How to choose your perfect wedding dress shop

In the Boutique

Wedding dress shopping is like nothing you’ll have ever done before. It’s exciting – it’s totally unique and special to every single bride. It can be a rollercoaster, a liberating and an emotional experience. And when you find your dress you WILL know. Just please, lovelies – look in the right place. A good wedding dress shop is worth its weight in gold for the support you get along the way and for the amazing experience you’ll have finding your wedding dress. The lovely girls from TDR Bridal Boutique Halesowen have shared their advice with us today, to help YOU choose your perfect wedding dress shop, wherever you are in the country!

1 Do your homework

It’s always worth being prepared – and hey, from the very beginning looking for wedding dress inspiration is an AMAZING experience! So dive in. Do your research online, with wedding blogs and in magazines. See what’s around, think about how far you’re willing to travel (or do you want to support a local boutique?). Here’s a few things to consider when choosing the right wedding dress shop for you.

2 Look at bridal boutiques’ websites

A good bridal boutique will have a lovely website. It will be professional, up to date and supported by busy Facebook and Instagram feeds. Photographs on there will be inspiring and fresh, and the words they use will balance a friendly tone with professionalism, inspiration and advice.

3 Look at styles of wedding dresses

So many brides on the blog say they had one idea in mind for their wedding dress and ended up falling in love with a completely different style! Have an open mind, but look at what’s out there. If floaty boho, whimsical or classic and minimal is your thing, find a dress shop which stocks a good selection for you to try. It helps to have an idea in mind of what you like… but don’t worry if you’re undecided: a good bridal boutique will help you choose!

4 Look at prices

Wedding dress shops always have a good price range for you to choose from, but you’ll find some are very high end and expensive, others are more affordable luxury and some are on the cheaper end of the scale. Look for the best you can reasonably afford – our article about what’s underneath your wedding dress is an eye-opener and helps explain why!

5 Ask your friends for bridal shop recommendations

… and ask for more than just ‘where did you get your wedding dress from?’ Ask what the salespeople were like. Ask how the first appointment felt. Ask if everything happened on time, and if they communicated well throughout the whole dress shopping experience. 

6 Look for online reviews

Google and Facebook reviews are brilliant for wedding dress shopping. This is an emotional journey – and when women have found that amazing support, they WILL write a review of the bridal boutique online. You can tell the genuine ones – and if you find yourself scrolling through reams of happy, grateful reviews on a bridal shop’s facebook page, you’ll know you’re onto something special.

7 Check out the shop

Bridal boutiques can be anywhere: on a busy high street, in the middle of the countryside or a couple of towns away from where you live. Go for a sneaky peek at the outside – a casual fly-by with your mum or besties – to see if you like the look of the place. If the paint’s peeling off the windows, or if it’s in a dodgy area, avoid!

Once inside your wedding dress shop (on your first appointment) you can really get a feel for the place. You should be welcomed straight away with a smile. You should expect a clean, fresh smelling, fun environment with happy, helpful staff. Ideally there’ll be onsite parking, because at some point you’ll be picking up a wedding dress and you don’t want to be trudging through town with it to your car!

8 You’ll know when you’ve chosen the right bridal shop

Once inside the wedding dress shop on your first appointment, you should expect a great selection of wedding dresses, you should expect refreshments, and you should expect professionalism.

You should expect your guests to be welcome, you should expect your children to be welcome, you should expect honesty and transparency, you should expect to feel comfortable and at ease, you should expect support and most of all you should expect kindness and a feeling that you are in safe hands.

You should feel you’re in a safe environment to speak and to share any concerns you have. Bridal shop staff aren’t meant to be salespeople – they’re going to be a part of the most amazing day of your life. So you should feel comfortable and cared for. I’ll never forget the first chat I had with Rebecca from TDR Bridal, when she told me she didn’t recruit “her girls” for their selling skills, but for their compassion and supportiveness for other women. 

I hope this blog post has been a real help for you. Do pass it on to any friends who are about to start looking for their wedding dress. The experience of buying THE dress should be truly special – and I’ve heard too many stories of massive wedding dress chain stores feeling impersonal, rushed and “like a cattle market”… so find somewhere special to buy your wedding dress, and fall in love with the experience.

There’s nothing like that feeling, on your wedding day, of wearing your once-in-a-lifetime dress and saying ‘I do’ before all of your family and friends. It’s the most incredible, dream come true kind of sensation – absolute bliss and joy and love. That’s why your wedding dress won’t be “just a dress”. It’ll be so very much more. And you just can’t buy something this precious from any old dress shop – you have to find somewhere where they know it’s a million times more than just a dress!

At TDR Bridal, you will be welcomed and looked after. You’ll be treated kindly and with genuine care. Buying a wedding dress can be daunting: it’s a huge purchase, a new experience and for those of us with insecurities about our body shape, it can even be a little scary. TDR understand all of that – it’s why brides will travel for miles to come and see them, and its why they’ve won multiple awards over recent years. 

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