The In's and Out's of Finding Your Perfect Wedding Dress - Clarence House Weddings

The In’s and Out’s of Finding Your Perfect Wedding Dress

Every Bride and Bride-to-be knows exactly how important their wedding dress is. It is the biggest day of their lives and they want their friends and family to look at them in their gown in amazement, and they want to bring their husband to be to tears (doesn’t always happen, so don’t be upset if your man doesn’t!

Choosing the right wedding dress is right up there with choosing the perfect wedding venue in terms of importance for the bride. Over the years, we have dealt with many brides and collated their feedback as to what are the In’s and Out’s of choosing the best wedding dress for them, so please use this guide to help you when making your big decision.

Timing is Everything
Preparation and timing is key when choosing the wedding dress of your dreams. You do not want to start too early, and at the same time, you do not want to leave it too late. We have found that the perfect time to start your wedding dress journey is around 9 – 12 months. With some engagement periods spanning over many years, commencing your search too early leaves a wide gap between choosing the dress and your actual wedding day that can have a potential adverse affect. Too early means that a lot of trends and dress designs may come in and out of fashion. Too early means that your body shape and size could also potentially change in that period, meaning the fit and size of the dress is not the perfect fit it once was. Leaving your dress hunt too late means a few things. A lot of dress designers need a minimum lead time of 9 months, meaning that they will get booked out or will not be able to make the dress in time for the wedding. A lot of work goes into creating the perfect dress, and this is one aspect of the wedding you do not want rushed. Time it perfectly, give it time, but not too much!

Set your budget, and stick to it
Your wedding day is probably one of the most expensive days of you and your partners life, and it is really important to plan and budget for what you are looking to spend on each facet of the wedding, and the Bride’s dress is no exception! Before even looking at dresses, set your budget and make sure you stick to it. Don’t allocate too little to this very important aspect, especially if you want the dress to be of great quality (quality and price are not always relative, always look for great value) and you do not want to spend more than you can afford, so you need to be really strict once the budget has been spent. A good tip when shopping for dresses, is to not even try on dresses that are above your price range – for obvious reasons. Find a well priced dress, and try on articles that are within your set price.

Your dress, your style
Stick to a design or a style that you love, and not so much a trend. Choose something that you will feel beautiful in, and not something that is in right now. If you like the current trends, then by all means, go for it! If not, choose something that compliments you body, your shape, and something that just feels right (you will know it when you try it on ladies). Style is a preference, so go with a dress that is your style, and not someone else’s. Try on enough dresses, but don’t try on too many either.

Try not to bring an Entourage
It might be a wise idea not to bring too many people dress shopping and fittings. Everyone has different tastes, and having too many people involved in this already difficult process can complicate things further. Simply, bring a few friends or family members that you trust, have similar tastes in fashion or someone who you trust enough to tell you the truth. It is wise to keep your circle small, and have people that will give it to you straight.

Putting money down
Laying down a deposit once you have found a dress or a dressmaker is pretty standard in the industry, so do not be alarmed if the store clerk or dress maker does ask for a 50% deposit when commencing work on your dress. You will then generally have the pay off the remaining amounts as you go for fittings and the entire dress usually needs to be paid before the wedding and the dress is finalised. This is where due diligence most definitely comes in to play. Only use a dress maker or purchase a dress from a store or person you trust. Ask for testimonials, read reviews online and be sure to ask around and be comfortable with your decision before handing over your hard earned money.

Wedding dress inspiration
Before heading out to hit the shops – there is plenty of bridal magazines, websites, dresses and vendors on social media for you to get some ideas about what you like, and what will suit you. You can view some wedding dress styles, a variety of different wedding dress fittings or even looking at some general wedding inspiration on Pinterest is always a good idea in our books. Get an idea of what you may like, so when talking to dress makers and vendors, you have some fantastic ideas that you already like in mind.

Bring a camera or use your smartphone
No need to rush in to a decision. If the dress marker or seller allows it, be sure to take a camera or use your smartphone when trying on dresses. Take your time, and have a sleep on it while looking at photos of some of the dresses you have tried on. If need be, you can ask for some advice from people who weren’t there or couldn’t make it if you need another opinion.

Accessories make the look
From the veil, to the earrings, to the shoes and even the garter. Make sure you get a complete look that works for you and that compliments the dress you have chosen. Don’t forget to factor all these accessories into your budget, as forgetting about these can start to pile on the expenses to the wedding budget.

Designer, Custom-made, Off the rack or Pre-loved
Well this one is really up to you! Factoring everything above, this decision of where to source your wedding dress comes down to what works and what you like. By simply doing a Google search for Designer dresses will bring up many of local bridal dress designers. A great custom made bridal dress company is Savvy Brides – The custom made designer dress – without the price tag is their motto! You can also find some great dresses off the rack, and bridal dress shops are generally found in clusters within certain suburbs. Clusters in Sydney include Earlwood, Paddington, Parramatta and Sydney CDB. Looking for something pre-loved, not a problem at all. Many brides will be happy to sell you their wedding dress to someone who appreciates it, instead of collecting dust in their wardrobes. Websites such as Still White, The Bare faced Bride and Easy Weddings make it easy to connect with past brides happy to part with their dresses. You can find great dresses, at great prices from any of the options above.

It all comes down to YOU!
It’s your day, it’s your dress, and it needs to be all YOU! Find something you love and get ready to strut your stuff down the aisle on the biggest day of your life and have fun with it. Your partner will love it if you do! Would love to hear more feedback and stories on what worked for past brides, and what is working for women who have already found their dress and are tying the knot shortly.


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