So you’re officially a bride-to-be! Being engaged can be a very exciting time. But that’s not to say it doesn’t come with stress. Our tip? Decide on your wedding date, pick a venue and then buy a wedding dress. But what should you know before you start looking? As experts in the bridal business, we’re letting you in on answers to frequently asked questions and some of our favourite tips to make your in-person or online dress shopping experience magical.
Q: When should I start searching for my dress?
A: We suggest starting the process at least 12 months before your wedding date. Finding the perfect dress takes time—and you want to make sure you get it right. On top of that, receiving the gown from the designer and going through alterations takes many months. You don’t want to be stuck with off-the-rack options only that don’t fit your body or style.
It’s never too early to start browsing the boho wedding dress designers you admire and deciding what features you like or dislike. Once you have an idea, you’re ready to book an appointment at a boutique for wedding dress options. And may we suggest Love Spell Bridal? Hint: it’s our amazing wedding dress shop in Surrey.
Q: How do I make an appointment at a bridal boutique?
A: Most bridal boutiques are by appointment only. You will have to call or email to reserve a time slot. Typically, they will shut down the shop just for you, so can try any dress with the one-on-one attention of an experienced consultant. This ensures a relaxed environment and pleasant experience with all the focus on you and finding the right gown.
Q: What sets Love Spell apart from other Guildford bridal shops?
A: Our bridal shop in Surrey, a short drive from other Guildford bridal shops, specialises in modern, boho wedding dress styles. Our dresses are romantic, elegant and unique but also comfortable and easy to dance in. Read our customer reviews to see why brides loved wearing a Love Spell gown on their big day.
Q: What is a boho wedding dress?
A: A boho wedding dress is a non traditional wedding dress that has a whimsical, ethereal feel to it. Usually lightweight, most boho wedding dress styles are made from layers of soft tulle, filmy chiffon or unique floral lace. A perfect example is the Love Spell Bella—a floaty wedding dress made with an embroidered crop top and romantic white skirt.
Q: How many bridal shops should I visit?
A: It’s different for everyone. In fact, if you hit a slam dunk at the first salon, one might be your magic number. Niche bridal stores that specialise in alternative wedding dresses or boho chic wedding dresses might make it easier to find your gown. And while some brides might feel overwhelmed by a large boutique, others might enjoy seeing a big selection on their first trip.
However, it can feel discouraging to try on a lot of dresses in one day and leave empty-handed. We suggest spacing out visits to the boutiques you’re interested in over one month. If you fall in love with something, buy it on the spot. If not, let it sink in and see if there’s a particular dress on your mind after some time has passed.
Q: Can I bring my family and friends to the appointment?
A: At Love Spell, we typically allow up to three guests to join you. Most Surrey wedding dress shops have the same policy. However, due to COVID-19, for the safety of our staff, brides and guests, we are allowing one person only to accompany the bride. We installed cameras in our boutique so you can have the opportunity to video conference your loved ones during the appointment. This way, no one will miss out on the special moment!
Q: How much should I spend on my dress?
A: The first thing you should consider is the budget of the person paying for the gown. In the UK, wedding dresses £1000 or more are quite common. It’s hard to find a quality dress at a price below that. Love Spell dresses hover around £1000-£1500, making them an affordable choice for brides looking for a gorgeous, unique wedding dress. Remember that you should expect to pay more for alterations, customisations and accessories. Always factor those additions into the budget unless you have different people paying for each.
Q: I want to buy my dress online. When should I place the order?
If you’re purchasing your gown online, you should make the purchase 6–9 months prior to your wedding. Dresses are made-to-order and take time to produce. Anticipate another two weeks for shipping and an additional month for alternations. Although in an ideal world your dress would fit like a glove without tailoring, gowns almost always need some form of alteration—whether it’s hemming, taking in the waist, lengthening the sleeves or adding cups to the bust.
Q: My goal is to lose weight before the wedding. What size should I order?
A: We commend you on your goal, but don’t put too much pressure on yourself. Planning a wedding can be stressful, and it’s not fair to put extra stress on yourself just to see your dress number plunge. We suggest placing your order as early as possible. If you do lose weight, you can contact us to alter your size before the dress goes into production.
And P.S. You’ll look gorgeous at your wedding whatever size you are!
Q: I am scared of committing to a dress, what should I do?
A: Because it’s such an expense and one of the defining looks of your lifetime, brides can feel overwhelmed trying to find the perfect gown. Once you try dresses on, you might also find you want something different than what you thought. Maybe you came looking for a ballgown but discovered a boho wedding dress with sleeves that looks amazing. We suggest listening to your heart and hearing what your friends and family have to say. Some brides think their wedding day is the time to take a break from their traditional style and surprise guests with something unexpected, but staying true to your style, interests and personality always makes for the best look. And don’t forget, gowns aren’t in stock forever. Don’t pass on something you adore to hunt for the next best thing. You might not find something you love even more—and the dress could be sold out if you wait too long.
Q: I love the dress, but I want to be certain it’s the one. Can I think about it?
A: Sure! But before you leave, ask your consultant if the dress is likely to be discontinued or sold out in the near future. You want to make sure you’re not walking away forever if you don’t say “yes” on the spot.
Q: How do I know I’ve found the perfect dress for me?
A: The process is different for every bride, but in our experience, brides who loved their gowns and knew it was “the one” didn’t want to try on any more…even just for fun. If fact, they didn’t even want to take the dress off!
Q: Will I need alterations? When should I get them done?
A: While you may be used to shopping off the rack, bridal dresses are a different story. They are made larger and longer to accommodate different shapes and different heights. In addition to necessary alterations, you may want changes or fit enhancements to make sure it fits your vision. If your dress has a train, you’ll want a seamstress to add hooks or buttons for a bustle.
Q: How much are alterations?
A: Unfortunately, there is no set answer we can provide. You won’t know the fee until you go to a seamstress or tailor and they guide you through what needs to be changed. A structured wedding dress with boning and a petticoat might cost £200–£300 for standard alterations, while clean-lined boho wedding dress styles typically costs between £80–£150.