Last Minute Wedding Dress Shopping

Finding a wedding dress at short notice can be an overwhelming thought! Many modern couples are deciding to get married very shortly after they get engaged, so sometimes a time-frame of just a few months or even weeks is becoming more common. There might be a particular reason for this, such as an illness in the family, booking the only available dates at a favourite venue, other plans that mean you need to get married right away and so on. Or perhaps you just can’t see a reason to wait! Whatever your reason for a swept-off-your-feet wedding, one of the first things you’ll be wanting to do is find a wedding dress. This might seem like a herculean task, and many traditional bridal shops will tell you it’s impossible, but don’t despair – it is absolutely possible if you know what to do! 

Traditional bridalwear stores tend to suggest that you give yourself between 6 months and a year to find your perfect wedding gown – this is so adjustments and fittings can be booked, or the right size shipped in etc. While browsing these stores can give you a firm idea of what kind of dress you’re after, many simply won’t be able to provide you with a gown at short notice, so looking elsewhere is your first step to finding a late-notice wedding dress.

Your options include non-wedding clothing stores, vintage wedding dresses and wedding dress factory outlets:

The high street is sometimes a great place to start, and larger department stores often stock wedding gowns at affordable prices. But these tend to be rather limited, generic and might not cater for smaller or larger dress-sizes.

If you can find a vintage dress that fits, then fantastic! Many vintage dresses are often in very slim sizes, however, so may narrow down your options. Perhaps you have a family heirloom of a gown that could be adjusted to fit you?

Finally, wedding dress factory outlets are great places to find affordable designer wedding dresses in a huge range of styles. These outlets buy end-of-line, one-off and ex-display/catwalk bridalwear and are able to sell on to the customer at greatly reduced prices. Sometimes you can save up to £1500 on a top designer dress! They may also work with new or specialised designers who offer their gowns at reduced cost. This option gives you the greatest choice, with larger outlets stocking up to 700 dresses in a variety of styles and sizes.

Wherever you find your dress, you will most likely need to have it altered in some way. Even ‘off-the-peg’ dresses may not fit perfectly. But hiring a bridalwear seamstress is fairly cheap and easy to do, and you can get the work done with a quick turnaround if you start looking for your wedding gown as soon as you being planning your wedding.

Other top tips for anyone looking for a wedding dress at short notice include:

– Set aside a whole day for shopping and plan to visit just a few bridalwear stores rather than panicking and rushing round as many shops as possible.

– Don’t rush! Take your time to research what type of gown you are after and be open to trying on lots of different styles.

– Take the advice of the staff and whoever you’ve brought along with you.

– If possible, do some research on the gowns available before you come into the store.

– Don’t stress! Even if you don’t find what you’re looking for first time round, bridalwear stock changes frequently, and new wedding dresses will come in regularly. Chances are, in a week or two, there will be a whole new range for you to choose from.

Wedding Dress Shopping – Think About Your Body Type

Choosing your wedding dress is most likely going to be one of your key moments as a bride to be. It has to be perfect in every way, yet the search to track down ‘the one’ can occasionally prove more difficult than you envisaged. The bridal gown you fell in love with when leafing through the wedding magazines which you were so certain was going to give you butterflies in your tummy and tears when you tried it on, may not work for you, no matter how amazing it looked on the model.

A good starting point is to work out what body shape you are. Most models you see wearing wedding dresses in the magazines are a ‘triangle’ shape, however the vast majority of us ladies are shaped like a pear. Once you have sussed out the shape you are it will make the whole experience of dress shopping more fulfilling. You will look more beautiful and feel at ease in a bridal gown that flatters your figure and suits your body shape. So find your shape, find your style and let us help you find that dress!

Pear Shaped is the most common body shape. If your hips are wider than your shoulders and your waist is shapely, then we suggest you opt for a fairly full A line shape skirt to hide your hips with a strapless fitted bodice to show off your upper half. Diagonal ruching and draping on the bodice accentuates your waist. Empire lines are also a great option. Bias, mermaid and straight cut dresses will draw too much attention on your hips as will gathered and pleated skirts.

Hourglass figures have a very well defined waist with an ample bust and curvy hips. If you are a slim hourglass a fishtail shape could look amazing. Don’t go for an empire line style which will not show off your best features, instead opt for a gown that shows off your tiny waist. Like a two piece or corseted gown. An A line skirt, or dropped waist would work beautifully. Sweetheart necklines would emphasise your bust line.

Apple shapes are curvy and voluptuous, with full breasts and a round bottom and hips usually with a bit of a tummy. To hide your waist and give you a lean look we would suggest an empire line gown. A princess gown will hide your bottom half and an A line dress with a dropped waist in another fabulous option. Don’t go for a basque style gown which will draw too much attention to your middle area.

If you’re a Rectangle shape your shoulders and hips are around the same sort of width and you barely have a waist. The types of styles that would flatter you include structured and corseted bodices with a fuller skirt to give an illusion of a tinier waist. If you are tall then go for bias cuts and empire lines. Do keep detail either above the waist or below.

Triangle or cone shapes are what most models tend to be, with shoulders that are wider than the hips. From very full ball gowns to straighter style dresses, this shape can take most dress styles, hence why all the dresses look so good on the models. Pah! A smaller chest can look more flattering in high cut necks and halter necks, whilst accentuating the hips and shoulders. To give a curvier silhouette look out for bows or bustles around the hip area on the gown.

Slim brides are able to pull off sheath style wedding dresses and fitted high neck designs, whilst beading or embroidery in key areas, or a fitted bodice with a large skirt can create the illusion of curves.

If you are of a petite stature then simple clean contours will make you appear taller. A large dress can be too overpowering and ball gown and mermaid styles could swamp your delicate features. A-line narrow styles suit your frame.

Brides with some height on the other hand are fortunate enough to carry off virtually all dress styles from mermaid to princess style, although empire line gowns can have a tendency to make you look ‘tent like’.

Top heavy brides should invest in a bridal corset, they can work wonders and you will be amazed at the difference it creates! Strap that are widely set apart help to diminish fuller busts, yet try not to rule out strapless gowns, instead try them and see.

Brides with broader shoulders should steer clear of halter neck and off the shoulder designs which will only emphasise them more. If you’re conscious of your upper arms a sheer bolero or wrap can hide these.

Looking at wedding dresses that suit your body type may seem limiting, but you can rest assured that you will look fabulous on your big day.

What Every Bride Should Know Before Shopping For A Wedding Dress

Shopping for the dress that you will be getting married in is an exciting experience for any bride. However, it can also be a daunting one. The majority of brides have no experience in this field, and even those who have been married before may be looking for something completely different this time around. While you have probably done some of your homework already, flicked through a seemingly endless pile of wedding magazines, and received some advice from your mother, there are a few things you may want to consider before embarking on your odyssey in search of the perfect gown.

Your Budget

Before you start shopping have your budget worked out. Figure out the maximum amount you are willing to spend on your dress and try to stick to it. Slight deviations from your budget may be acceptable, but this really depends on your own personal circumstances. It may be that if your dream dress costs a little more than you can afford but you absolutely must have it, you will need to make cut backs on another aspect of your wedding. Alternatively you may have to opt for another dress that fits within your budget or perhaps rent your wedding dress. While renting your wedding dress may seem like a sensible option (after all you will only be wearing the dress for one day), you may wish to think again. Some brides who decide to rent their wedding dress develop an attachment to it, and often regret their decision when it comes to giving it back.

Your Equipment

Having little or no experience at shopping for a wedding dress, knowing what to take along with you can certainly be tricky. While many salons supply accessories to their customers, there are a few items that you should definitely make sure you have with you when shopping for your wedding dress. A strapless bra is an essential, your choice of dresses are not limited to those with straps, and you are more than likely to wear something strapless on your wedding day anyway. Even if you have not decided on your bridal lingerie yet, and you probably haven’t, take along some underwear that is similar to what you think you might to wear on the day. The same goes for your shoes. Wedding shoes are frequently chosen after your dress, but why not take along a pair (or a few pairs) similar to the style you envisage yourself wearing on your wedding day. Any accessories you already have decided upon should also be taken along.

Your Wedding

Wedding dresses come in a variety of shapes and sizes, with styles to suit different styles of wedding. A dress that may be perfect for a large ultra-formal wedding may look out of place at a more informal event and vice-versa. You will need to have your wedding style sussed before you can seriously start thinking about the type of wedding dress you want to wear. With this firmly in your mind, make sure you communicate your expectations for your wedding style and atmosphere to the consultant at the bridal salons you visit. Using this information they should be able to guide you towards a selection of dresses in stock.

Your Entourage

So you think you are ready to start shopping? Now who should you take with you when shopping for your wedding dress? You may think that the more different opinions you can get the better. While for some people, several different points of view can be helpful but for most people it can all get a little too confusing. Generally the fewer people you take along with you when shopping for your wedding dress the better. Take one or two of your most trusted friends or family members along with you, listen to their advice, but do not let it stop you from making your own decisions. After all it is your wedding, and you will want to look and feel great in a dress you like. After the first round of consultations at bridal salons, you will hopefully have narrowed down your choices to a few dresses. You may even be in the privileged position of having fallen in love with just one dress. Now is the time to bring other people in. Get advice from your mother, your bridesmaids, and other gal pals to help you make your final decision and choose and alterations and accessories.

While this may seem like a lot of information to take in, shopping for a wedding dress is definitely a lot of fun. Keep an open mind and a positive attitude, and you should find the one special dress sooner than you think.

Wedding Dress Shopping – Who To Take

When you decide to go shopping in search for your perfect wedding gown it is important to think about who will be accompanying you. Shopping for wedding dresses is an experience in itself and ideally before you go bridal wear hunting you will have the date set and venue booked. In having the location and time of year you are getting wed already planned it will assist you in helping you to choose your wedding gown as these factors of your wedding day will have some influence over your choice of bridal wear as well as your own individual taste and style and personality.

So you have a vision of your wedding day… who will get to enjoy and share the fun, laughter and tears of helping you in finding the dress that is the ‘one’? Whomever you choose they should be someone who you can trust and who is honest with you. You will value their opinion highly and they will share in your dreams and excitement as you embark on your new journey. Selecting your wedding dress can for some brides be a lengthy and time consuming process so they shouldn’t be too impatient nor get bored easily!

We would suggest no more than two people should assist you in looking for your wedding dress. It may be tempting to have a large group of friends and family but as everyone has their own views and opinions and this will ultimately baffle and confuse you. Other people’s views can of course be helpful but do take into consideration that you are the bride and therefore you need to feel comfortable and beautiful in your chosen gown. Of course there is no rule that specifies that you need to have anyone go with you at all and you may prefer to go shopping for your wedding gown alone. This is a good option if you prefer to narrow it down to a few dresses you think could be the one before inviting people along for their opinions on another visit before making your big decision. However if you know it’s the dress of your dreams then why not simply go with your gut instinct! The assistants in your bridal boutique or factory outlet should be experienced and friendly and will be excited in assisting you find your gown from a selection of wedding dresses.

The most vital thing to remember is that this is your wedding day. You should wear what you think you look and feel amazing in and feels like you. This is a once-in-a-lifetime experience, enjoy it and have fun!