Paul Fuller Photography in Kent asked SOMD Founder Cara to share some tips for his blog on 'Finding the Perfect Wedding Dress' and of course, Cara said yes!
Tip 1 - Do Your Research
Most of us have a Pinterest board the second we get engaged, researching our dream bridal look!! A really important thing to do before you actually start visiting any shops is to do your research. Research where those styles you love are from. Find those designers' websites, and check out their stockists, are there any that are local to you? If yes, check that the bridal boutique collections are aligned with your style & the vision you have.
If you're totally unsure as to what you're looking for then check out your local boutiques' designers, are they traditional, untraditional, are they going to fit your style. Don't just book and turn up only to find the dresses are nothing like what you're looking for, you risk wasting time and leaving disappointed.
Tip 2 - Give Yourself Time
Most bridal boutiques will need a minimum 6 months to turn a dress around. However, due
to Brexit & covid, that timeframe has been extended for a lot of designers. If you have time on your hands it's a good idea to start looking a year or so before and be prepared to order your dress a good 6-8 months before your wedding date. The more time you give yourself means less stress for both you and the boutique and a more enjoyable experience overall, after all this is supposed to be fun! Also, giving yourself time means you won't feel pressured into buying a dress you're not totally, 100% in love with!
Tip 3 - Know Your Budget
It is always a good idea to know your budget and to keep that in mind when searching for bridal stores. The dresses we make and the designer dresses we stock are all handmade in small studios with a focus on sustainably. We have done our best at Story of my Dress to source dresses that give a broad range of prices on our rails and suit as many brides as we can. Contact the stores and ask for specific prices, payment structures and if they are a bit out of your budget, do they have any sample sales coming up? We offer a payment plan to help spread the costs as do many other bridal shops.
Tip 3 - What's The Vibe Like in The Shop?
It's really important to get a good feel from a bridal store and their stylist. You're going to be spending time there, finding your dress, having it fitted, and collecting it. Not to mention spending your hard-earned money!
Make sure you're treated kindly, with no pushy sales techniques. You want to have a happy, relaxed dress journey that you look back on fondly! If you find a dress you love, you can always find another store for alterations & accessories. We have a studio upstairs where we can do just that for you!
Tip 5 - Remember, It's Your Day, Your Body, Your Dress
Think carefully about who you take with you!!
We've also been part of some magical moments, but wow, we've seen it all here! I would always say remember, it's your day, your body, and your dress.
Don't be persuaded into something that isn't really you just because someone in your bridal party says they would wear it!!
Don't buy a dress just because it makes your mum cry, but deep down it's not quite what you had in mind. We always offer a free second appointment where you can come back & try your favourites on again and make the decision for yourself.
We love to see women uplifting and empowering each other here!
Dress for yourself only, not the venue, not your mum, not your sister!!
It's your day!
You can read the full blog piece on Paul Fuller's page - https://paulfullerkentphotography.com/finding-your-dream-wedding-dress/