Wedding Dress Shopping? These Are The Questions to Ask!

woman in a wedding dress boutique trying on her wedding gown

Most of us dream of having a big white wedding one day, it's something I've thought about since I was young! And so when the time comes, you're engaged and are looking for your dress, it's so important to get it right. Every woman wants to feel beautiful on her big day, and choosing the right wedding dress really is the key to this. By asking the right questions when choosing a dress, you can ensure that there are no hidden snags. Here are just some of the most significant questions to ask.

What colours/sizes do you do?
A good bridal boutique will generally have a range of colours and sizes, however, if there's something particular you're after you might have to try more than one shop. For example, if you want a colour other than white or ivory or you need a plus size dress, you might need to go to a specialist store. Knowing ahead of time if they're likely to have what you're after can save time and stress on the day. 

Does this dress look flattering on me?
Bridal boutique staff can help to give you advice about what looks good on you- however, at the end of the day it's their job to sell dresses so this is always going to be their priority. For this reason, you shouldn't solely rely on their opinion. Bring a couple of your closest loved ones with you, people you know have your best interests at heart and will provide you with honest advice. More than likely, you'll know when you've found the gown, lots of women break down in tears or just have this 'eureka!' moment. But it doesn't hurt to get a second, honest opinion from someone that loves you. After all, a wedding dress is a big expense and so you'll want to feel comfortable parting with your cash.

Is this dress suitable for outdoors?
If you’re getting married outdoors, you might also want to consider asking whether the dress you’ve chosen is suitable. Certain materials may not react well in the rain or sun, whilst certain dresses with long trails may get muddy. If you're getting married abroad, you'll more than likely want a lighter fabric which is comfortable in the heat and also matches the beachy vibe. Most bridal boutiques will be able to point you to a section of dresses that are perfect for outdoor weddings. 

What alterations can be made?
Just about any wedding dress you buy will need alterations, so that it fits perfectly to your body. However, if you want something more drastic doing, you might need to check exactly what can be done. For example, making a dress much larger or smaller can be an issue. In extreme cases, prospective brides have chosen the skirt of one gown and the bodice of another and had them stitched together! If you're using an in-house seamstress you'd have to check what she's able to do and the cost. The more extreme the alterations, the more expensive which needs to be worked into the overall cost. 

What undergarments should I wear with this dress?
The type of underwear you'll need will all depend on the dress as well as you. Many women choose a strapless bra for their strapless wedding gown, but if you're bustier this might not be an option. A clear halter strap may be able to be used in this case. Have a think about what undergarments you'll need to wear with the dress you're planning on picking, and ask the staff at the store for their recommendations. 

Will the dress be ok to pick up for this date?
If you're having a dress ordered in in a specific size, or having lots of alterations done it can take weeks, especially as there's often a queue. It's advisable to purchase your wedding dress a number of weeks or months before the big day, as long as you don't plan on losing any more weight (or gaining any!) 

What are my payment options?
It helps to have a clear idea of your payment options. Some bridal boutiques will expect you to pay the full amount upfront, while others may be able to offer the option to pay in instalments. If you’re planning to pay by credit card, you should also check that this is accepted. Weddings are expensive, and so spreading the cost of your dress can make good sense and enable you to buy something nicer than you'd have got just from saving up. Just make sure you're not running up lots of debt, it's not exactly a great start to married life!

Is there a refund policy?
None of us want to consider the thought of cancelling our wedding. However, it can and does happen. Whether it's a relationship breakdown, or something that causes us to postpone (such as an illness or pregnancy) you want to know what your refund options are. If you're worried, you can always consider taking out wedding insurance which may cover this. 

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