Whoop! I know every girl has always fantasized about finding her perfect wedding dress – Yes, that special moment when the curtains are drawn, the bride steps forward and the entourage in sync make magical sound “awwww” then tears roll down her cheeks and then she knows immediately that the dress is ‘the one’.
If planned accordingly, shopping for a wedding dress should be one of the most exciting parts of the wedding planning process. However, in reality, it may not always be the easiest task as brides tend to feel pressured to look their best because they know all eyes will be on them.
The biggest advice I give my clients is to be open minded when shopping. Don’t be afraid to try on dresses you never imagined wearing on your big day! Wedding dresses look very different when hung compared to when they are being worn. This doesn’t mean you cannot have an idea of the specific silhouette, neckline or fabric you’re interested in, but you may realise some of the details you liked in pictures don’t work very well for you.
I have witnessed most brides make some of the below mistakes while working with them because they have never gone shopping for a wedding dress – but don’t worry, we’ve got you covered! The below hints and tips are a sure way to help ensure you have a pleasurable shopping experience.
1. Shopping with the wrong people or too many people
Bringing an entourage and/or the wrong people only makes it much harder to get to a consensus as people have different styles and opinions – I think we’ve seen this one too many times on episodes of ‘Say Yes to the dress’. All you need is just one or two honest companions who will say “The dress is beautiful, but it’s just not you”. Anything more than one or two people is a crowd! So it is advisable you go with either your mother, maid of honour or even a stylist to help you choose the perfect dress that reflects your personality and style.
2. Shopping at the wrong time
I can imagine the feeling when he has proposed and you get excited to shop immediately even though your wedding is still one year away. Such a long time frame could turn out to be risky as your body can change and you may even want another style of dress as trends change too. It is, however, advisable to give yourself at least six months to your wedding to allow enough time to search, purchase and make alterations to your dress Also, note that shopping too late means spending additional money to incur costs of a rush ordered dress.
3. Being unrealistic about the shopping budget
Ladies, you definitely need to set aside a considerable and realistic amount of money for your dress, shoes, accessories, alterations, and so on. You can then give your consultant this figure so she knows what to work with.
4. Not choosing the right style for your body type
Try on silhouettes that are outside your comfort zone! If you’ve always imagined wearing a ball dress on your big day, it might not be the right dress for your body. A mermaid or an A line dress might even be the one to make you look and feel like a princess as you walk down the aisle.
5. Being influenced by large discounts
Please do not buy a dress that you dislike. One of the biggest mistakes I have seen brides make is getting a dress online or from a store at a discounted price even though they don’t love it. Always remember that most of the discounted dresses are usually tried on by so many brides- so it may have been stained, torn or damaged. If you must get a dress at a discount because you love it, then look at the dress thoroughly so that you don’t end up spending a lot of money on what has been damaged. It costs a lot more to alter an already damaged gown.
6. Not taking into consideration accessories and shoes
Finally, before the big day, it is advisable to try on your dream wedding dress with your accessories, veil and even shoes to ensure that everything you wear complements each other and it mirrors exactly what you’ve envisioned and that you’re comfortable with the entire look.
As long as a bride takes these learning points into consideration before shopping – finding the perfect dress should be a pleasurable experience and she can be confident that she has chosen the right dress that reflects her personality and style which ensures she looks her best on her big day!
The Wardrobe Manager is Nigeria’s premier bridal styling company and we strive to offer not only the perfect wardrobe but a convenient and reliable shopping experience for brides.
Oluwatosin Agboola is the Creative Director of The Wardrobe Manager. She holds a Master of Science degree in Management from Imperial College London and a degree in Economics from the University of Sheffield. She also worked in the financial industry for three (3) years. Her best hobbies are shopping, travelling and meeting people.
She understands the intricacies of planning a bride’s wedding wardrobe, and every woman’s dream of looking and feeling her best whilst walking down the aisle on her big day.