What to Expect from a Bridal Appointment

by | Fashion Wisdom, Wisdom


Designer Bridal House
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Photo by Emma Barrow Photography

Congratulations, you’re engaged! Now what? The search for the perfect wedding gown can seem very daunting at first, but it doesn’t need to be!

Start the Process Early

In the order of wedding planning, it should usually go like this: Venue, Photographer, Dress. The dress should be one of the things you start first, not only because of the time that it takes to make, but also the time it may take for you to choose. It can take roughly 6 months for any gown to arrive in our store, and then we like to allow for 6-8 weeks for alterations.

Once you have the venue booked, it will help to solidify the overall tone of the day and help you make a better decision.  Ideally, you should start your search a year out from your wedding date. Starting the process early may seem keen, but it gives you that extra peace of mind when you know you’ve ticked one big item off your list!

Decide on your Budget

The typical budget one sets for their dress is 10% of their overall wedding budget. But this can fluctuate of course, based on how high a priority your gown is for you. I always tell my brides to settle on a ‘scary’ number, one that they don’t want to go beyond, and then an ideal price-range to keep in mind as they’re shopping. And don’t be afraid to let your consultant know of your budget upfront – it will help them in making your gown selections and ultimately leading you to the perfect dress! Don’t be shy, there is no right or wrong number, just make sure alterations and accessories factor into it.

The Bridal Appointment

When you’re ready to get started, you can book most of your appointments online! For your first appointment, we tend to recommend trying a variety of silhouettes and styles if you’re not sure what will suit you. This first appointment is about honing in on features you like, and potentially locking in a few favourites.

We recommend bringing 1 to 2 friends or family members whose opinions you trust. Too many opinions can overwhelm the bride and lead to a stressful day of shopping!

I typically recommend visiting 2-3 bridal shops in your search. That way, you’re not overwhelmed but you’ve seen plenty of options. When it comes down to deciding, don’t be afraid to go with your gut in the first appointment! If you’re really not sure, always book a second appointment to have another look with fresh eyes.


Bridal sizing is very different to traditional, ready-to-wear sizing and this can stress some brides out. Once you have decided on a gown, your stylist will explain the process. If your gown is made-to-measure, they will be taking all your measurements and the gown will arrive to your specifications. If it is made to a standard size, your bust, waist, and hip measurements will be taken and you will be ordered the size closest to matching these. If the gown comes in slightly off, do not panic! That is exactly what alterations are for!


Alterations can be intimidating, but when else do you have a garment custom fit to you? When you arrive for your fitting, a tailor will evaluate the fit, pin where necessary changes need to be done, and ask you pertinent questions such as heel height for shoes. Usually, they’ll take it in or let it out, add cups, fix the hem and add a bustle. You will usually have 2-3 fittings, and don’t forget to ALWAYS try on your dress after the last fitting before your big day!

Keep in mind is that your gown is not made of magic. It will bend and crease when you move your body, just as all garments do. Communicate well with your seamstress and remain realistic in your expectations. Their goal is to make sure you love your gown!

All images supplied by Designer Bridal House

Ms Zebra Says: It has to be one of the most difficult decisions trying to find THE dress. Thanks Designer Bridal House for sharing your wealth of knowledge to find the perfect one!

About Designer Bridal House: our stylists strive to keep the appointment experience fun, easy, and painless! We want to ensure that the process of finding your wedding gown is one of the best parts of wedding planning! If you’re not sure what the process entails, read on for what to expect in your bridal appointment! When you’re ready to start your wedding dress hunt, be sure to come see us at Designer Bridal House in Armadale!



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