Your first bridal shopping experience can seem like a bit of a whirlwind, but here are a few straight forward tips that apply to any kind of in-store bridal shopping - whether it be at bridal boutiques, second-hand stores or ready to wear options.
1. Take a small, select shopping party with you.
Our suggestion is to stick with one or two max. (Or to even go alone!) Keep in mind, many friends and family members will find it hard to be objective and will often prefer a style they would wear themselves.
2. Forget what it looks like on a hanger.
Stay open-minded and try options on that you may not be sold on from the hanger alone. Most clothes look far better on a person than on a clothing rack.
3. Don't worry about sizing.
Every designer goes by a slightly different sizing chart, with some designers offering split sizing also. A fabric with some stretch will also sit differently - so keep this in mind when trying on samples or determining what size you will be in your outfit of choice.
4. How comfortable is it?
It's completely fine if you don't care less about comfort when it comes to your wedding outfit choice. However, if it is of importance to you feel, free to walk around and take a seat in any samples - to get a better idea of the fabric and feel.
5. Peak times for shopping are weekends.
Whether you choose to go to a bridal shop or a ready-to wear boutique, weekends will always be busiest. If you can, try to make time mid-week instead. It will definitely result in a much calmer and quieter shopping experience.
6. Pay attention!
Pay attention to what necklines or silhouettes you keep coming back to, and those you don't like. There is no point in trying on 10 options with a neckline you have previously established that you don't like. On the other hand, you will find shopping far more beneficial if you seek out the styles that are working for you.
7. GST is your friend.
Well, at least if you're getting married overseas and meet the criteria. If you have purchased your dress in Australia and are getting married overseas, you may be eligible to claim the GST on departure. Make sure to look into this to see if you meet all the requirements in order to do so.
8. Ask for advice.
If you are feeling a little overwhelmed and don't feel you have narrowed down what you are after, feel free to ask the stylist or sales assistant for some suggestions also. They will be able to suggest some additional styles based on the feedback you have given and their experience.