Finding a Wedding Dress Can Be Overwhelming—This Is Where to Start

Firstly, Congrats! If you’re reading this, it’s highly likely you’ve recently just experienced one of the most exciting moments of your life: the big proposal. Whether it’s just happened or you’re settling into being a fiancé after a few months, you’re probably still in that blissful bubble of celebrating with friends and family and perhaps slowly starting to think about where and when you want the nuptials to be. 

From experience, I found the most stressful time to be a few months in, when the scope of decisions you have to make suddenly hits and you realise you’ve probably never done this before (plan a wedding that is) and have zero idea where to start. Well, that’s where we come in. 

You‘ll want to start with the venue and date, so pin these down as soon as possible as your decorations—and dress—will sometimes depend on the vibe of the setting you choose, Rock My Wedding is a great source of inspiration. My advice would be to think about the photographer next, especially if there’s one you’ve got your heart set on from the off. I found this was the supplier that got booked up the furthest in advance. Then you’re on to the fun stuff—food, flowers and, of course, the dress. 

As this is our area of expertise, we thought we’d round up some of the most exciting, unique and under the radar dress designers of the moment to help kick off your search, along with some insider tips to help you cruise through the whole process feeling completely relaxed (that’s the plan, anyway).

If you’re stumped for what style might be your thing, make your first appointment at a multi-brand store like The Wedding Gallery. Not only will you get the whole spoiling treatment, but they also have a huge range from simple and understated Charlie Brear numbers to, well, Oscar de la Renta and Vera Wang—there’s no harm in trying, right? And that’s my next tip. Try, try and try some more to get an idea of which cuts, fabrics and styles suit you—it may differ from the designs you had in mind.

If it’s a well-known designer style you’re after, keep an eye out for trunk shows, sample sales and even dress resale websites like Still White, especially if the dress you set your heart on is from a previous season. This is how Penny Goldstone found her Carolina Herrera number above, after all. Last but not least, if you’re really struggling, why not call in the help of White Dossier, the bridal styling concierge service responsible for helping fashion girls like Gemma Boner and Ariana Mateen source their wedding day wardrobes—by the looks of theirs, you won’t regret it. 

Shop Wedding Dresses

For Boho Brides

Try: Grace Loves Lace, Made With Love

For Classic Brides

Try: Monique Lhuillier, Mira Zwillinger

For Understated Brides

Try: Charlie Brear, Andrea Hawkes

For Modern Brides

Try: Rime Arodaky

For Fashion Brides

Try: Emilia Wickstead, Cecilie Bahnsen

For Indecisive Brides

Photo:

@emilyjdawes

Try: Emma Beaumont

If you have a very specific idea of what you want your dream dress to look like, or if you’ve tried on hundreds and still can’t find the perfect one, why not try a bespoke service like Emma Beaumont (the fashion insider’s current go-to) and design your dress yourself? All your stress will melt away after a meeting with the lovely Emma herself, and don’t worry—it’s not as expensive as you may think.