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How to Find Your Dream Wedding Dress
Weddings
May 2022
Reading time 3 Minutes

We meet Claire, owner of The Bridal Box Boutique in Slaithwaite, an independent bridal shop where each bride receives complete and undivided attention to ensure their appointment is relaxed, fun and informative

We ask Claire for her expert advice on the do’s and don’ts on choosing a dress.
Anghel  by  Nicole  Milano. Anghel by Nicole Milano

Claire  takes  time  to  get  to  know  each  bride  when  they  arrive  in  her  boutique,  in  order  to  help  her  understand  their  likes  and  dislikes,  and  makes  sure  that  with  longer  than  usual  appointments,  brides  don’t  feel  rushed  into  choosing  their  dress.  The  boutique  may  be  small,  but  it  has  a  great  selection  of  designers  and  dresses,  and  Claire’s  experience,  attention  to  detail  and  determination  to  ensure  it  is  a  totally  enjoyable  experience,  makes  it  the  perfect  place  to  find  the  dress  of  your dreams.

What should a bride-to-be consider before their appointment?
Come  with  an  open  mind  and  be  prepared  to  let  your  stylist help you on your dress journey. You may have a pre-conceived idea of what you want based on what looks nice on a model with fantastic photos from a photoshoot. But in reality, your personal style and what actually suits you could be completely different, and it may throw you off course if you try your ‘picture perfect’ dress on – and then not like it! I always say to brides prior to the their appointment – just relax, look forward to it and I’ll help you work through it all and narrow down the search. Because I offer longer than average  appointment  times  (up  to  three  and  half  hours),  there’s lots of time to discuss style, try as many dresses on as  needed,  and  really  drill  down  on  what’s  important  to  you as a bride.

How should a bride-to-be approach choosing a dress?
I cannot emphasise enough that choosing your dress should be based on your gut instinct! If your gut is telling you it’s the right dress then grab it and relish in the celebration (and relief) of having found your dream dress. If you’re not sure, or you go away and think about it and you don’t dream about it all night, then it’s not the one. If the process has been done properly, following your appointment you should have a better idea of your own personal style and you can keep looking with that in mind. A good question to always ask yourself is, ‘do I generally make decisions based on logic or emotion?’. If you generally make decisions based on logic then you may find that you don’t get the tears and the overwhelming emotion of having found the one – but don’t worry, it just means you approach your decision making in a different way to emotional thinkers. Often logical thinkers get ‘the moment’ when their dress arrives in the boutique as it proves their logical choice was correct and that’s when the emotion hits them.

Cheyenne  by  Lazaro. Cheyenne by Lazaro

As an expert, what are the essentials to consider when choosing the dress?
Honestly? It’s about the way it makes you feel more than the specifics of  a  particular  dress.  That  will  pale  into  insignificance  if  the  dress  feels right. Wedding dresses are designed to look good on you so it’s easy to love them all! But when you’re in a fitting room feeling like you  don’t  want  to  take  the  dress  off  until  after  your  wedding  day,  then  it’s  definitely  the  one.  Think  about  essentials  and  details  of  a  dress by all means – the train length, pockets, the weight of fabric, whether it will suit the venue – but the amount of brides that have been  in  my  boutique  and  said  they  don’t  want  a  sparkly  ballgown  and  walk  out  with  exactly  that  is  crazy!  I  do  smile  now  every  time  someone  says  that  because  trust  me  –  whatever  you  choose  it  will  just work on the day if it feels right!

What do you think is the biggest mistake brides make?
It’s  not  really  a  mistake  on  the  bride’s  part,  but  the  biggest  issue  can  be  being  afraid  to  say  no  in  a  sales  environment.  Brides  should  stay  strong  and  not  be  led  by  sales  pressure  or  discounts  if  they  decide  today.  Don’t  get  me  wrong,  if  it  is  the  right  dress  then  take  advantage  of  it,  but  you  might  well  regret  buying  a  dress  simply  because  you  were  pushed  into  it.  There’s  a  lot  of  information around at the minute about pressure selling in retail environments, and unfortunately bridal shops are sometimes no different.  If  it’s  not  right,  walk  away  and  think  about  it.  If  you  miss  the  dress  and  can’t  stop  thinking  about  it,  you  can  always  go back. It’s so important that you choose the right dress in your own  time.  I  get  a  lot  of  brides  who  end  up  in  this  situation  and  they feel embarrassed to be starting their search again, but if the shop  you  have  chosen

What do you see as the biggest trends for wedding dresses in 2022? 
Big puffy sleeves are back. But with such a modern twist they’ll make you excited. We have some amazing ones in our new Spring Tara Keely by Lazaro collection and I’m so excited. We’ve just chosen our newest Rosa Clara collection and it has some wonderful surprises; feminine trouser suits and Grecian elegance are making an appearance so get ready for September when they arrive! Big leg splits are also making an appearance, definitely fashion-forward but still elegant and classy – what more could we ask for!

Claire’s three favourite dresses:

Tessa  with  Overskirt  from  Lucia  by  Allison  Webb. ‘So fun and flirty whilst remaining wholeheartedly bridal.’
Anghel  by  Nicole  Milano. ‘So ethereal and romantic, with detachable sleeves, you just cant help but love her.’
Cheyenne  by  Lazaro.  ‘The  sparkle  is  unreal.  It  doesn’t  get  much better than this in terms of a statement piece!’


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