Wedding dress dilemmas: I’ve just got engaged! How do I start looking for my dream dress?

just got engaged finding my wedding dress

You’ve just got engaged – congratulations! But once the excitement of the proposal is over, you’ve got the dress dilemma to solve – and where do you start?

It can be a tad overwhelming for any new bride to know where to start with their wedding planning, especially when it comes to the dress, which is so central to the big day. But fear not, we’ve got some top tips from Sabina and the team here to help you enjoy the process of finding that big day dress.

When to start your wedding dress research

We say it’s never too early to start thinking about wedding dresses! In fact, the minimum lead time for many wedding dresses these days is between 6-9 months. This allows for any shipping and alterations, so starting early is always good. On the flipside, you don’t want to be overthinking this, so as soon as it gets too overwhelming, take a break.

How to start your wedding dress research

Whether you got the classic way and create a vision board or scrapbook by tearing images out of magazines or you go online and create a wedding Pinterest board, research is really important. Just pick those dresses that you feel immediately drawn to.

wedding Pinterest board Sabina Motasem

Don’t worry about practicalities or themes or anything at this moment, they just have to speak to you in some way. Then you need to ask yourself these questions…

What are my best bits?

Obviously you want to wear the most flattering wedding dress for your body shape, but if the dress is either made for you or fitted to you professionally, this should be the case for any wedding dress. However, you may have bits that you want to show off and other parts of you that you want to keep covered, such as arms.

“Long-sleeved wedding dresses are such a chic alternative to sleeveless or strapless dresses,” says Sabina. “Many brides do feel conscious of their arms, so having a sleeve allows the bride to carry on and enjoy their day. I always tell my brides if they feel comfortable, and not self-conscious, that they will have the best day ever!” 

What’s my style personality?

While you can be whoever you want to be on your big day, it’s usually best to stick to your style. If you’ve always been a glam girl, wearing a super simple dress just won’t cut it. If you’re wearing something that doesn’t feel like you, it just won’t make you feel comfortable. 

Even wedding dress designers sometimes get it wrong, as Sabina explains about her very own wedding dress!

“My final wedding dress wasn't the first choice of attire!” she says. “I did have another piece but in the end, I just didn't feel comfortable in it and just like the advice I give out to all my gorgeous brides, it’s all about feeling great on the day in what you're wearing. Comfort comes first above everything!”

Sabina Motasem wedding dress designer at our own wedding day

What theme am I having?

If you are having a theme, it can be worth considering what kind of dress will fit in with it. For example, a boho dress will obviously work better with a festival theme than a more structured, princess-style dress.

I was a film journalist and my husband-to-be and I loved going to the cinema, so when we got married I knew I wanted a movie theme. While I didn’t dress up as a Disney princess or superhero on my big day, I knew I wanted my dress to be more red carpet and less bridal - to have that Hollywood effect -  so that really helped me narrow down the style I wanted to go for.

When am I getting married?

For a wedding in the winter months, you might want something with sleeves or a dress that is a tad more structured. The same goes if you’re having a more formal evening event.

Where am I getting married?

A destination wedding in a hot country definitely needs something slinkier like our Elsa Sass or Posy dress. Not only will it keep you cooler on your big day, but they are much easier to pack! 

Our Posy dress is a great destination wedding dress

Set a budget

Then it’s time to think about some practicalities. You might have found your dream dress, but if it costs £12,000 and your budget is £1200, it’s a no go. Perhaps your budget is unlimited and you want to have two wedding dresses? Now is the time to decide what you’re willing to spend and stick to it.

Try them all on!

Once you’ve done all your research, it’s important then to get trying them on. If you’ve asked all the right questions, this bit should be fun, especially if you have our top tips for saying yes to the right dress!


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December 27, 2022 by Jayne Cherrington-Cook

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