Finding your dream gown

Q. Where do I begin?

A. If you haven’t already got your dream gown in mind, take the time to browse the our wedding gowns section. Make note of the styles and designers that you like best and give them a call to make an appointment to view their ranges. It also helps to familiarise yourself with the terminology used – know your mermaid style from your A-line and Chantilly lace

Q. When should I start?

A. Unless you manage to buy a sample gown straight off the rack, shopping for a wedding gown can be a lengthy process – often three to six months for ordering a gown from a bridal boutique, or six to nine months for a custom-made designer gown. It’s important to start the process as early as possible so as not to limit your choices. You’ll also need to allow an extra few weeks for any alterations that need to be made.

Q. I don’t often wear dresses, so don’t know what suits me. Help!

A. Even if you already have a fair idea of the type of gown you like, it pays to try on a wide range of styles, no matter how they look on the hanger – it may surprise you to find what looks best on your body! Your gown designer or bridal consultant will have plenty of experience dressing all types of brides, so listen to their advice, and be sure to take a trusted friend or family member along with you for a second opinion. You’ll look and feel your best wearing a gown that complements your figure and accentuates your best features. Try different necklines and silhouettes to see what suits your shape, and consider ruching, beaded detailing, sleeves or a sash to draw the eye away from problem areas and focus on your best assets. Also think about your personal style, and the formality, season and theme of your wedding when trying on different styles, fabrics, colours and lengths of gowns.

Q. Do I order a gown in my normal size?

A. Depending on their country of origin, the bridal gowns you try on will probably not be in the same sizes as your everyday clothes, so forget the numbers and trust your bridal consultant to order the right size for you. Once your gown arrives, you will have fittings to ensure it fits your body perfectly. Don’t insist on a smaller size because you intend to lose weight – a gown is much easier (and less expensive) to take in than out!

Q. As well as how it looks on my body, what else do I need to think about when choosing a style of gown?

A. You’ll be getting in and out of cars, posing for photos, sitting down for long periods and dancing for hours in your gown, so make sure it allows you to move around with ease. Ensure any boning doesn’t dig in, the lining doesn’t irritate, and that the fabric is suitable for the season. If your gown has a train, make sure it can be bustled.

Q. How much should I plan to spend on my gown?

A. When deciding on how much you are happy to spend on your wedding gown, factor in those extras that add up – alterations, veil or headpiece, shoes and undergarments. Also, be aware that most bridal boutiques charge a fee to try on their gowns – around 30,000 Ugz – which is taken off the price of the gown if you purchase or hire from them. Typically 10-12% of your wedding budget is allocated to wedding attire, which includes your groom’s suit, lingerie, hair and makeup.

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