You’ve just said yes, and now it’s time to get onto the exciting bit. It’s time to start looking at wedding dresses and choosing the right one for you! But how do you get started? It’s thrilling to select perhaps the most important dress you’ll ever wear in your life. But it can be an intimidating experience too. Everything can seem fraught with difficulties. You need to decide where to buy your dress. You also need to to choose the right style to fit and flatter your shape. Then, of course, there’s always the problem of budgeting. Here, we cover everything you need to know about buying wedding dresses. Now, you can be well-informed when you start shopping!

How Much Does The Average Person Spend On A Wedding Dress?

On average, a typical bride in the UK will spend around £1300 on their wedding dress. However, that doesn’t mean you won’t find a cheaper one that’s just as lovely. There’s an impressive array of different wedding dresses to choose from. So, whether you’re on a tight budget or want to break the bank, you can find a gorgeous gown starting from around £50 or going up to as much as £10,000 or even more.

How Much Do Wedding Dresses Cost In The UK?

The cost of a wedding dress in the UK will very much depend on where you decide to buy it from. It will also depend on the type of dress you want to wear.

Bridal Boutiques

If you head to a bridal boutique, you can expect to pay between £900 and £3000 for your dress. This is the option that most brides choose. These boutiques offer an extensive range of dresses by all kinds of designers. There are many factors that influence the cost of a wedding dress in a bridal boutique. Fabric quality, embroidery and detail are just three elements that could impact on the price.

There’s one way to get the price of your wedding dress down to a more affordable level, though. Samples sales are sometimes held by some bridal boutiques. So, you can get yourself a designer gown but at a discount. The gowns sold at these events are discounted because they’ve either been returned, overstocked or just haven’t been sold. Sometimes, small marks may be found on a dress, but in general, you’ll find them all in mint condition. At a sample sale, you can expect the price of a dress to be around 70% lower. This means that sou can grab a true bargain.

Couture Designer Wedding Dresses

If you decide to buy a couture designer dress, though, you can expect to pay more. The cost of one of these gowns will start at about £1600 and will usually be around £3000. Standalone or flagship stores typically stock these dresses. They are also sometimes found in specialist boutiques. Some couture gowns will cost far more – a Vera Wang dress can set you back by as much as £18,000!

Vintage Wedding Dresses

If you’re keen to buy a vintage dress for your wedding you can save a lot of money. You can expect prices to begin at about £300 if you’re looking in a genuine vintage or antiques store. But you could get an even cheaper bargain if you can find a second-hand vintage gown from a charity like Oxfam.

High Street Retailers

There is one more option to consider – shopping on the high street. This is a great option if you’re on a budget. You can often pick up a dress for between £50 and £1000. Many high street wedding gowns are fashion-forward. Contemporary styles are used as their inspiration. So if you’re looking for something on trend this could be the best choice for you.

Could I Hire A Wedding Dress?

Some brides choose to hire their dress and so save money in the long run. After all, are you ever going to wear it again? Hiring a dress can cost you as little as £50 and is also an eco-friendly choice. If you want a high-end dress from a designer brand you can still expect to pay only around £200. This is far cheaper than buying. That said, many brides still prefer to buy their own dress. They can then keep it as a lasting memento of the most special day of their lives. The choice is up to you.

Will I Need To Pay For A Boutique Appointment?

Many brides to be fail to take into account the hidden costs of buying their wedding dress. It’s important to remember that simply paying for the dress itself can be just the tip of a costly iceberg. One thing that you’ll need to bear in mind is that some bridal boutiques will charge you a fee for your appointment. Usually, this will be around £25-£35. This can come as an unwelcome surprise for brides who are already on a budget.

The good news is you may get that fee waived if you buy a dress from the store you visit. You may also find that some stores only charge for appointments at weekends. Alternatively, they may charge a fee if you want the store to yourself. So, it’s worth shopping around. If you can, make your boutique appointment for a weekday. You can save money if you aren’t bothered about sharing the experience with other brides who are also dress shopping. It could be better spent on other things for your big day!

What About Alterations?

It’s very rare for a dress to fit perfectly right off the peg. Often when you try on your perfect dress it won’t be perfect in every way. For example, it may be too long, or the straps may need to be taken up to flatter your bust. You may also need to have some cups sewn into the front of the dress. Or you may even need to have the sleeves taken up. These alterations can usually be carried out by a seamstress at the wedding boutique itself. But they won’t be done for free. You can expect these alterations to cost between £60 and £200. The amount will depend on the extent of alterations that need to be done.

What Is The Best Month To Buy A Wedding Dress?

You may have arranged your wedding for spring, summer, autumn or winter. But, there’s one time of year when we recommend shopping for your wedding dress – January. This month is the time when many people propose to their significant other. It’s also the time when new catwalk collections hit the stores. Sample sales are also popular in the month of January making this the perfect time to grab a bargain. So, what about if your wedding isn’t planned until much later in the year? We think it’s still worthwhile heading to the stores in the first month of the year. It’s the best way to get the lowest prices on your chosen gown.

What Are The Best Wedding Dress Websites?

Physically going to a bridal boutique to find your perfect wedding dress is a special experience. But it’s also perfectly possible to shop online thanks to a wealth of fantastic online bridal retailers. Some women prefer to shop from the comfort of their own home. So here are a few of the top choices:

David’s Bridal

This online store offers an extensive range with a wide range of styles to suit all occasions. Prices start at about £100 and go up to about £1500. So even if you’re on a tight budget you should find something here.

Catherine Deane

This is a great choice for fashionista brides. Featuring primarily draping and soft A-line gowns, this online retailer’s prices start at about £195.

Rime Arodaky

This Parisian designer offers a made-to-measure online service. Just choose your preferred gown, give your wedding date and send off your measurements. Your gown will be sent to you. You can expect to pay around 5000 Euros for this service. But there are ready to wear dresses available from just under 500 Euros.

Grace Loves Lace

If you want a boho gown, this site is perfect for you. Prices range from around £870 – £2600. If you want to see any of the dresses in person you could head to the London showroom.

Constellation Ame

If you want a stylish but fuss-free dress, this online boutique is ideal. The range comprises wrap-over, sheath and halterneck silk gowns, as well as separates in champagne and ivory tones. So, this is the store for less traditional brides. You can expect to pay between £329 and £2500 for your dress and bespoke alterations are available.

BHLDN

The dress stocked by this retailer come from a broad spectrum of designers. Of course, they have their own range too. Dress prices range from about £140 up to £2000 and you can also pick up matching accessories too.

House of Ollichon

Non-traditional brides will love the collection offered by this retailer which includes capes, bridal separates and jumpsuits. Prices begin at about £345 for a top or £1195 for a jumpsuit.

Net-A-Porter

Best known for high fashion ranges, this luxury shopping online retailer boasts bridal gowns too. Prices range from £400 up to £9000.

ASOS

This well-known online store isn’t just the perfect place to buy a casual outfit. It’s also a great bridal option for cheap dresses. Whether you want a ballgown or something flirty and short, you’ll be spoiled for choice here.

How Can I Hide My Belly In A Wedding Dress?

Every woman wants to look her best and feel confident in her wedding dress. So it isn’t surprising so many brides to be wonder how they can hide their belly on their big day. Perhaps you’re in the early stages of pregnancy and are worried about your stomach giving you away. Maybe you still have a “mum tum” and want to disguise it. Or maybe you’re naturally an apple shape and hate the way your rounded tummy looks, finding a dress that slims your midsection may be your top priority and there are several ways to disguise a larger tummy. Here are a few of the most common.

Choosing The Right Underwear

Elastic shapewear worn beneath your dress can distribute your belly fat more evenly across your middle. Shapewear comes in many varieties so you’re sure to find something that works well for you. It’s important to note, though, that shapewear must be properly fitted. This will ensure you avoid the all too common problem of it rolling down or up, or producing unsightly lumps and bumps in other areas.

Using Distractions

Draw attention away from your stomach by emphasising other areas of your body. Wear a low cut dress to draw the eye to your cleavage. Wear your hair in a voluminous style, or wear vibrant makeup that will distract from your problem zones. There are many ways you can draw the onlooker’s eye away from your larger areas.

Wear The Right Fabric

There are several weights and thicknesses of wedding dress fabric. A heavier material will cling onto your curves and make your waistline more noticeable. So choose a lighter fabric whenever possible. Stretch lace or satin will also make your stomach look larger so steer clear of these.

Pick The Right Cut

If you have a pear-shaped body never choose a sheath or mermaid dress. A ball gown or A-line dress will hide your stomach best. Also, choose a gown with a vertical pattern to streamline your figure and make you appear thinner. An empire line dress with a fitted bodice paired with a gathered skirt will skim your body gently. It will give you a high-waisted look. Meanwhile a princess cut dress will give your clean and long lines from hem to neckline. This also slims down your waistline.

Choose An Embellished Dress

Ruffles and folds can create a more full appearance for your dress to hide your stomach. Meanwhile sequins or lace will distract onlookers’ eyes and make them less drawn to your midsection. Alternatively, choose a dress with a train or full sleeves. This will also take the focus away from your waistline.

Wear A Belt

Wear a belt – you can minimise the appearance of your midsection by wearing a belt on your waistline. Choose a belt that is neither too thick nor too thin to achieve the most flattering effect. Alternatively, choose a dress that has a very defined waist paired with a flowing skirt. This will achieve the same effect neatly.

Improve Your Posture

If you slouch your abdominal muscles will loosen and this will make your stomach look larger. Make sure to stand tall and hold in your stomach and you’ll look slimmer when you walk down the aisle. If you choose a boned dress, this will help you to achieve the right position. It will hold your torso in a supportive way.

Choose A Patterned Dress

A dress with a delicate pattern will help to create a slimming effect. This works when compared with plain materials and block colours. A dress with lace patterns or fine embroidery across it will draw the eye. It will also distract attention from your problem stomach.

Choose The Right Neckline

You can effectively hide belly fat by wearing a sweetheart cut neckline or an off-the-shoulder style. When paired with an eyecatching necklace, it will work wonders to disguise your larger tummy. The right neckline draws onlookers’ eyes up towards your slimmer decolletage and collarbones rather than towards your stomach.

What Do You Wear Under Your Wedding Dress?

Although your focus is probably on choosing the ideal wedding dress for you, choosing the underwear to go beneath it is just as important. Many brides think that lacy lingerie that is delicate and sexy is the perfect choice for any bride, but actually, this may not be the right option for you. Comfort is often more important than style – remember you’ll be watched as you dress by several people and they’ll be helping you as you struggle into your gown, so you’ll want to choose underwear that isn’t too revealing and that you’re not embarrassed to show off.

Furthermore, remember that you’ll be wearing your outfit all day long, and at some point you’re sure to need to go to the bathroom, so choose underwear that is easy to take up and down too! There’s nothing more stressful than trying to pull up some very tight Spanx while you try to prevent your train from falling into the bowl!

The best type of underwear for you to choose will depend on the style of dress that you’ve selected as well as your own comfort levels and preferences. Here is a more in-depth guide to underwear options to suit each of the most popular wedding dress designs.

Strapless Gowns

Many women love to wear a strapless wedding dress, but whether you opt for a dress that is cut straight across or one with a sweetheart neckline, choosing a good bra to wear beneath it is important. If you are smaller chested, you could ask a seamstress to sew in padded cups to give you some support so you don’t need to wear a bra at all. Some strapless dresses come with boning pre-fitted into the bodice so it will hold up on its own, if yours doesn’t, though, a comfortable and well-fitting strapless bra will be necessary.

One other option is a bustier or corset under the gown. These not only support your bust but also cinch in your waist which is very appealing for larger brides or ones who feel that they lack the necessary curves to achieve the sex appeal they desire on their big day. Many bustiers and corsets will have boning in them for additional support and this can be uncomfortable when worn for long periods especially if the dress has boning fitted too, so bear this in mind when making your choice. Your primary concern when choosing a strapless dress is whether your chest has sufficient support – you don’t want to spend your big day pulling up your neckline as this is hardly the sophisticated look that every bride dreams of!

Backless Gowns

In the last few years backless dresses have become very popular and there are lots of styles to choose from. However, this cut of dress makes it hard to find underwear that fits properly beneath the low back. Fortunately, to accommodate this rising trend, accessories have been developed to make it easier to wear these styles. Double sided fashion tape and stick-on bras have appeared on shelves and can be a perfect choice under this type of gown. An adhesive bra will adhere onto the breasts, adding lift and fullness to your bust while also offering a little more support than wearing no bra at all. But, while they work well for smaller chested women, they aren’t ideal for a larger chested woman.

If you have a large bust and want to wear a backless gown, ask a seamstress to sew cups into the dress for you to give you a little support. Alternatively, sewing in a customised bodysuit, bustier or deconstructed bra will give you some support with no back showing, and this can give you the body confidence that you ned in your wedding dress. Meanwhile, double sided fashion tape can keep any unsecured sections of dress fixed to your body – especially at the sides and back.

A Low Necked Gown

A low cut dress will give your gown plenty of sensuality and allure but plunging necklines stop you from wearing a standard bra beneath. There are, however, special bras and low cut bodysuits that have been designed especially for wear beneath this type of neckline and that will give you enough support to ensure everything stays firmly in place all day long. While a bodysuit helps to smooth out the silhouette, it can make it hard to use the bathroom.

A low cut bra will work well with some plunging necklines, but if the neckline of your chosen dress is especially low finding a low enough bra could be difficult. If you look carefully in underwear stores and online you may be able to find a bra that has an invisible central panel which could work under a plunge neckline but this option isn’t for everyone and is usually only available in smaller cup sizes. Fortunately, most bridal salons will sew cups into your dress for an additional cost and you can then use plenty of double sided fashion tape to keep your dress in place on your big day for a flawless look.

Halter Or One Shoulder Gowns

Most halter neck wedding gowns also feature low-cut necklines. One shoulder gowns, meanwhile, typically have a higher neckline. If you’ve chosen a halter dress you’ll have to find a convertible or strapless bra which fits properly beneath your gown. Check your strapless bra fits well by jumping up and down to see if it slides about – you don’t want to be pulling your underwear into place on your wedding day.

Convertible bras come with straps that can be removed easily, so you can wear it as a halter neck bra or choose to go strapless on your big day. Most one shoulder gowns will work well with a strapless bra but make sure that when you’re trying your strapless bra on for size to choose one that is slightly tighter than your regular bra as it will then accommodate the lack of bra straps. However, don’t choose a bra that is so tight that it emphasises your back fat and makes you feel uncomfortable and restricted.

Trumpet Or Mermaid Gowns

Mermaid wedding gowns are closely fitted to your body between the knee and the chest, but flared outwards to the hemline. Trumpet dresses, meanwhile, fit closely to your body between mid thigh and chest before flaring gradually outward to the hemline. Both these fit and flare dresses can be very flattering since they are able to create a beautiful silhouette through the minimising and addition of curves in the most appealing places.

Because they’re very fitted to the body, though, finding the correct undergarments to go beneath them can be a challenge. You won’t want to have a visible panty line, so you’ll need to choose underwear that makes all your lines appear smooth. For this reason, a lot of brides who opt for this type of dress elect to wear some shapewear beneath their gown. Bodysuits or Spanx are perfect since shapewear will smooth everything down beneath your dress, giving you a slimmer and seamless look. You can find lots of types of shapewear on sale offering either maximal or minimal coverage, so choose the type that works best for you and makes you feel most comfortable.

Bear in mind, though, that if you choose shapewear that either ends beneath your bottom or at your thighs you may end up with visible panty lines under your dress. You can avoid this all too common problem by choosing underwear that ends close to the point where the dress begins flaring outward. Alternatively, you could choose a shapewear bodysuit with a thong cut as this too will avoid any visible panty lines. Another consideration is that, while shapewear can slim and smooth your lines, it does make it harder to go to the bathroom so if you’re planning to wear some form of shapewear under your dress have a plan in place for when the time comes to go to the toilet on your special day.

A Line And Ball Gowns

Ball gown and A-line styles are very popular wedding dress styles as they flatter everybody, making all brides feel just like a princess on their special day. Since these gowns flare outwards from the waist, they hide virtually all types of underwear so you can wear anything that makes you feel comfortable and supported. If you want you can sneak something blue into your underwear if you wish since no one can tell! If you choose a dress made from a more form-fitting material, choose panties that are seamless so nobody will see the kind of underwear you’ve put on. Remember, though, comfort is key – if you don’t usually wear thong underwear this isn’t a good time to start. Ball gown and A-line dresses can accommodate sexy lingerie like corsets, stockings and suspenders if you want to wear them.

Column And Sheath Gowns

Column style and sheath wedding gowns are extremely slinky styles and, thus, they’re also least forgiving. You’ll need to choose undergarments that are seamless and, if you’d like to keep everything smooth and tucked in beneath your gown you’ll need to select shapewear. Remember, too, that a bra will be quite visible under this kind of dress, so you may want to wear a stick-on bra or have a bra or cups sewn into the dress to create an invisible appearance. Flat lace or seamless cotton underwear works well under a sheath dress but try both on together to check they really are seamless. Wearing boy shorts or undergarments that go all the way down to the knees could also be a good option as they will make everything appear smoother too.

Despite all of the advice above, what you choose to wear beneath your wedding gown is really all about personal preference. Choose something that you feel comfortable in, whether that be something sexy or plain. Nude undergarments tend to be most invisible beneath a white dress – even though it may come as a surprise, in fact some white undergarments may actually be visible. Although shapewear might seem like a good choice for your special day, in logistic terms they can be inconvenient when using the bathroom. Finally, if you’re keen to surprise your new spouse with sexy underwear, you can always put it on after the ceremony!

Do You Wear A Bra Under Wedding Dresses?

Whether or not to wear a bra under your wedding dress depends on the type of dress you’ve chosen as well as how large your breasts are. If you are very small chested, you may prefer not to wear a bra if you are wearing a backless or low cut style. On the other hand, if you have larger breasts, you may want to find a way of supporting your chest, even if you’ve selected a low necked or low-backed style.

With so many different types of bra on the market, it’s almost always possible to find one that works under your chosen gown. As well as standard bras, you can find strapless, convertible, low fronted and stick-on varieties as well as bustiers and corsets. If none of these work for your chosen dress, you can always ask a seamstress to sew cups into your dress to give you extra support and padding.

Can I Wear A Thong To Try On Wedding Dresses?

The knickers you choose to wear when trying wedding dresses on need to be practical for the purpose. Choose underwear that is high waisted, seamless and a matching tone to your skin to prevent them being visible beneath your chosen gowns. If you wish, you could choose a thong that fits this criteria however if you don’t feel comfortable to wear a thong in front of other people, steer clear. There will be people watching you dress and undress in the bridal store and you want to enjoy the experience and not feel embarrassed.

Choose Knickers Like The Ones You’ll Wear On Your Big Day

The most important thing when choosing knickers to wear when trying on your dress is to pick ones that match the ones you’re going to wear on your big day. This could help you to find out which underwear works and which doesn’t under your selected gown. For example, you may think that big knickers are a perfect choice, but then you may find that they don’t work beneath the fitted dress you’ve chosen so this will tell you that you can’t wear them for your big day. Above all, make sure that you choose knickers that won’t come down if you pull down a tight dress – you almost certainly won’t want your private parts on display to everyone in the store!

Thongs Are Flattering

If you’re unsure whether or not to wear a thong for your dress fitting, bear in mind that thong underwear prevents your bottom from looking awkward and unflattering and can also help to avoid the dreaded VPL as well as guarding against moving around and bunching up under clothing. It’s important, though, to choose the right kind of thong. Choose one that is high waisted so it won’t be cut off around the bottom area and one that is seamless and flesh coloured. It’s a little known fact that underwear often shows up underneath a dress under certain lighting. Even if your chosen venue won’t have bright lighting, bear in mind that your photographer (and guests) may well be using their camera flash and you won’t want visible underwear on your precious wedding pictures.

Do I Need Spanx Under My Wedding Dress?

If you’re wondering whether you need to wear Spanx or shapewear under your wedding dress there’s a good chance that you’re not feeling 100% confident about your body. On your wedding day, it’s important that you feel your best and have complete confidence in your appearance so wearing shapewear could be a good choice for you. There are, however, some considerations to keep in mind before you rush to the store and buy the tightest and most fitted shapewear available.

Addressing Your Problem Zones

Shapewear can eliminate your muffin tops, trim your thighs, hide your back fat, boost your bottom and, of course, flatten your stomach. It’s no wonder, then, that shapewear is such a popular choice among brides to be. It can give you the sexy and sleek figure you desire on your special day, smoothing out bumps and lumps, eliminating panty lines and boosting your confidence. Even if you’re a slim bride, you may think that shapewear could be of benefit as it will get rid of any VPLs and give you a smooth silhouette. There is also shapewear designed to address all problem areas, so if you want to wear it for your wedding you can select a garment that helps to slim the area you feel least confident about. You will, though, need to consider the style of your wedding dress before you make your purchase.

If your gown is a princess style cut you could benefit from high waisted briefs that streamline the figure while ensuring a smoother finish to the legs. For an A-line gown, an underbust body suit could be the way forward since it will trim your tummy and back rolls while allowing you to wear the bra of your choice. For trumpet and mermaid gowns wearing some high waisted knee length shorts could be perfect since they will target your stomach and thighs together.

Get Professionally Fitted

When buying shapewear for your wedding day it’s always wise to go for a professional fitting so you can be certain of getting the correct size for you as well as expert advice about choosing a style that works well with your chosen wedding dress. You might also want to consider the season in which you’re getting married. A summer bride may not want to wear thick shapewear that makes them feel restricted and uncomfortable, so choosing shapewear in a lighter fabric could be the best course of action.

Consider Colour and Comfort

Choosing the correct colour shapewear is also important. A nude coloured garment is the best choice since it can be worn under any colour gown without being visible – something that cannot always be said of white undergarments. Choosing shapewear that is seamless is also important, particularly if your gown is a sheath or column style that is especially unforgiving in terms of what is visible beneath it.

There are a couple of other considerations too when deciding whether or not to wear shapewear. The first is whether you’re going to be comfortable. Remember that your wedding day lasts a long time and you don’t want to wear undergarments that will make you suffer all day long. Poor quality or ill-fitting shapewear can roll up or down and this too can cause problems on your wedding day – you don’t want to have to spend your special day tugging at your underwear!

Using The Bathroom

The other consideration to bear in mind is that you’re almost certainly going to need to use the bathroom at least once on your wedding day, and shapewear can be especially difficult to manage, especially when taking into account a long and possibly awkward to manage gown. If you want to wear shapewear under your gown, make sure you practice and have a plan in place for what you’re going to do when the time comes to go to the toilet!

Essentially, even though you may think that shapewear is a necessity, in fact it isn’t necessary under a variety of gowns. If yours has an inbuilt corset or boning, or has a full skirt you can probably get away with wearing normal underwear without requiring any additional support.

Do Wedding Dresses Have Built In Bras?

Some wedding dresses may come with inbuilt boning or a pre-fitted corset which eliminates the need for a bra. The boning or corsetry will give your breasts the support that they need so that you won’t need to find a suitable bra to wear beneath your gown. Many wedding dresses, though, do not. Fortunately, there is a solution to this problem if you’d rather avoid wearing a separate bra altogether or if your dress is cut in such a way as to make finding a suitable bra difficult. For example, if your chosen gown is backless or has a deep V-neckline, you may find that it’s much harder to find a bra to wear with it than you imagined.

The answer is to ask a seamstress to sew bra cups into your dress. This will give you a little extra support and if you choose padded cups it can give the illusion of fuller breasts if you’re on the small-chested side. On the other hand, if you have larger breasts you can have a deconstructed bra sewn into your dress. This will give your heavier bust much more support while eliminating the need to wear a separate bra with your gown.

Do You Wear Stockings With A Wedding Dress?

When you watch movies about weddings the bride is almost always wearing a pair of stockings and this may lead you to believe that stockings are the norm beneath any wedding gown. However, this isn’t necessarily the case. Some brides do like the sexiness of a pair of stockings and want to wear them for their special day. Others would prefer a different option – perhaps hold ups, tights or even to go bare-legged. There is no right or wrong option and you should choose whatever makes you feel comfortable.

The Pros Of Stockings

There are pros and cons to wearing stockings under your wedding gown. They will help to make your legs appear smooth and can give some colour to very pale-skinned legs which eliminates the need to tan. Low denier stockings are the best way to give a sheer and shiny appearance to the legs and add a touch of old-school glamour to your wedding outfit. Since they won’t bunch up at your waist and are far less restrictive than tights they can be a comfortable option and since they allow ventilation to your lady areas they are better for hygiene, especially during the summer.

The Cons Of Stockings

You will need to wear a suspender belt though, and this can present challenges if you’re wearing a very tight-fitting dress as it will create additional lumps and bumps. Stay-ups could be an option in such cases, but bear in mind that not every pair will actually stay in place all day long and you may not want to spend your special day hiking your stockings up!

Should I Wear Tights?

If you decide against stockings you could opt for tights instead. These are an especially good choice if you want a little more support for your thighs, buttocks and stomach as control top tights will slim you and hold you in place all day. Tights are also a good choice under a tight dress as they can help in creating a smoother silhouette.

Tights also represent an easier option when it comes to putting them on and taking them off as you won’t need to fiddle with the complicated fastenings on a suspender belt, and there’ll be no worries about them falling down while you’re moving around. Although nylon can present some hygiene concerns, you’ll only be wearing them for a day so it shouldn’t be too problematic. Also, if you are holding a winter wedding, tights will keep you warm while during the summer they will keep your feet and thighs from chafing. One thing to remember is that if you’re wearing sandals you’ll need to choose toeless tights to avoid unsightly seams.

What Is The Most Flattering Wedding Dress Style?

There is some debate about which wedding dress style is the most flattering, and essentially it will depend on your body shape. If you have a boyish figure, for example, you should choose a different style to someone with an hourglass or pear shape.

If you lack natural curves of your own, a mermaid, trumpet style or sheath gown will give you the curviness that you seek, making it the most flattering option for you. On the other hand, if you have a larger stomach or a larger bottom half a gown with a looser skirt and a fitting high-waist can be the most flattering choice. If in doubt about which dress will flatter you best, the A-Line style is almost certainly going to be the one for you. Universally flattering, it complements every body type. This style is fitted down to the waist before flaring outwards into a A-shape thus creating a waistline that is slimmer whole also flattering the chest. It is also a useful way for petite brides to look taller thanks to its overall slimming effect.

What Kind Of Dress Makes You Look Slimmer?

If you have a large stomach it can be difficult to know which kind of dress to choose. In many cases, the A-line gown will be the best option since it will skim gently over your tummy and create a flattering silhouette. However, with the correct shapewear, you may want to consider a mermaid gown if you are an apple shape since this style emphasises the hips and waist instead of narrowing it, contouring our body from the knee to the chest. This can disguise a larger stomach if this is your only problem area and you have small thighs and hips.

Used Wedding Dresses vs New Wedding Dresses – What’s The Best Option?

There are pros and cons to buying both new and used wedding dresses. Of course, the biggest benefit to buying brand new is that the dress will be yours and yours alone, and has been tailored to suit your specifications. On the downside, though, it will be a more costly option. If you’re on a tight budget, you might want to consider a used dress as it will help you save a lot of money, even if you go for a designer style. Remember, too, that a used dress has probably only been worn once, so it won’t have been worn out by any means! Also, if you’re an eco-conscious bride, you can rest assured that you’re doing your bit for the environment by re-using a dress and eliminating the need for a brand-new one to be made!

Wedding Dress Lengths Explained

Wedding dresses come in an array of lengths and the descriptions can prove to be quite confusing to the uninitiated bride-to-be! Here is a quick overview of some of the most common:

Floor Length Wedding Dresses

As you might imagine from the name, floor length wedding dresses have a hemline that drapes down to the floor. These gowns are perfect for all types of wedding dress silhouette since the length is flattering and elongates your body. If you’re having an outdoor ceremony, though, you might want to avoid a floor-length dress since it can drag on the ground. Rather, choose a full length dress or, alternatively, a gown that has a train which will give you the formality of floor length dresses with no dragging along behind you.

Long Wedding Dresses

A long, full-length gown will have a hemline that hovers around 1” above the floor. If you’re having a beach or outdoor wedding or just want to be a little more mobile on your big day without losing any formality, this is the perfect length for you. A full length hemline will complement a flowing A-line dress or a ballgown. Avoid any figure-hugging silhouettes though like trumpet or mermaid styles since these shapes will look their best if the gown has additional length to emphasise the cut’s curves.

Tea Length Wedding Dresses

Sometimes known as midi length, a tea length gown will have a hemline that will stop somewhere above the ankle but below the knee. Full, playful skirts and unusual necklines like Bardot off-the-shoulder styles work well with dresses cut to this length. Since these dresses are shorter, having details like these will add more opulence to a gown that would otherwise be casual. Tea length dresses are similar to swing dresses and thus work well for vintage-themed weddings. If you’re a petite bride you might want to avoid this length though since it cuts through your legs and makes you look even shorter.

Short Wedding Dresses

A gown that stops above your knee will work well if you’re having an informal, casual celebration since the look is quite casual. You can keep your style classy and elegant by avoiding a dress that is too layered or too figure-hugging. If you choose a gown with longer sleeves this will balance the amount of skin you expose for a demure look. A short dress could be ideal for a destination wedding.

Knee Height Wedding Dresses

Similar to a short wedding dress, a knee length gown will skim your knees. Available in many styles, you can opt for a figure hugging sheath-style dress or something more A-line since the dress is slightly longer and can be more accommodating. For older brides who are looking for a more casual style without looking like mutton dressed as lamb, a knee height dress is perfect. This kind of dress works well for both outdoor weddings and more casual indoor celebrations and since not too much skin is on display you can choose from a sleeveless or sleeved style.

Wedding Dress Necklines Explained

Not only are there many different cuts and lengths of wedding dress for you to choose from, there are also numerous different necklines to pick from too, adding even more complexity to the process of choosing the ideal style for you. Different styles work best with different cuts of dress, and also flatter different physiques, so here we look at some of the most common so that you can make a well-informed choice.

The V-Neckline

V-neck dresses are so-named because of their V-shaped cut. They are ideal for anyone who wants to make their torso look longer, so they’re ideal for petite brides or brides with a larger cleavage. If you want to be a little more daring you can go for a dress with a dramatically dipped V, but there are also styles available with a more slight V-cut, which work well for ladies with a smaller bust. A v-neck dress will often have straps or sleeves for additional support and flair.

The Sweetheart Neckline

One of the most popular necklines for wedding dresses is the sweetheart cut. This shape resembles the top of a heart and it is known to accentuate the cleavage, while also giving your body a leaner and longer look. The sweetheart neckline is universally flattering as it draws the eyes upwards and so disguises any unwanted lumps and bumps around the stomach or thighs. It also works well for ladies with a more boyish figure as it can create the illusion of a fuller chest. If you like the sweetheart style but have a large cleavage or just want to be a little more modest, the semi-sweetheart cut is ideal, since it has the same appearance but falls higher on your chest.

The Round Neckline

Again, as you can guess from the name, the round neckline is just that – round in shape. Traditionally, a round neckline would neither be cut too high or too low, so it would fall above the cleavage for a modest and demure look. This style is ideal for brides with a smaller chest since its higher cut can make those with a large bust look even bustier. It also works especially well with tight-fitting styles like the sheath or the mermaid cut. In general, a round neck has quite a plain appearance and therefore works best with elegant yet simple gowns.

The Boat Neckline

Made popular by the actress Audrey Hepburn who wore this neckline in the movie Sabrina, the boat neckline is sometimes known as the “Bateau” style from the French word for boat. It is also sometimes known simply as the “Sabrina” after the iconic movie. This style has a vintage appeal and was recently worn by Meghan Markle which has sparked its comeback. High and wide in shape, this neckline grazes along the collarbone to show some skin while usually being accompanied by supportive sleeves. If you’re having a vintage-themed wedding, the boat neckline is an ideal choice for you since it perfectly captures the essence of the past.

The Strapless Style

A strapless style can have either a straight neckline or a curving sweetheart-style cut. A strapless gown is ideal if you want to emphasise your collarbones and draw attention to your shoulders and face however it can be problematic if you don’t have the right support in your dress, especially if you’re larger busted. Make sure to choose a strapless dress with boning or corsetry if you have a bigger chest as this will give you the support you need, and whatever your chest size, make sure that you feel secure in your gown as you don’t want to pull it up all day long on your special day!

The Square Neckline

As you might imagine, the square neckline looks like a square with an angular silhouette which rests on your shoulders. Sometimes known as an empire neckline, this style is both elongating and elegant. It works with both long and short cuts. The open neckline may be cut lower or wider to show more shoulder if you wish, or to give the look a more contemporary spin. If you want to highlight your bust and neck while simultaneously slimming your shoulders, a square neckline will work well for you.

The Halter Neckline

Halter tops have long been fashionable for formal and everyday wear and now they have moved into the arena of the bridal gown. This style of neckline will accentuate the shoulders while offering a contemporary look which can range from sexy to modest. If you choose a halter neck with keyhole detailing this will give even more flair.

There are several other necklines that you can find on wedding dresses today including:

  • The straight neckline for a simple yet pretty look.
  • Plunging cuts that dip very low down on the cleavage.
  • The illusion neckline that pairs a plunging cut with soft and sheer fabric like lace or tulle. It gives the impression of exposure without actually revealing too much skin.
  • The high neckline worn by icons like Grace Kelly which provides a lot of coverage while also being extremely sophisticated.
  • The 1-shoulder neckline which gives brides and asymmetrical and quirky look. It also draws attention to the face and away from problem areas like the stomach or thighs.
  • The Bardot neckline which is perfect for boho, beach and destination weddings. It is quite informal while gracefully framing the face and accenting the collarbones and shoulders.
  • The Scoop neckline with its U shaped silhouette. This is perfect for lengthening the neck and highlighting the collarbones. It creates a more sleek and elongated look that is universally flattering.
  • The Jewel neckline which rests above the collarbones to create a flattering elongated look that highlights the bust. Sometimes, the jewel neckline will have beading to create the impression of a necklace. This neckline creates the effect of a wider and larger upper torso. This is perfect for brides who have narrow shoulders and a small chest.
  • The Queen Anne neckline gives a regal look that exudes vintage romance.

The first time you look at wedding dresses you will probably be amazed by the sheer array of different materials. Wedding dresses today come in an enormous variety of fabrics and while some flatter certain physiques, others should be avoided. Here, we take a closer look at some of the most popular wedding dress materials. This will help you to have a good idea of which ones are likely to suit you.

Lace

Arguably, lace is the most popular fabric for wedding dresses thanks to its diversity in weight, texture, embellishments and patterns. Lace is also popular across most cultures since it is feminine, romantic and delicate. It is also supple enough to work perfectly in all shapes. Woven from cotton or silk, lace is typically used to add a vintage or romantic vibe to a dress. It can frequently be seen used as an overlay fabric.

There are lots of styles of lace out there. Some of the most common include:

Alencon (with its bold motifs and corded trim)

Chantilly (an open and highly detailed lace;)

Venise (a more textured and heavy lace)

Because lace is so versatile, it works perfectly for wedding dresses for every season. Although heavier weaves such as Venise would work best for a winter wedding. Lace requires a lining fabric or under support from organza or tulle to keep a full shape.

Jersey

Jersey fabric is soft, stretchy and comfortable to wear . It is made from an elastic knit material which has crosswise and lengthwise ribs for more flexibility. It’s a great choice for a dress with a sheath-style shape. It’s also perfect for brides who are pregnant and require more comfort.

Polyester

Synthetic and affordable, polyester is able to be woven into virtually all fabrics. Polyester satin represents a great alternative to silk since it isn’t so delicate and resists wrinkles more effectively. Polyester is suitable for all-year wear but during the summer it is less comfortable since it’s not very breathable. Thanks to its durability and constructed quality though, it is a good choice for a highly structured dress.

Chiffon

Chiffon is a light fabric and this lends it well to use in layers or as an overlay. It is also perfect for accent details because of its transparent and sheer style. Chiffon is made from either woven rayon or silk. It is a matte fabric that lends an ethereal and floaty vibe to a dress. This makes it the perfect material for boho brides and beach weddings. Thanks to its airy and light structure, it’s also ideal for summer weddings. Meanwhile the weightless appearance it creates is perfect for goddess styles and diaphanous silhouettes. Bear in mind, though, that this fabric is very delicate and can therefore easily be snagged, pulled or frayed.

Tulle

Tulle is characterised by a gauzy and sheer open weave similar in appearance to netting. It has an airy vibe however it is able to be ruched if more structure needs to be added. Since tulle is delicate it’s frequently used to line gowns and can also be used to make the veil. It is available in different levels of stiffness and different weights. This material has long been popular as a bridal fabric. Today it is commonly incorporated into illusion styles with their sexy barely there necklines, sleeves and cutouts. Typically inexpensive and lightweight, it’s also used in lace designs and is suitable for year-round wear. It does snag easily though, so this should be borne in mind.

Satin

For many years, satin was most brides’ fabric of choice for their special gown thanks to satin’s sheen and drape. Smooth and heavy from the nylon and silk fibres used to create its high thread count, satin is a very traditional dress fabric . Thanks to its durability it’s ideal for wear all year round. There are, however, several types of satin. If you’re marrying during the winter, a Duchess satin is thicker and more suited to a cool climate. Sexy and luxurious, satin can be extremely supportive. It lends itself well to more constructed designs such as ballgown or ruched styles. The downside to satin dresses, though, is the ripple and wrinkle factor and this is unavoidable with this fabric.

Elastane

Elastane is used in knit fabrics to give them extra stretch. Sometimes called Lycra or Spandex, elastane is actually a generic term. It is used for describing a fabric that is exceptionally elastic. All elastane fibres are man-made and cannot be used on their own to create a material. Rather, they’re used alongside other yarns in order to make a fabric like cotton or polyester. The great thing about elastane is that it stretches and then goes back into shape easily. It can even be stretched to seven times its normal size without being spoiled. This makes it a great choice for pregnant brides who need a more comfortable wedding dress. It will easily stretch over their bump – ideal if you’re buying your dress at the beginning of your pregnancy and have no idea how large you’ll get by your big day!

Wedding Dress Size Types Explained

When you go to buy a wedding dress you’ll need to be aware that there are three main size categories.

Regular

The first is a “regular” size. Depending on the boutique this could be a wide variety of sizes. It could be anything from a UK 4 or 6 up to a UK 14, 16, 18 or 20. Nevertheless, it’s important to bear in mind that all wedding dress designers and bridal brands size their gowns differently. They work to different size charts and using different models so comparing one brand with another is virtually impossible. You may find that you can fit easily into a size 8 gown from one brand. But you may struggle to fasten a size 12 from another. This is something that confuses and often upsets brides. So it’s important to go shopping in the mindset that a size is just a number. Remember that it doesn’t reflect your actual normal dress size.

Most wedding dresses will run small. So if you usually wear a 10, you’ll probably need a 12 or even a 14 for your wedding dress. If you consider yourself to be an average size, you should look in the “regular” range of a bridal store. If you’re at the upper end of the spectrum though you may want to look at plus size ranges. They may offer you a more flattering outfit and a better experience.

Plus Size

There isn’t any single wedding dress sizing chart. So, it’s almost impossible to tell you what size “plus size” begins at. Ifyou shop in a plus size wedding gown range you won’t usually find a standard size wedding dress made bigger. A plus size wedding dress will be made differently and not every wedding dress will be available in plus size. Do you usually wear plus size clothing? Then you should seek out a store or boutique that specialises in plus size wedding gowns. You’re sure to find something that fits and flatters your shape. You may also feel more confident going to this type of store. This is because you can be confident that sizes will be available for you to try on. This is something that cannot be guaranteed in a mainstream bridal outlet.

Maternity

These days, many brides are already pregnant when they walk down the aisle. So the wedding dress industry has had to accommodate this. Luckily, there are numerous ranges that now offer beautiful maternity wedding gowns and some that even specialise in this field. A maternity wedding dress won’t just be a regular wedding dress cut larger around the stomach. It will have been designed to flatter a growing bump and will often be made of a stretchy material. This will ensure it can accommodate different sizes of bump. After all, not all women grow at the same rate or to the same size.

Best Places To Buy Affordable Wedding Dresses

If you’re on a budget and need an affordable but beautiful wedding dress you’ll need to know where to shop. Here are some of the best places to get your hands on a gorgeous gown that won’t break the bank:

Alie Street London

This retailer stocks beautiful ready to wear wedding gowns made from sensuous satins, romantic lace and gorgeous embroidery. There is something in the collection for every bride. You’ll find retro inspired, vintage and classic styles that are made in the UK.

ASOS

A big name fashion brand for everyday clothing, ASOS also stocks a wide range of lovely bridal dresses. There are lots of different styles to choose from. You’ll find fashion forward wedding jumpsuits, boho style gowns and plunging sexy dresses. There’s something to suit every taste and all at affordable prices.

Hebeos

This retailer offers a variety of lovely fashionable wedding dresses that exude high quality at a more affordable cost. Intimate service, tailor made designs and unique styles are standard here.Hebeos’s wedding dresses are eye catching and splendid, as well as available in several colours.

Ivy-Oak

Offering a range of beautiful yet affordable wedding gowns, Ivy-Oak’s collection centres around simple and timelessly elegant pieces. Perfect for casual weddings and more formal celebrations alike, there is also a maternity range for pregnant brides.

JJs House

This online retailer offers an enormous selection of wedding dresses suitable for wear to all venues. Are you planning a destination wedding overseas? Or are you arranging a formal do at your local church? Either way, you’re sure to find something in your style and in your price bracket here. There are dresses in all fabrics to suit different seasons and in a range of styles to flatter every figure. That means you’ll be spoiled for choice on this website.

John Lewis & Partners

John Lewis & Partners is a household name. As you may expect, you can find an enormous range of gorgeous wedding dresses for any style of celebration here. Their collection that includes inspirational designs from Phase Eight, Adrianna Papell and Raishma. Do you want a sheath dress with pearl and lace embellishments? A vintage style floaty gown or a bohemian dress? Whatever your style, you won’t be disappointed here.

Joybetty

Are you a bride on a tight budget? Then you’re going to love Joybetty’s selection of affordable gowns to suit every taste. With dresses costing as little as £70, you’re sure to find a gorgeous gown to impress. Every style is represented here. You’ll find everything from knee length dresses to full length ball gowns. This makes this collection a great choice whatever type of celebration you’re planning.

Lalamira

This online wedding dress boutique offers all kinds of styles to pick from at prices that every bride can afford. Do you want a dramatic look or something less formal? Either way you’ll find gorgeous fabrics and lovely cuts to fit and flatter. Mermaid dresses, A-line gowns and tea length dresses can all be found here in a broad spectrum of sizes.

Light In The Box

This online global retailer delivers its products worldwide. While it may be best known for its home products, in fact it also boasts an impressive array of lovely wedding dresses at affordable prices too. Choose from a range of styles and fabrics to suit every style to impress on your big day.

Monsoon UK

The Monsoon wedding range is exclusively designed in London and has been designed to exude modern romance. The Monsoon brand has long been associated with feminine elegance and sophistication with a quirky edge. Their wedding dresses are no different. This makes them a perfect choice for brides on the budget who want to look gorgeous in a gown from the high street.

TBDress

TBDress is known for its cheap wedding dresses without compromising on style. It has an impressive collection of gowns in all styles and colours. If you want timeless chic elegance for your special day, you’re sure to find something affordable at this online retailer. There’s sure to be a gown will catch the eye of all your guests as you walk down the aisle.

Tiffany Rose

Are you a pregnant bride wondering what to wear on your big day? Thenyou need look no further than Tiffany Rose’s impressive collection. Their complete range of maternity bridalwear encompasses modern and classic styles alike. Many have a vintage twist, All are made beautifully so that pregnant brides can look elegant and gorgeous on their big day.

Finding Your Local Wedding Dress Shop

Now you have all the information that you need to get started with your wedding dress shopping. You need to know how to go about finding the perfect wedding dress shop in your local area. The good news is that it couldn’t be easier to find bridalwear shops near you. Simply check out My Wedding Suppliers lists of bridalwear stores in every locality. iI’s the quickest and easiest way to locate your nearest boutiques. You’re sure to find the stunning gown of your dreams!