Choosing the right dress is one of the biggest decisions in your wedding planning process. It's a little bit scary as it isn't always easy to find 'the one'. With these tops tips, you'll know how to make the most of your wedding dress appointment which will make everything a little bit easier. Finding the ideal dress won't seem so hard after all.

All about timing

Keep in mind that certain boutiques have long waiting lists for appointments- try to book as far in advance as possible to get a time that suits you best. Try to avoid booking on busier days of the week- Saturday may be the easier option but it'll be a lot busier. When looking for appointments you shouldn't try to fit too much into one day. One or two boutiques are more than enough to visit in one day.

Do the research

Before booking an appointment with a boutique you should take a look at what designers they stock. If you're looking for a bohemian style dress but show up to a shop that only stocks classic styles you may find yourself cutting the appointment short. Research is as simple as sitting down for an hour or two with Instagram and the boutique's website deciding on what catches your eye most. Knowing this before arriving will give the stylist a better idea of what you'll like and the appointment will flow much easier.

Dress from Dirty Fabulous | Photo by Into the Light

Throwing shapes

Who knows your shape better than anyone? You! If your everyday wardrobe doesn't contain any strapless items because it doesn't suit you- then more than likely your wedding dress should not be strapless. Research your body type and which necklines, skirts and sleeves will work best for you.

Prepare yourself

First of all- wear the right underwear. We all know that a good pair will change the appearance of any outfit. Make sure to wear or carry nude underwear and either a nude strapless bra or bra with clear straps. You don't want to see the red shadow of a bra underneath the dress when you're trying to envision yourself walking down the aisle. Secondly- have your hair clean and fresh and  just enough make up to give you an idea of how the overall look will be. No greasy hair thrown up in a bun!

Second opinions

You may be a lone wolf when it comes to shopping in your everyday life but choosing the right wedding dress can be quite emotional and physically tiring. Bringing one or two close friends or family will give you some much needed support. Bring someone who is honest and will give you their opinion, but won't talk over you or ignore what you're saying. Try to avoid bringing an entire entourage of friends- you'll need to be able to hear yourself think.

Dress from Myrtle Ivory | Photo by Anita Sadowska

Ditch the tan

You might want to bronze up for your wedding day and that totally fine. When dress shopping though it's a much smarter idea to avoid layering on the tan. If you go shopping without it, you'll be able to see much more clearly exactly what dresses suit your natural skin tone. Plus, the dresses won't be stained with tan marks at the end of the appointment. If you do need some colour, maybe use a tinted moisturiser and make sure it's showered off well in advance.

Money, honey

One of the first things a stylist will ask you before even showing you a dress is your budget. We're not saying you need to tell her an exact figure down to the cent, but knowing the maximum you can spend will eliminate any disappointments when it comes to the price tag. Don't forget to include an alterations fee in this budget and whatever you do- stick to the budget. Stay away from trying on the dress that's €300 over budget 'for fun'. It won't be fun when you decide you love it and have to cut other things out of the wedding to afford it.

Theme talk

If you have a certain theme or wedding style in mind, now is the time to tell the stylist. If you're going for a classic, traditional theme then you'll want a dress that suits that vibe. The same goes for any wedding style. Giving the stylist some information about where, when and how the wedding will play out will make the search for the ideal dress a whole lot easier.

Be flexible

You know yourself better than anyone but you also need to have an open mind. If you have a ballgown in mind but you're not liking them on you at the appointment- let the stylist know. They'll be able to pull other options based on your shape and style. Have an open mind, trust the stylist and you could surprise yourself.

Dress from Kathy de Stafford | Photo by The Lous

 Honesty policy

The bridal stylist only knows what you tell her. Sure, she can see your reaction to a dress but sometimes it isn't enough. Not every dress has to be 'nice' or 'lovely'. If you don't like it, be honest and try to figure out why. Is it the neckline? The shade? Tell her and she can work from that and pull even more wonderful gowns for you.

Realistic sizing

When it comes to dress sizes it's normal to want to slim down for your big day. With this in mind, you should also remember that while you may lose a few inches- your body type will not change too dramatically. Don't order a dress two sizes too small when it makes much more sense to order the size you are now and change it to fit your measurements later on. This is what alterations are for, after all.

Dress from Frilly Frocks | Photo by Into the Light

Gut instinct

You're friends and family may be telling you 'this is the dress for you!' but is that how you feel? It can be the most beautiful gown, ticks all the boxes but if it doesn't feel right that's enough for you to say no. Trust your gut instinct and it won't steer you wrong. It might take a little bit longer to find the right dress but in hindsight you'll be the happiest gal in the world knowing you made the right choice!

Look no further!

When you have found the one, you've found the one. So stop looking! Continuing to try on dresses will only sow little seeds of doubt in your mind. Once you've made your decision, stick to it.

wedding dress appointment Dress from Alice May Bridal | Photo by Christina Brosnan

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