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Wedding Dress Shopping Advice

Bridal Bliss or Complete Catastrophe??

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 the search to find ‘the one’ can often be a little overwhelming. This page is designed to give brides some basic advice on what to expect and how to make the most of this special and unique shopping experience!

Before You Start

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 decide to invite ensure that they're trustworthy, that you genuinely value their opinion and that they will genuinely enjoy the experience without becoming bored or impatient.

Don't 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 very 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 to help with the final decision.

When To Start

In general, most Brides start looking about 12-24 months before the big day. You can start at anytime but you must be aware that most made to order dresses will take an average of approx. 8-12 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 approximately 12 months before your wedding date. If you don't have that time, don't worry we can still help, some Designers lead times are shorter than others.

What To Expect

Feedback from some Brides tells us that wedding dress shopping can be a nerve racking and that sometimes (sadly) it can be a slightly intimidating experience. You need to try to relax and find a shop that makes you feel welcome, one that seems professional and helpful. A good bridal shop will want you to feel comfortable and the assistant will have a genuine interest in you and your special day! 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 on lots of different styles on and take the opportunity to be daring. Try on dresses that you don’t necessarily love the look of on the hanger especially if the Consultant is suggesting it and even ones whose style you have not considered or think you cannot wear. 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 radically changes, often it does.

Things to ask yourself when you’re trying on dresses:

  • Does it suit my wedding theme?
  • Does it suit my venue?
  • Is it seasonally appropriate?
  • How do I feel in this dress?
  • Is it me?
  • Do I feel confident?
  • Can I envisage walking down the aisle in this dress?

If you feel like you simply don't want to take a dress off and keep comparing other styles to one in particular, the chances are it's the dress for you. Our final words of wisdom are quite simple; when you fall in love and find the one, stop looking!