Ahhhh I just LOVED choosing my wedding dress. I’m not a princessy girly girl by any means, but when you put on a swishy wedding gown you can’t help but feel amazing.
Today our Cornwall wedding planner bride Jenny Wren continues sharing her personal wedding planning journey with us, and she’s been frock shopping…!
Picking the wedding dress, it’s the most enjoyable part of the wedding planning process right? For some perhaps but not all brides have the same experience, I have had clients and friends really struggle with this and stress themselves out trying to find their ‘dream dress’.
Advice I was given when looking for my own dress was to not pin all my hopes on experiencing that OMG moment when you have found ‘the one’, as this does not happen for everyone. Programmes such as ‘Say Yes to the dress’ often encourage the idea that there is one dream dress for everyone, with the bride sobbing at her beauty along with her entourage when she finds hers. This can leave the rest of us feeling unsatisfied if we have not experienced that moment ourselves when hunting for our own dress.
Although these make good television moments, the truth is not everyone has that emotional light bulb moment and sometimes it just comes down to finding a dress you feel comfortable and beautiful in, of which there may be many, but it’s the one you don’t want to take off that sticks.
There is so much choice available now when it comes to bridal attire, with designers constantly releasing new styles and such a range of beautiful fabrics, it can be a bit if a minefield when you start out.
Some brides have a clear idea of what they want (which can often change or develop) and some have no clue.
Having been surrounded by wedding dresses for most of my professional life, I like to think I had a fairly good idea of what I wanted or at least definitely did not want from my dress. As well as the style and budget I had in my mind, there were two other important factors for me…
Comfort – This was key to me, so many times I have seen brides in a dress which they are clearly not comfortable in, whether it’s too tight fitting, too stiff, does not fit correctly or has a very long train which they are constantly hitching up. The more comfortable you are in your dress, the happier you will be and happiness radiates beauty, simple!
Something I can dance & eat (a lot) in! We have booked a great band and I intend to spend a lot of time dancing with my friends and family at our reception party. A dress I can easily move around in was important for me to shake my moves on the dance floor.
Food, equally as important as dancing, I plan on eating plenty of. I wanted something where my food baby won’t be visible!
I shortlisted bridal boutiques which stocked my top three designers and ‘got’ my style. I really enjoyed the process and here are a few tips from my experience:
Trust the experts.
The advice given to me from the bridal consultants in the shops really helped in my decision-making. Guiding me through the whole process, listening to my brief and picking out dresses that would suit my body shape and shades that would suit my skin tone.
Remember they have the experience of all different body shapes and sizes and often know better than you do what will work with your figure.
Don’t be afraid to try on a dress that would not be what you would normally choose. Some dresses the consultants suggested I would have never picked out but I really liked on.
Who to take with you.
I decided I wanted just my mum with me for the initial visits, then took my maid of honour after I had narrowed it down. Taking too many people with you can mean too many opinions, which can lead to confusion and stress. You want someone who will give you honest opinions and not just tell you what you want to hear. One of my brides went dress shopping completely solo and found her dress on her own!
This is really important, after trying on many dresses, your memories of them can become faint. Include pictures of the designer label also and ask the consultant to write down prices for you to take away. Store in a secret album on your phone to ensure you other half does not stumble across them. I often look back over mine now, especially when considering accessories to accompany my chosen dress.
Think about what underwear you will wear with which dress, it’s worth taking a few options with you to try on’s so you know what works with which dress.
You are hoping to only do it once, so enjoy the experience. I felt nervous at first, a combination of not knowing what to expect and the focus being completely on me! But a few dresses down I was on the prosecco and loving it!
A few shops I visited included…
Kelly & her team made the experience so fun. They got excited with me and made me feel so relaxed, it was like shopping with my mates! I had the full ‘Bridal Experience’ which began with a consultation with my personal stylist, fun and fizz on their catwalk whilst trying dresses and them taking snaps, then time in the viewing library where my pictures were on a screen for me to see and compare. They even email your images to you afterwards, a fantastic service and I loved every minute.
Located in a Georgian Manson house with twinkling antique chandeliers and a dramatic staircase, as soon as you step foot in here you feel immersed in romance, magic and glamour. I felt like a Hollywood superstar in may of their dresses and the VIP treatment I received enhanced this.
I was looked after by Bethany during my visit. Her knowledge of the dresses was really impressive, she talked me through each designer and their styles, which made picking ones to try on much easier. Their room is beautiful with the biggest changing room to spread out in! An excellent service from start to finish.
Chloe looked after me during my visit, nothing was too much trouble and her enthusiasm and passion for what she does shone through. It was a different experience from the private viewings, however I absolutely loved the buzz and excitement with other brides trying on their dresses and chatting about their wedding plans.
A big thank you to everyone that helped me during this process, I have picked my dress (not pictured!) and am over the moon with my choice!
Images by Exposure Photo Agency