6 things you must know before you go wedding dress shopping

Don’t set foot in a bridal boutique until you know these wedding dress shopping basics

6 things you must know before you even think about going wedding dress shopping
Top wedding dress shopping tips. Image: iStock

Many brides can’t wait to start the search for their dream wedding dress, but before you begin the hunt, here are a few key things you need to know before stepping into a bridal boutique.

Your budget
No it’s not fun, but you need to know roughly how much you’re prepared to spend on your wedding dress. Make sure you factor in costs for alterations, underwear and accessories too.

Once you have a figure in mind don’t be tempted to try on bridal gowns over your budget – trust us, it’ll only end in heartbreak.

When you’re getting married
It might sound obvious, but you do need to have a date in mind. Bridal boutiques will order your dress about six months before your wedding day, so it’s a good idea to start shopping around 12-9 months before your big day to ensure sure you have time to find ‘the one’ and make any alterations.

Your appointment
You might get lucky and step into a boutique when a sales assistant is free, but the only way to guarantee trying on some wedding dresses is to book an appointment. You’ll have more flexibility if you visit on a weekday.


Who you’re taking along with you
Keep in mind that you’ll probably want a second opinion when you go dress shopping so you need to make sure your shopping companion is free too! Bring along  one or two close friends or family, who you trust to give you an honest opinion.

Some style ideas
Have a flick through some wedding magazines (Perfect Wedding for example) to get an idea of the kind of styles and/or designers you like. It will speed up the whole process if you already have some preferences, although be prepared to try on some wild cards too – you never know what might suit you!

Sample sales aren’t for the faint hearted
Sure, you can pick up a bargain, but wedding dress sample sales can be downright brutal. Don’t go to one until you’ve tried on a few dresses in a more relaxed setting first.

Need some more shopping advice? Here are 10 common wedding dress regrets and seven wedding dress errors to avoid...

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