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9 things to expect at your first wedding dress appointment

Tracey Dale
Rachel Willis

A guide on what you can expect at your first bridal appointment.

Picking out your dream wedding dress is probably something you’ve dreamed of for a very long time.

Your partner has finally asked the most important question and you’ve said yes! So now it’s time to make that dream a reality.

We’ve tried to compile a list of things for you to expect from your first wedding dress appointment. From preparation before you book appointments to what you need to wear when trying them on.

1. Get on the net and do some research.

Have a look and work out what styles and shapes you like and keep an eye out if there are any designers that keep cropping up and you can hopefully find a local stockist for you to book an appointment. Always best to book in advance as weekends can become quite busy so make sure to book your slot and guarantee yourself a changing room.

Be Prepared and Plan, Plan, Plan!

2. How many appointments should you book in one day?

Trying on wedding dresses can be really hard work and can be more tiring than you think. We suggest that you make only 2 appointments in one day. One in the morning and then one in the afternoon. Give yourself chance to have some dinner and allowing you to have a chat about the dresses you’ve tried on in the morning and allowing you to give yourself a plan for when you go to the next shop.


3. Set yourself a budget

Realistically you need to be looking at dresses in your price range. You don’t want to be trying on gowns that are way out of your budget because if you fall in love then you may be very disappointed if you just can afford it. Let the shops know what budget you’re working towards so that they can help you find something to suit all your needs. Also consider that alterations are more than likely going to need to be done to your dress so factor this into what you’re willing to spend.

Setting a budget gives you a starting point.

4. Enjoy yourself!

Bridal appointments tend to last about an hour which is usually more than enough time for you to try on a wide selection of bridal gowns and to get a good feel of what you do and don’t like. Don’t feel rushed and like you have to make a decision there and then. All bridal shops know how hard this decision can be and they understand that you’re going to want look around. Get your sales assistant to make a note of which dresses you like so that if you do return they can just pull out those particular styles.


5. Questions you may want to consider asking.

  • All bridal shops will have different policies on taking photographs so always asking the question first is a best bet.
  • Ask what deposit is required to start an order. You will find that if your starting your order quite early on then a small percentage deposit is usually required to start any paperwork.
  • Query alterations. Majority or stores offer an alteration service at an extra cost. Once you have tried on different styles any sales assistant can roughly gauge what would need to be done to your dress to make it fit perfectly and can usually give you a rough quote. (Be prepared for this to change slightly when it comes to your fittings, but at least it will give you a budget to work towards.)
Make a list of questions that you would like to ask.

6. How to know what size to try on.

Sample sizes will vary from store to store but typically bridal wear comes up a lot smaller than high street clothing so be prepared to go up one if not two sizes. It’s really difficult for stores to have every style in every size so all sales assistant will always do their best to make the dress look and feel like it’s fitting you. Some may be too small and some may be too big.

Don't worry what size it says on the label. As long as you feel amazing that's all that matters.

7. Knowing who to take along with you.

Knowing who to take along with you can be difficult as you’re probably going to want to keep everyone happy. We suggest a couple of your closest entourage would be best as too many opinions can just confuse you and might make you rush into your decision. You want people that you know are going to be truly honest with you and give you the support you need.


8. What should you wear to a bridal appointment?

Seen as you’re going to be helped in and out of dresses you’re going to want to wear some underwear that you don’t mind being seen by others. A lot of dresses will have bust support in them so when you’re trying the dresses on for comfort you may want to remove your bra.

Going for flesh tone and seam free underwear will mean you’re less likely to see anything when trying on. Be considerate to the boutiques and keep make up and fake tan to a minimum. It can be hard work getting the dresses on and off and you will find they will most likely go over your head. Samples are very valuable to the shops so having marks inside of a dress is not a good look at all!

Wear something that you feel comfortable in.


It’s never too early to start looking for your wedding dress however you don’t want to make your final decision to early as you will ponder for the interim months wondering if you made the right choice. We suggest placing your order roughly about 12 months in advance this will give you chance to sort out other items i.e. accessories, shoes and bridesmaids dresses.


Try and enjoy the experience as much as you can. Have fun with your friends and family. There is nothing to be worried about. Shop owners and their staff are trained to put you at ease and help your decision making easier. If you're worried about your shape why not read this article on Wedding Dress Styles


We hope that theses points are going to make your dress search a little less stressful. If you have any more tips that you would like to give to other bride to be’s then please feel free to comment below.

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