How to Successfully Find your Dream Wedding Dress!


It’s one of the biggest decisions you will make ahead of your wedding day – and the one you will really regret if it all goes wrong. So equip yourself with our guide to buying a wedding dress before you dive in!

You might have been sketching out your dream wedding dress ever since you were knee-high, or you may have absolutely no idea what you’re going to wear on your wedding day.

And you may THINK you’re an experienced dress shopper – but let me tell you, finding your dream wedding dress is a whole other game!

There’s a world of terms you’ve probably never heard before – fit-and-flare, organza, mikado – and it’s more than likely going to be the most expensive item of clothing you will ever buy (at least, we hope so!).

 But don’t fret, we have you covered with everything you need to know before you hit the wedding stores!

Do your research

Wedding dresses can be heavy and cumbersome to try on, so narrow down the field before you go shopping by doing your research and figuring out what you like. Trawl through our wedding dress features, rip out pages, visit bridal boutiques online, check out what the celebrity brides are wearing and you’ll have a good idea of what’s out there and what appeals to you.

But don’t be too rigid

Bridal shop owners will always tell you that they see brides coming in with a preconceived idea of what they want in a gown, only to find it doesn’t suit them. Keep an open mind, listen to the bridal consultants and don’t rule things out too quickly – you could find the dress of your dreams when you least expect it!

Start early

It can take anywhere from four to 10 months for your wedding dress to be made, not to mention the added time if any alterations are needed, so you really need to buy your dress at least a year ahead of your wedding if possible. If you are able to avail of a rush service, be prepared to pay extra.

Work out your budget

First research the market and the cost of wedding dresses, then figure out what you’re willing to spend on a dress and don’t go over it. Make you know exactly where the money for your dress is coming from. If you do go over budget, you’ll have to sacrifice something else to meet the shortfall.


Don’t forget to factor in alterations, shoes, accessories, veil – and the cost of cleaning and preserving your dress afterwards – these things really add up!

Know what your wedding is going to be like

Is it a destination wedding in a hot, sunny country? You’ll need something lightweight that will be easy to take in your luggage and is comfortable in the heat. And decide if it’s going to be a relaxed garden wedding or a formal affair, church or no church – that will make a difference to the dress you choose and whether you decide to have a long train that sweeps the ground.

Research your bridal stores

Do your homework before you start making appointments, get recommendations from married friends and check out the brands they carry. And it’s also worth finding out if the shop has dresses in your size that you can try on. You really can’t decide if something looks good on you when it’s two sizes too small.

Bring the right people

You might have chosen six bridesmaids, but don’t bring them all dress shopping! Narrow it down to one or two people whose judgement you really trust and whose opinions matter to you.

Bring the right gear

Wear the undergarments you will be wearing on the big day (nude colour if poss!) – your dress will look completely different (and probably a lot better) when you’re wearing smoothing undies. You’ll also need to bring shoes in the same height that you’ll be wearing on the day.

Give yourself a full day to find your dream wedding dress

It takes AGES to put a wedding dress on and take it off, so don’t leave yourself so little time that you only get to look at three or four. 

Start cheap

Start off with the least expensive salons and work your way up – who knows, you could find your perfect gown for a fraction of the price of some of the others on offer.

Book ahead

If you’ve done a little groundwork beforehand, rather than walking in off the street, your bridal consultant will have a fair idea about your size and what you like, and can set aside some suitable gowns before you arrive.

Take photos of your dream wedding dress

Get your crew to take photos of you wearing every dress you really love – front and back. Then you’ll be able to sit down with a cool head afterwards and be realistic about whether that dress really was as flattering as you thought.

Ask about discount 

You might get a discount if you buy the veil, dress and accessories all in the one shop, so it doesn’t hurt to ask!

Save all the info securely

Once you’ve bought the dress, hang on to your paperwork in case you need to check the timeline and measurements, and keep a calendar with all the delivery dates so that you have plenty of time for extra fitting and alterations.

NEVER try on a dress that is way out of your budget

Either you’ll end up spending far more than you’d planning, putting a serious strain on your wedding budget, or you’ll fall in love with THAT gown and never have eyes for anything else.

Still looking for your dream wedding dress? Make sure to check out our online wedding directory for all suppliers near you!

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