Bride Debate: Where to find the perfect wedding dress
12 Dec 2019
When it comes to your wedding dress, how do you find the one? Bride editors, Amanda Griffiths (magazines) and Sarah Harris (digital), did it two different ways
Finding the gown is often the first thing on a girl's to-do list but how do you track down the right one?
Shop locally, says Amanda Griffiths who eventually found her gown at home in Somerset
"Finding my dress was the thing that most concerned me about the wedding. I see so many in my job, what if I changed my mind?
"For years I'd been looking lovingly at a beautiful Sassi Holford advert in magazines - I thought the dress featured, called Carmen, was the one I wanted. At that time no boutiques in or around Norwich, where I now live, stocked Sassi Holford gowns but I knew she had a boutique in Taunton, Somerset - just down the road from where I originate. I booked an appointment but also made sure I went to Norfolk boutiques too, as I knew a 300-mile trip for dress fittings and to collect the gown, might be a bit much.
"At the appointment in Taunton, the first dress I tried was Carmen; it was nice but didn't give me that feeling. To be honest, none of the dresses in the four boutiques I went to did that. In despair, I asked my consultant at Sassi Holford what was wrong and she reassured me not every bride gets that feeling... phew!
"In the end it was a So Sassi dress called Ava that I couldn't stop thinking about and I knew then it was for me. Travelling for fittings and to collect her was worth it and I ended up buying my bridesmaids' dresses in the South West, meaning I could pick up both in one trip."
Above: Amanda bought her gown at Sassi Holford in Taunton, Somerset (Lisa Aldersley Photography)
Buy online, says Sarah Harris who ordered her bespoke dress online after visiting the designer's showroom
"I had my heart set on one designer - the Australian brand Grace Loves Lace. As soon as I was engaged, I booked an appointment at the Grace Loves Lace London showroom and selected five dresses from the website I wanted to try on. I was assigned a personal stylist who took all of my measurements, as every dress is bespoke.
"When it came to deciding which dress was the one, I surprised myself by choosing a halter-neck style that wasn't my first choice. However, I wanted to be doubly sure about my decision so I visited a local boutique to try on different gowns. This made my mind up... I was set on the Grace Loves Lace dress.
"I then contacted my Grace Loves Lace personal stylist and she sent me clear instructions on how to order the dress online so it was made to my measurements. The entire process, from ordering my dress to it being handmade and then shipped from Australia directly to my door, took approximately three months.
"The experience could not have been smoother and I received emails advising on each stage. I was so happy with my dress when it arrived and I loved wearing it on my big day.
"If you're buying online, it's wise to try to find a stockist so you can try the dress on first. Make sure your measurements are exact and speak to the customer service team before you buy to get your questions answered."
Above: Sarah ordered her Grace Loves Lace dress online after visiting the London boutique (Nick Murray Photography)
What we agree on: Finding the perfect dress can be daunting, so take your time and try on all styles. The design you think you love from pictures in magazines or social media might disappoint you, while a dress you hardly glance at could be the one.