Back when I got engaged in 2011 (gosh does that make me feel old), I always assumed I’d have the perfect wedding dress shopping experience. I imagined relaxing a beautiful boutique, sipping champagne with my bestie and us both crying as I tried on different wedding dresses.


What actually happened was this. I got a hand me down dress from a family member who worked for one of the designers and had some returns that were my size!

Don’t get me wrong, I loved my dress. And once I’d found it I stopped looking, but I missed out completely on the wedding dress shopping experience of my dreams!

Thankfully now that I am a wedding photographer, I have made friends in the industry who have their own Bridal Boutiques, and I can still hang out in them. One such friend is Zoe from Treasured Brides and we decided we’d do a collaborative blog post on finding your perfect wedding dress.

Zoe’s top tips to help you find the perfect wedding dress

Woo Hoo you’re engaged and you’re now thinking about (if you haven’t already been doing for years!!!) your dream Wedding Dress!!
Below are some tips that will hopefully help you plan where to visit and give you some ideas on how to prepare.

1: Do your Research!

Have a Google at what Boutiques are in your area. Talk to your friends and see where they found the perfect wedding dress. Ask them about the wedding dress shopping experience they had and see if what they are saying is important to you? Think about the type of experience you would like to have.

Have a look at the designers boutiques have on their website and see if you like them before booking appointments.

Look at designers websites that you have come across, on their sites you’ll be able to find where locally to you stocks their gowns.


2. Social media stalking

As well as looking at websites have a look at boutiques social media pages. This will give you an idea as to whether you will like what they are offering.

Do you like the dresses that they are showing you and the look of the boutique itself? Is it giving you a vibe of somewhere that you will be comfortable. Ultimately, you need to feel safe, secure and confident that you are going to be looked after and cared for at your appointment.

I always welcome questions beforehand from any brides looking to book an appointment.

3. Think about your budget

Before you even set foot in a boutique think abut what you are happy spending on the perfect wedding dress. When doing your research have a look to see what the dresses start from, and what the most expensive dress is in each Boutique.

It’s better for you to visit Boutiques where you know they stock wedding dresses within your budget. You can save money elsewhere, on your shoes, underwear or jewellery for example.

4. When to start wedding dress shopping

It really is up to you when you start looking. 18-12 months ahead of the wedding is the average time for Brides finding the perfect wedding dress.

Be mindful that dresses can take around 4 months to arrive after they have been ordered. Then we need to allow for the final fitting 3 months before the big day.

Do only start to look when you are ready to fall in love with and commit to finding your perfect wedding dress. Wedding dresses do get discontinued. So don’t risk being in a position when you find and fall in love with the perfect wedding dress but can’t say “Yes to the dress” just yet.

5. Think carefully about who to bring with you

When thinking about who you would like to take with you to your appointment, please ONLY take
supportive family and friends! Most boutiques limit the number of guests purely to make the experience the best for their Brides (Treasured Brides is a maximum of the bride plus 3 guests).

Finding your perfect wedding dress should be a special and memorable experience and not an episode of a wedding dress TV show. If you plan to go to more than one appointment, always take the same people with you. This can help avoid confusion and a situation where your bridesmaids love different dresses from different boutiques!

You can end up feeling like you’re choosing between bridesmaids rather than the wedding dress

Also, remember you can go wedding dress shopping on your own!! No one knows you better than yourself.

6. Be prepared to try different styles

Brides tend to fall into one of two camps. They either feel they know exactly what they want or like most, or they have absolutely no idea.

At your appointment, you should have the opportunity to try all the styles and silhouettes. At Treasured Brides, you’ll have the opportunity to try simple and elegant gowns to big, sparkly dresses and everything in between. It’s important to try different styles so you can learn what feels like the most perfect wedding dress to you.

7. How will I know when it’s THE perfect wedding dress?

Brides always ask me this. My response is “When you’re swishing around and you just don’t want to take it off. Even when I’m telling you the next bride is downstairs and wanting to come in”. That’s when you know.

Once you’ve chosen your gown you just won’t want to keep looking, it’s very similar to when you have chosen your venue and your future hubby!

Thank you, Zoe! Click here to book your appointment to see Zoe at Treasured Brides! Here she is!

ENJOY finding your perfect wedding dress – it’s such an exciting time!