Wedding Woes – Dress Shopping

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So a while back I put a question out to Twitter to see if you’d be interested in me doing a “firsts” series of blogs as I’ve been trying out a few new things lifestyle wise and thought it might make a good topic.


If you don’t know by now, I’m getting married (check out details here) so of course I have to go dress shopping. I know I have lots of time (just under 21 months now) so I’ve really been relaxed when it comes to most things wedding related. 
A while back I took one of my bridesmaids with me to Barnardos Bridal Room in Dun Laoghaire to get my first taste of dress shopping. The dresses are all brand new, often cast offs from designers so if you want a fancy dress but afraid of the price this would be right up your street, most of the dresses I saw that day were under €500! Before all that though, I read up and pinned to my hearts content so I had an idea of what I was getting myself in for. 
Wedding Dress shopping Bridal Designer BarnardosWedding Dress shopping Bridal Designer Barnardos
Given how often the stock in Barnardos change (every 4-6 weeks) I went in completely open minded to just try on as many styles as possible to see what suits me rather than having my dream dress ruined by the fact it didn’t suit my body shape.
Emma was our assistant, not only was she very helpful but extremely honest about the dresses I tried on, what would need to be done to it (given my small stature I’m going to need to take at  least 6” off any off the rail dress and the cost of altering these dresses usually starts around €150 and that’s if it can even be done!)
Wedding Dress shopping Bridal Designer Barnardos
My top tips for dress shopping/wedding dress shopping:
– Bring someone you trust, but also with an opinion – not afraid to tell you the dress doesn’t suit (it doesn’t have to be your mom, or even a bridesmaid)
– Be aware of your budget for your dress, you can get caught up in the prettiness of the dresses – I wouldn’t suggest buying on your first trip, if you have your heart set on something, ask if it can be held (some places offer a week’s reservation for a refundable small fee) and bring another person/people/go alone to see if you feel the same way about it
– Don’t be upset if the style you want isn’t comfortable/doesn’t suit you, you’ll find the one that makes you feel like the bride (trust me I’m still searching!)
– If you don’t read up beforehand – don’t be shocked when the assistant asks your size & grabs the next size up (the first pic above is the next size up for me and it still wouldn’t close!) Buttons make a dress a lot tighter!
Hope you enjoyed this! Would love to know your thoughts on these dresses and your suggestions for bridal shopping – I still have to bring my girls!
Have a great week!