No matter how elaborate your wedding, the bride and her wedding dress are centre stage. The ceremony, the groom, the reception, the cake and the family are all important factors, but it’s really all about the bride and the dress.

That makes getting exactly what you want very important indeed!

If you’re fortunate enough to have the budget for a lovely wedding dress, getting the best out of your bridal boutique of choice is key. The more they can produce, the more amazing you’ll look on the day.

Do your research

efore you even begin visiting bridal boutiques in earnest, it’s important for you to have a good idea of what you want. You have probably been mentally planning for your wedding since you were a little girl. You and the world around you has changed a lot since then. What looked good when you were eleven might not look quite so good now.

Read magazines, surf bridal websites, check out designer wedding dresses and learn everything you can about upcoming trends, new innovations and style. If it helps you to visualise your dream wedding dress, create an ideas board of colours, fabrics and styles you like.

It will also give the people at the boutique a good idea of the styles and colours you like. That can save a lot of time and effort if you work with the right people.

Go shopping!

Ah those magic words! Once you have an idea of the kind of thing you’re looking for. Now is a good time to hit the shops. Make a plan to visit as many bridal boutiques as you can as early as possible. Take your best friend and/or bridesmaids and go try on some wedding dresses.

Take advice, try new things, talk to the shop owners and explore what’s available in your area. It’s fun as well as productive and a great excuse to have a day out with the girls.

If you can’t find what you’re looking for within a short distance, consider widening your search or making some appointments in a city or big town nearby. You can schedule a few visits in a day, just don’t rush them.

Try new things

While you may have a style and colour in mind, take the advice of bridal boutique owners and don’t be afraid to try something new. If they suggest trying a different shape or style, give it a go. It only takes five minutes and the results could change your wedding day for the better.

You may have an idea about what you want, but these guys are experts. They know the trends, they know what looks good and can see you and your wedding dress from a different perspective. Write off their suggestions at your peril!

Don’t be afraid of the bespoke

If you have the budget for a bespoke dress, get one. Have something truly original made to your exact shape and size. It’s a one-time opportunity to have something made specifically for you. Something that nobody else has, or has had. Something that has been fitted to your exact measurements and something that will look fantastic on the day.

Bespoke wedding dresses will take longer to make than altering an off-the-shelf dress, but it’s worth the effort. So if you have the time and money to do it, we would suggest giving it a try!

Take your time with fittings

Once you have a design or a dress, it’s time to be patient. Proper wedding dress fitting takes time. You will do a lot of standing around while people fuss over you and pin the dress, so be patient and relax. The more time and space you give the dressmaker to create, the better the end result.

You will probably be asked to move around too. Bear with them as you’re going to be walking, dancing, standing, sitting and moving around in your wedding dress. The better it looks when you’re doing that, the better you’ll feel on the day.


Give the wedding boutique time to work their magic. We have spoken before about the timings involved in wedding planning and the ideal time to order your wedding dress. This is where all that comes into play. This is especially true if you’re having a bespoke dress made.

The more time you give them to create your wedding dress the better. Artists need time to create their masterpiece and you want that master work to be your dress. Give them at least three months’ notice to create something. Better still, give them six or nine months if you can.

Bridal boutiques are designed around your needs. If you give them the guidance, the patience and the effort they require, they really can work miracles!