A Quick Guide to Bridal Shops
Right, you’ve got an idea of the type of wedding dress you want and it’s time to start trying some on… Don’t know what to do next? Fear not – here’s our quick guide to getting your wedding dress sorted.
Once you’ve got a dress in mind, you then need to find out where you can try it on and start to get a feel for what you will be wearing on the big day. So to do this, you need to find your nearest shop.
You can do this easily on OneWedding – the ‘Find a bridal shop’ link will allow you to locate your nearest shop of the dress you are interested in.
But it’s not just a matter of booking a time and turning up – with a bit more planning and know-how, you can help ensure the time spent in your first visit to the Shop is really well spent. And that’s where our three-step guide comes in!
We spoke to Kim McCall, founder and director of London Bride & Groom. They are the capital’s premier shop and hold an extensive collection of dresses from a range of the top designers in the UK. We worked with Kim to try and help you understand what to bear in mind when organising the all-important first visit to try on your dress.
Step 1 – Arranging the first appointment
So you’ve found the dress you love and you’ve found your nearest bridal shop – that’s the hard part done!
Now, it’s best to keep things as simple as possible. You don’t want to try on too many dresses, and likewise, you don’t need to try the dress on at too many shops either. It’s much better to stick with one place and work on getting the dress just how you want it as you go along.
It’s also worth bearing in mind that Saturdays are the busiest time at the shop. So, for your first visit and any subsequent fittings, it will be much better if you can book some time off work and go during the week. The shop will be quieter and the environment will be much more relaxed.
Step 2 – The first visit
“The main objective of the first visit is to see the dress in the flesh and to try it on. If appropriate, you may also get the opportunity to try different colours (if the dresses are available as such).”
Don’t be scared of saying ‘no’ at any point – especially if the dress isn’t quite right. Don’t feel pressured into anything, by others or time, you’ll only regret it. Take your time, think about everything carefully and make sure you’re completely happy.
Now, the biggest thing to bear in mind is the length of time between the first visit and the next fitting. Be prepared that it normally takes around 4 months between these two for the Shop to order the dress, get it made and then delivered. So you shouldn’t expect to be able to see the dress a second time within weeks, and you should make sure you allow plenty of time before the wedding to start the ball rolling.
In some cases, there will be dresses available off the peg and these obviously need much less turnaround. But invariably, if you are spending a bit more money, you should allow plenty of time for the dress to be made to measure.
In terms of time in the – you should expect spend about one hour in the first visit. It will vary depending on how busy the shop is, and how far down the line you are in choosing the final dress etc, but an hour is about right.
Step 3 – What to take with you
It’s worth wearing neutral underwear and shoes of a similar height to what you might wear with your dress (if you have them). This way, it will be much easier to see the dress in the right light and will help you imagine how you’ll look on your big day.
You don’t need to take anything else specific with you except maybe a picture of the dress you’re interested in (you can print off from this site).
In terms of people to take – two is the ideal number of people to take with you, normally the mother and the best friend. Any more than that is too much, there will be too many opinions, and it would be much harder you to ensure you get what you want, rather than what everyone else wants.
That should at least get you on your way to sorting your dream wedding dress. The main thing about the first visit is to enjoy yourself, dream about your big day and get the wedding dress that you want.
There should be another two or three visits after the first – these will be for further fittings of the wedding dress – see our Dress Fittings article for further details on that.
Thanks to Kim for her advice in putting this guide together. Kim is based at the main London Bride and Groom store in Victoria, but they also have a more couture outlet in Pimlico.
Start searching for your dream wedding dress (and find your nearest bridal shop) on OneWedding now.
Click here to find your nearest bridal shop where you can start to try on dresses for your big day!