Hands up who’s heard their fair share of wedding dress shopping horror stories? Finding the right bridal gown is one of the key ingredients for a perfect wedding day for any bride. Rania Hatoum, founder and designer at Rania Hatoum Bridal & Occasions, shares seven tips on how to shop for the dress of your dreams and make sure you head up the aisle in a gorgeous wedding gown.
#1. Do your research
Have a general idea of what you want, like a particular silhouette or specific design elements, to make your bridal appointments smoother and more efficient. Researching some bridal gown terminology beforehand and having reference pictures is also useful.
#2. Set your destinations and venue first
Your dress should be suitable for your wedding venue – whether it’s in a grand hotel ballroom or a more casual beach affair, you need to find a gown that works for the overall atmosphere and climate.
#3. Be selective
Although bridal shopping can be a fun and memorable experience with friends and family, it’s important to narrow down who you bring to your appointments. Who’s that one person you trust to give honest opinions?
#4. Decisions, decisions
Ask yourself if the dress you’ve picked reflects your personality and style – just because it’s your wedding day doesn’t mean you have to dress as a completely different person! Another tip for choosing the perfect gown is to take a moment, close your eyes, and envision wearing the dress you’re trying at your venue with the décor, flowers, bridesmaids and whole wedding set-up. If what you envision matches perfectly, then that is the right dress.
#5. Ask questions
Don’t be afraid to ask the shop assistants questions – you’re making a oncein-a-lifetime purchase. Every store is different; some offer standard-sized gowns where they order a size that fits closest to your measurements, while others offer custom sizing where they take your measurements and order a custom size especially for you. Some places also offer extra customisations to your dress. At Rania Hatoum there is basically no limit to what we can customise!
#6. Don’t forget alterations
I usually suggest brides wait until exactly one month before their wedding date to come in for their final alterations. Altering a dress too many times may damage its fabric, beading or detailing.
You can make an appointment with us where you’re guaranteed to be the only customer at the salon, so you can try on as many gowns as you want during your one-hour time slot, and even enjoy a complimentary glass of champers!
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This article first appeared in the April/May 2018 issue of Expat Living magazine. Subscribe now so you never miss an issue.