Abigail’s Collection is a wedding dress shop where the passionate belief is that every bride deserves to enjoy their wedding dress shopping experience. There are many different styles on offer out there and so finding ‘the one’ can often take time. This page is designed to give brides some basic advice on what to expect and how to make the most of this special time and unique shopping experience!
Before you can realistically start shopping for the dress of your dreams you need to have booked a venue for your wedding and set a budget for the dress. In addition to your personality and individual style, the time of year in which you are getting married and the kind of venue and wedding day that you are planning are factors that will influence your choice of dress.
Deciding who to take with you when you are shopping for a wedding dress is important too. Whoever you invite ensure that they trustworthy, that you value their opinion and that they are someone who will genuinely enjoy the experience without becoming bored or impatient.
DO NOT be tempted to invite a large group to help you chose your dress, more often than not this can become tricky. The more people there are the more (usually varied) opinions you will receive and this is likely to confuse you, in our experience one or maybe two people works really well. If you are a person naturally inclined to ask for other people’s views on your clothes you must remember that it is about how you think you look and feel in the dress, and this is really the most important thing. If you like the idea of looking for your dress alone and don’t feel that you want anyone else with you, just go for it! Be inspired have fun and enjoy, alternatively you might want to shortlist a few dresses and then enlist a trusted friend or relative for a final decision.
In general, most Brides start looking about 12 months before the big day. You can start at anytime but you must be aware that most made to order dresses will take 4-6 months to arrive at the bridal shop and bespoke couture dresses depend on the designer’s workload. In addition you also need to allow time for alterations which is a further number of appointments with a Seamstress. On that basis it’s sensible to have made your final decision at least 6 months before your wedding date.
Although for some Brides, wedding dress shopping can be nerve racking and sometimes quite intimidating, try to relax and find a shop that makes you feel welcome. A good bridal shop will want you to feel comfortable and the assistant will have a genuine interest in you and your special day. Unfortunately some bridal shops will try and hard sell and some may have a habit of dictating rather than suggesting! Abigail’s Collection prides itself on an appropriate attitude and approach towards its customers. It’s all about you, your day and your dress and in simple terms that is exactly as it should be.
During your appointment try lots of different styles and take the opportunity to be daring, try on dresses that you don’t necessarily love the look of and even ones whose style you have not considered. You may be surprised because wedding dresses can look very different on their hangers and often they do not come to life until they are tried on. Some Brides really do find that the dress of their dreams is the dress that they least liked on the hanger. Before an appointment you may think you have a strong idea about the kind of style that you are looking for but do not be surprised if this changes, often it does.
Things to ask yourself when you’re trying on dresses...
If you feel like you simply don’t want to take a dress off and keep comparing other styles to one in particular chances are it’s the dress for you.
Ball gown – Ball gown skirts are probably the most traditional in style and particularly suitable for a bride after a traditional bridal look. Often the bodice is fitted and combined with its full skirt this style will flatter and suit a range of figures. Although unfairly nick named ‘meringue’ it’s a fabulous style ideal for those who dream of a big dress.
A-line – This is perhaps the most common of wedding dress styles and continues to be one of the most popular. Again the bodice is often fitted and the amount of flare in the skirt can vary according to the amount of integral netting and optional use of an additional separate underskirt. Another flattering shape to suit most figures with a skirt style that will skim beautifully off the hips. A-symmetrical detail on or above the waistline will flatter further creating emphasis on the waist. Another fairly classic style but less puffy looking than a ball gown skirt.
Straight or column – A fitted style which is more flattering on a slimmer figure and much less traditional in design. Perfect for a modern wedding day theme and great for a civil ceremony. The popularity of these dresses is increasing particularly with brides choosing ‘destination dresses’ to marry in abroad.
Mermaid – Another modern option. Figure hugging and fitted with a skirt that flares at the bottom, it really is ‘mermaid’ style by definition, sometimes bias cut. This dress will accentuate curves particularly the hips.
Fishtail – This modern alternative is usually straight and appears fitted at the front with an extra panel at the back and bottom of the dress which delicately fans out to form a miniature train. An elegant option again probably more suitable for the slimmer figure.
Empire Line – Perfect if you want to hide a larger tummy or bigger hips but want to avoid a fuller ball gown or A-line style skirt. The waist basically starts from underneath the bust and drops away. In a floaty fabric option this style creates a feminine look and is less structured in style.
These are an optional extra. They are an additional garment worn under a wedding dress and consist of an elastic waist and combinations of hoops and tulle netting, some Bridal shops will offer these for you to try with dresses however at some shops you may need to ask. These underskirts can radically change the lines of a wedding dress and take an A-line from slender to a fuller looking skirt, they are also great with ball gown style skirts and can help to create a dramatic look as well as preventing the skirt fabric from folding inward and losing sight of detail that may be included in the design.
Always ask to try on veils, tiaras and hair accessories with your dresses, again sometimes these will be offered (sometimes not) and often they can make a real difference to the overall look and help you to decide what kind of image you want to create.
It’s simple, stop looking! Some brides will instinctively know when they have found ‘the one’ the moment it is tried on. Other Bride’s may need a while to reflect on their favourites but will then realise. ‘The one’ makes a bride feel fabulous and you won’t want to take it off. DON’T be tempted to try on more dresses as you will risk finding another dress that you also like and simply end up confused!
Also be warned that often brides can become a little insecure about their choice of dress at some point or as the day gets nearer and wonder if they have made the right decision. The important thing is that providing you originally took your time with your selection, have tried on various styles and felt absolutely amazing in that dress and (probably most importantly) you made the final decision, then worry no more! You have found ‘the one’ for you and no doubt you will dazzle the Groom and all of your guests as you make a grand entrance on your big day.
Good luck and happy wedding dress shopping!
For a private appointment to browse and try on from our gorgeous collection please contact us. Please also note that to guarantee absolute privacy we operate on an appointment only basis.