When Celebrants Go Wedding Dress Shopping – Part 3

When Celebrants Go Wedding Dress Shopping – Part 3

The Final Countdown! 

I’d be lying if I said I was not panicking! But having heard ridiculous delivery periods for dresses ranging from 6 to 10 months and alteration times from 3 to 12 weeks I am slightly nervous as the one year to D-Day date is fast approaching; with everything crossed we set off for our pre-determined date with shop nine

Day Four – Shop Nine – Dresses 20ish – 24ish

The lovely assistant greets us as we enter, sumptuous and luxurious we are shown to our own dedicated fitting area, tastefully decorated with chandeliers and amazing full-length mirrors we are invited to peruse the dresses; yes, they are on show and yes, we can touch them! Having chosen four to try on I browse the titillating tiara’s and desirable diamantes on display whilst waiting for the first reveal.


Oh my, is that really my little baby girl! I won’t lie a tear has popped into the corner of my eye which I stubbornly refuse to let drop onto my cheek. She stands before me, head to toe a vision for sore eyes! Her face says it all, this could be ‘THE ONE’! What do you think I ask tentatively, I like it, she replies! My heart pops a little, she likes it, hallelujah. After some twirling and twisting pulling and adjusting she decides to try on dresses 21, 22 & 23, but to no avail, a dress has stolen our hearts!

The lovely assistant insists she tries it on again and ushers her back into the changing room. I wait in excited anticipation as much to-ing and fro-ing takes place and various accessories from the display cases disappear into the changing room. And then, like a Fairy Godmother has waved her wand, there she is transformed into a fairy-tale princess. That tear leaks from my eye and gently but surely trickles down my cheek.

Complete with tiara and sweet little bouquet of artificial flowers she stands before me and I know that dresses fate is sealed…it is ours! In regal splendour, underneath the strategically placed lights of the fitting area and the suitable OMG’s of all the other assistants that dress shines like a glistening star in the midnight sky and my heart melts at the thought of her entrance onto a Mexican beach underneath the gleaming golden Cancun sunshine as she marries her sweetheart.

Lessons Learned

Dress number 20 has been secured, so I bet you’re waiting for pictures of the aforementioned wedding dress? Sorry, I have a strict embargo until after May 2019, but trust me you will not be disappointed! However, what I can reveal are the lessons I learned from this forage into Bridal Boutiques, so here goes.

Unexhaustive Tips on Wedding Dress Shopping

  • Check out the chosen shop for its professionalism, is the store reputable – word of mouth and Google will be invaluable
  • Set your budget and stick to it, one thing we were firm on. Don’t let the shop hustle you into trying on expensive dresses. If you are on a tight budget ask if they have any TRUNK shows coming up – when they offer discounts, reductions, sale stock and designer meet & greets
  • Always make an appointment it helps smooth the relationship along and if the viewing party is going to be large mention it to the shop, so they can make suitable arrangements. On two occasions there were 7 of us and none of the shops had an issue with that
  • If the assistant can’t tell what style of dress suits your body shape walk away. Any experienced assistant will know exactly what will suit you immediately
  • Some shops allow you take pictures of the dresses you try on and trust me it is very useful when deliberating over coffee and cakes, what suits you what doesn’t and being able to rule them out; also to compare them to others on your shortlist. In our experience the more helpful, reputable and professional boutiques allowed me to take pictures – but always ask first!
  • Enquire as to which years stock they are showing, trust me on two occasions I think the stock was from around the time I got married!
  • Do your hair & make-up and wear suitable underwear so you can really get a feel for what you will look like on your big day. If you turn up hung over and bleary eyed with big knickers on you aint gonna look great! The same applies to your fittings, go ‘Dress Ready’ in order to receive the best possible outcome.
  • Allow at least 1 hour per appointment and if you pick a quieter day you will get longer and better service. The shops we visited on Saturdays were limited but the mid-week shopping was more relaxed and within reason untimed
  • Be prepared to be disappointed, if you are very lucky the first day you shop you will find ‘THE ONE’ but don’t panic the magic will happen and you will know when it does
  • It is normal for at least 50% deposit to be paid when securing the dress, the rest on its safe arrival to the boutique.
  • Ask to be shown the best way to put on the gown and if you can you film it, the more complex and detailed the gown the more complicated it will be to dress
  • Ask how to store and transport your dress, the shop will know best and if your flying you will need safe transportation of it and its accessories. I highly recommend hand luggage and if you have booked a wedding package the company should have adequate measures in place to oblige.

Questions to ask:

  • What is the lead time for delivery? Allow for plenty of leeway for the dress to arrive and any alterations to be done before your wedding date.
  • Are the alterations in house – if not consider that once you remove the dress from the shop it is no longer their responsibility, if the seamstress messes up who can you turn to then?
  • How much will alterations cost, is it included or is there a standard charge per task?
  • What insure cover do you have whilst holding the dress?
  • Will you steam and get the dress wedding ready before I take it away?

My little forage into bridal gowns is over but now the fun begins, we have 4 bridesmaids and a flower girl to dress, accessories to source and don’t even get me started on my own Mother of the Bride outfit!

Watch this space as next week as I go behind the scenes at my local crematorium, giving me a valuable insight into the process I don’t see once I have delivered the committal speech.

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