not have been shopping with friends for their gowns before, or you are overwhelmed at all of the possibilities, but we are here to help! We have put together this little guide to start your journey off on the right foot.
Step 1: When to Shop
Shop when you're ready to say yes. Shopping for months on end can just be confusing and tiring. Think of a budget that you're comfortable with and start to decide what the feel of your wedding is. Is it romantic? Boho? Traditional? Elegant? Chic? Being able to imagine yourself on your big day and picturing that first look can help you realize which gown is the one.
Step 2: Research
Research your bridal stores. It's best to look in advance at what kind of designers they carry, their price range, and the feel of the store. Do you want a private experience? Do you want a store with a range of looks or more focused? Although it's best to be open minded, if you've always dreamed of a big, sparkly, ball gown and the first store you go to doesn't carry anything like that, you may be disappointed and that sets the tone for your whole shopping experience. We love for our prospective brides to call the store so one of our helpful consultants can get a feel of what you're looking for.
Step 3: Plan Ahead
Book in advance. Think of who you want to share this magical experience with, and plan a time to go to your favourite store! We recommend shopping at least 9 months in advance to prevent any extra rush fees or timeline stress. And keep your entourage small, too many conflicting opinions may be confusing.
Step 4: Undergarments
Invest in great underwear for the shopping experience. Although most bridal gowns are designed with incredible support and structure (which feels AMAZING by the way), we recommend wearing a great pair of nude, seamless underwear or spanx, if that makes you feel more comfortable. If you are used to wearing a bra bring a strapless one in nude, or just wear pasties! This means you won't be distracted by any seams or colorful undergarments whilst trying on the gowns.
Step 5: Size Doesn't Matter!
Ignore bridal sizes! I cannot say this enough. Bridal sizing is VERY different to regular street clothes, and you can go up 3 or even 4 sizes from what you regularly are. We say it's more of a reference for the designer, so just ignore it and go with how the dress looks and most importantly how it makes you feel. Choosing a wedding dress isn't a rational decision and sometimes you can't pinpoint why it's the one, it just feels right. And we know one size doesn't fit all! We are size inclusive here at Novelle, and have a range of gowns from size 4 to 20. The consultants are then able to clip you into the gowns to show you how it will look and feel when it's perfect!
Step 6: Find the Dress for your Body Now
Don't worry about having your "ideal body" at the time of shopping. The style and structure of the gown you choose won't change because of this, and you don't want to put that extra pressure on yourself! Seamstresses are AMAZING and will be able to make your dress fit perfectly, no matter what happens.
Step 7: Don't Overthink It
Be open minded. As consultants we are here to help you create your vision, without you knowing exactly what that is to start with! We know the cuts, shapes and structures of the gowns and some can be absolutely magical on and not look like much on the rack. You may also feel like you're stuck to one silhouette because of your body type, and that is never the case! Designers are coming up with stunning designs for every style and every fit that look gorgeous on EVERYBODY.
Step 8: Enjoy!
Have fun and enjoy the experience! We genuinely love sharing in these special moments with you all, and ultimately see how happy you are on your wedding day. And don't forget to ask to take a photo with out "Best Yes Ever" sign so you can treasure the memory of saying yes to a dress forever.