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Top Tips For Buying Your Wedding Dress

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Are you about to start shopping for your dream gown? The wedding dress/outfit is one of the most crucial parts of your dream day and finding the one that fits your budget, personality, and style, will take quite a bit of planning!

In the beginning you will be overwhelmed with many questions such as, when should you go wedding dress shopping? How will I know it’s the one? When should I have my final fitting?

We have therefore pulled together some answers to these questions, with the help of Claire, at Amara Bridal, to help make the search for your perfect dress, a little less stressful.

Why does buying a wedding dress take so long?

Wedding dress shopping takes time because your wedding day is one of the most important events of your life and the wedding dress is the one item of clothing that you will wear just once, so finding something perfect takes time.

Most people don't know what style they are looking for when they start their search. This means you need to try on different gowns. In many cases, brides will go against all of their instincts and choose something completely out of character, with absolutely stunning results.

TIP: Start shopping with an open mind. Be willing to try on different styles, even if they don't immediately jump out at you. Many brides find they choose something entirely outside of their usual style, so don't rule anything out until you've tried it on. Visit a few different outlets to eliminate all avenues, this is the only way to find the gown you will be happiest in.

When should I start wedding dress shopping?

We say, ‘If you leave your dress shopping to the last minute, you'll be searching in a stress-fuelled cloud, and this will warp your judgement and suck all of the fun out of your experience!’

Claire at, Amara Bridal says, ‘There is no right or wrong as to when to start looking for your wedding dress. Most brides start to look a year in advance as the wedding dress can lead on to deciding so many other things such as, hair, flowers, bridesmaid dresses and colour schemes. We do have brides who have less time than 6 months!... in this case we can sometimes still order dresses in, or we can sell from the rail!’

Tip: If you have created a mood board with a wedding planner such as JS Events, take this with you when shopping, ‘A mood board really outlines the theming for your whole wedding and can help when choosing your dress.’ Jenny Staniforth, JS Events.

When is too early to buy the dress?

If you head straight into wedding dress shopping immediately after your engagement, you could end up spending too much or purchasing a dress that isn't right for your ceremony.

Your engagement is an exciting time, so don't pile the pressure on to choose your dress straight away. Enjoy the engagement first, decide on your theme and style of your wedding (Check out Love Lilly if you need some help and inspiration) and then create some time to think about the practicalities of your wedding.

‘We normally advise to leave a minimum of 6-8 months before the big day, as this allows enough time for the dress to arrive and any necessary alterations.’ Claire, Amara Bridal

Tip: Don't start shopping until you have a budget. You might fall in love with something outside of your budget and then feel like you have to compromise on your dress. Pick a budget and stick to it before you start your search. And don't forget to include alterations in your budget.

Will my wedding dress fit if I lose weight?

You should never order a more petite wedding dress and then plan to lose weight before your big day. This is FAR TOO much pressure, and there are no guarantees that you will lose weight in time.

Also, when you are dress shopping, no bride should ever be made to feel that they must lose weight before their big day so don't let the size of your dress define you. You are more than a dress size, and any good bridal boutique will let you focus on the dresses rather than the number on the label.

If you do want to lose a few pounds, by a bigger size and if you do or don’t lose weight, at least you can rely on alterations to make sure the wedding dress fits correctly. It's simple to take in a wedding dress if you are successful in your weight loss goals, but it's far more challenging to make a small dress larger.

TIP: Alterations – they can do more than adjust the size and fit. Along your planning journey you may add to your theme and therefore could add sparkle, change the straps, add a lace topper or even dip-dye your dress a wild colour. Your wedding dress boutique will be able to recommend local wedding dress alteration companies to help you get the perfect dress.

‘We work closely with 2 fabulous ladies that specialise in bridal wear alterations. They both have a studio from where they work, and our brides can’t sing their praises highly enough. They are amazing.’ Claire, Amara Bridal

How long does a wedding dress take to arrive?

A designer can take up to 6 months to create your dress once you have ordered it, and this doesn't include any last-minute alterations. You want your dress to be the perfect fit and like it was made just for you. You'll want to think about making alterations around six weeks before the wedding date.

When can you take your dress home?

‘Most brides have two fittings once they have chosen their dream dress. The first is normally 8-10 weeks before the wedding and the final fitting probably a couple of weeks before the big day.’ Claire, Amara Bridal

After your final fitting, you can finally take your wedding dress home! Just make sure to find a designated spot for your gown to keep it safe before the wedding. This means away from anything else that could potentially get your dress dirty or torn (like pets) and somewhere your future spouse won’t see!

Place your dress in a breathable, opaque bag and hang it up in secure place. You might even choose to have a bridesmaid, friend or family member hang on to your dress to avoid anyone seeing it before the big day.

Do I need to do anything to my dress the night before my wedding day?

The day before your wedding, you will need to put the finishing touches to your dress and should have your dress and bridal accessories all in one place, so they can be safely moved to where you are getting ready.

Tip: Invest in a portable steamer so you can have one of your bridesmaids help get your gown wrinkle-free and wedding-day ready on the morning of your nuptials.

Do I need to do anything to my dress on the big day?

One last steam, get dressed, and go enjoy!

Final thoughts on choosing your dress…

Have loads of fun! Choosing your wedding gown is supposed to be an enjoyable and happy experience, so if you're finding it stressful for any reason, don't be afraid to walk away and go back to it when you are in a better mindset.

TIP: Dress shopping can be demanding, particularly if you aren't feeling very confident. Make sure you surround yourself with a supportive bridal party, friends and family members to keep things positive during your experience.

For more advice and inspiration to help make your wedding day a unique and memorable occasion, make sure you’re following the Infinite Wedding Co blog. We share helpful insight and inspiration to help make planning your wedding a breeze.

Ping us an email here:, if you have any other questions, we’d love to help.

Debbie and Becca x

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