Updated: May 14
Have you just got engaged? So, what happens next?
Take it all in, you've just got a beautiful ring put on your finger, and you are full of excitement. One of the most important aspects is what are you going to wear!
Make sure you have booked your venue before you book your dress, as the venue will bring together the theme and style for the day.
The dress... that unforgettable moment... you’ve fallen head-over-heels, as you've always dreamed you would, perfection itself.
True, profound love and attraction can develop slowly.
People will tell you that you’ll know you’ve stumbled upon the right dress when you suddenly burst into tears. Not only is such talk plain silly, but it also puts massive pressure on you, as you’re doing your best to make the right wedding-dress decision.
This can be a gradual feeling – you’re staring into that full-length mirror, and everything just seems to slot into place, as you realise that no other dress will do. We use the word ‘feeling’ advisedly. The sensation of having found ‘the one’ isn’t always easy to articulate – sometimes you just know. However, we’ll have a go at spelling out the signs you need to look for. We’ll help you to realise when you’ve found that perfect wedding dresses.
Here’s our 7-step guide
1. This is a dress you just can’t bear to take off
When you begin the process of trying on wedding dresses, you’ll soon appreciate that they’re pretty much all beautiful in their own way. After all, at Anna Wood Bridal, why would we ever stock a wedding dress that isn’t utterly gorgeous?! As you try them on, one by one, you’ll begin to appreciate how lovely they all are and how hard it is to choose. But – eventually you’ll try on a dress and you’ll find that you simply can’t bear to take it off. Then, you can be pretty sure that you’ve found ‘the one’.
2. You feel simply beautiful
Your wedding day will be the one day of your life when everyone will have eyes only for you. No-one else. If you feel beautiful, there’s no room for debate. You will look beautiful.
3. The dress fits your every style
Walking into a wedding store be an overwhelming experience (although not at Anna Wood Bridal, where, within moments, you’ll be feeling relaxed and at home!). So, it’s vital to be prepared. Before you make the trip, pause and think for a while. Ask yourself, ‘What’s my true style? Am I vintage? Am I modern? Edgy? Or simply a one-off – unique?’
Think about what you enjoy wearing from day to day. Use that as a foundation and move forward from there. Feel free to try on lots of different styles – there’s no harm in that – but as you do, keep asking yourself the question – ‘is this me?’. This considered approach will get you closer more quickly to finding ‘the one’.
4. The dress matches your ‘theme’
Think about the theme of the wedding day. The venue. Are you to be married in a castle or country estate? Or have you chosen a Mediterranean island? Or perhaps, your venue is a modern hotel. Whichever it is, think about how well your wedding dress fits the ambience that you’re hoping to create. If, as you try on a dress and immediately find yourself imagining how good it will look in your venue, then this will be further evidence that this is dress is the one for you.
5. Wearing this dress, do you feel like ‘you’?
It’s so common, when you’re making wedding arrangements, to feel that you’re under pressure. Pressure from relatives, from friends, from fashion trends. It’s astonishing how people feel they just can’t hold back from giving their own opinion of how you should look. Sometimes you begin to wonder, ‘whose day is this?’
However, here’s what matters most. You! Your sole concern should be finding the dress that’s perfect for you and your personality. There’s no law that says you must listen to those siren voices. If you feel comfortable in a dress, if you feel beautiful, confident and relaxed, then, take our word for it … this dress is ‘the one’.
6. Does this dress complement your figure?
No-one is physically perfect. When you’re choosing a wedding dress, that’s the time you need to be honest with yourself. So – begin by picking your favourite feature and emphasising that. Find the dress that works for your body and its unique features.
7. You start mentally accessorising
The perfect dress needs to be accompanied by perfect accessories too. Once you’re admiring your dress in the mirror and you find yourself asking these questions – ‘how shall I accessorise this dress? What kind of veil should I wear with it? What about the bouquet? This is a sure sign that this is the dress for you.
Remember – there are no rules. You must decide which is the right dress – in your own way and in your own time.
Is there anything you feel you need to know to help you make your decision? If so, do please call. We’d love to hear from you and after all – we’re here to help!
18 months before your wedding – It’s a great time to start looking at where you feel you want to go to look for your dress. Is it all about the dress? Or does service and experience play a big part for you? Check out Pinterest and Instagram for inspiration, however, we find lots of brides get fixated on a style, but when they try it on it doesn’t look how they expected it to. It’s probably too soon to commit to a dress if you feel you won’t be able to stop looking around or think you might change your mind. Some brides want to have their dress ticked off the list so they can tie in other elements of the wedding with the look they have chosen. If you’re wanting to design your own dress with the help of a designer it’s a good idea to find the designer you think you’ll want to use and start meetings with them.
12 months before your wedding – This is a great time to start looking properly and be ready to commit if you haven’t done so sooner. You’ll have plenty of choice as you have plenty of time and have lots of options available to you. If you’re ordering a dress, it’s best to allow 6-8 months as a minimum to allow time for the dress to arrive and be altered (although some designers can order dresses much more quickly.) If in doubt its always best to check!
Again, once you’ve chosen, it’s best to stop looking. Let’s face it, who doesn’t like shiny new things!! And once you’re committed, you will find, dresses that you probably wouldn’t have liked previously to seem appealing! It’s like when you look around shops if you have a little to spend you can find lots you want to buy! And if you have lots to spend you can find little that appeals! It’s all psychological!
6 months before your wedding – You need to get a wriggle on as your options will start closing. At this point you are likely to still have enough time to have a dress made to order if you wish (this would be where you choose the dress you want from a sample and it’s ordered new for you). However, you may find you prefer to save money and buy an ex sample.
You may not know this, but most bridal boutiques work with samples that brides try on, the bride orders a new dress from the designer. From time to time boutique’s need to change their samples and will sell off dresses at a discounted price – even if the sample has barely been tried on. A lot of the time you can pick up an ex sample at a really good price – the price is likely to reflect the dress’s condition – there are bargains to be had if price is a key driver for you! If this is the case, we have some great news for you! check out Anna Wood Bridal Outlet – we’ve opened an Outlet specially to offer ex-sample and discontinued dresses that are a fraction of RRP prices.
6 weeks before your wedding – You’re in a position where you will need to buy a ready to wear dress. Why not visit Anna Wood Bridal Outlet? Our Outlet room has the most gorgeous dresses at a fraction of the RRP. It’s worth checking with boutiques before resorting to shops that only stock off the peg dresses (such as Wed2B). A lot of the time boutique samples (such as the dresses at Anna Wood Bridal Outlet) are in better condition and have been tried on fewer times than those in shops specialising in off the peg dresses. If you’re buying from somewhere like Wed2B rather than a boutique sample check inside the dress for signs of wear. Just because a dress has a cover on it doesn’t mean its brand new, looks can be deceiving, equally a boutique sample could be in much better condition than you expect – at Anna Wood Bridal we really take care of our samples and have a fantastic seamstress who can fix cosmetic imperfections cost effectively.
By Anna and Beth x