How to Kickstart Your Wedding Dress Search

Your wedding dress journey
Emma Draper

By Emma Draper

20 December 2023

Brides-to-be! CONGRATULATIONS! You’ve gone from saying ‘yes’ to now searching for THE Dress!

Embarking on the wonderful journey to find the wedding dress of your dreams is very exciting. We know that picking your perfect dress can be a tough decision. It’s easy to get overwhelmed with all the choices of gowns, fabrics and silhouettes out there. You might think the first sensible step in discovering dresses is to book appointments at several different wedding dress shops and simply start trying on styles – but this really isn’t the best (or most efficient) way to begin your search.

To really ace your dress appointments, the key is to do some prep! We know that brides that have done their research beforehand are the ones that usually end up saying ‘Yes’ to The Dress in a far less stressful way. So, to help you get started, why not check out our handy step-by-step guide guaranteed to help you kickstart your search!

Step 1 – Pin Your Perfect Look on Pinterest

Pinterest research

Pinterest is perfect for wedding dress prep! It’s like an Aladdin’s cave of wedding dress inspo, full to the brim with ideas and trends. Create your own private board, pinning the gowns you’re most drawn to and which you could imagine yourself in on your wedding day. You’ll soon start to notice a pattern emerge of certain styles or designers that you keep favouring.  Once you’ve got a board bursting with images, you can trim down your pins to get to the heart of the types of dresses you really adore. Visual searches are a super way to cut-through the noise quickly and really help you to consolidate your personal style.

Check out our Pinterest boards here to help you get started!

Step 2 – Peruse Podcasts & Blogs


Tune into top wedding tips when you’re commuting to work (or even on a run) by listening to a podcast or two that delves into different wedding dress styles or designers you know you like. From real life couples to celebrity wedding styles, podcasts are a fun and informative way to get extra inspo on the go, plus there’s oodles of options to pick from!

Blogs can be another fab source of easy inspiration for your wedding aesthetic. Take time to look at those written by some of your favourite suppliers like photographers, florists or wedding venues that you already have your eye on – especially those which showcase real life brides. There’s no better way to bring a dress to life than seeing other brides wearing it and how they styled it. Check out some of our real-life wedding blogs too, featuring our beautiful LOVE brides wearing our favourite designers. Such features show you just how the dresses translate into real life – it’s a great way to narrow down your personal preferences.

Step 3 – Follow your Fave Designers

Wedding Dress Designers

By now, your research will have led you towards certain brands and designers. The next step is to find them on Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest and TikTok to see more of their latest designs and styles. Once you have a shortlist of your favourite designers, check out their list of stockists on their website and find your nearest boutique.

Here at LOVE, we stock Made with Love, Sassi Holford, Lola Varma, Savannah Miller, Grace Loves Lace and & For Love, designers selected for their quality cut, contemporary designs and carefully detailed finishes. We handpick dresses curated from each designers’ latest collections to appeal to our discerning and stylish brides-to-be, so we always have an exquisite choice ready and waiting to be tried-on in store.

Step 4 – Follow Your Fave Boutiques

LOVE Bridal Boutique

Once you know where the dresses you like are stocked, our top tip is to start following those boutiques on social media. Many smaller boutiques tend to stock a range of designers that creatively complement your preferred style… so don’t be surprised if you are also inspired to look at something completely new! By following a boutique’s socials, you’ll also be the first to hear about any upcoming (and very popular) Trunk Show Events which give you the exclusive opportunity to try on even more dresses from one design house. Most importantly, by following a boutique you’ll quickly begin to get a feel from their socials, stories and real-life-bride testimonials, exactly what kind of dress shopping experience you can expect from each one.

Choosing your dress is a huge decision, so knowing you can really trust the opinion of a boutique’s stylists will help make your decision much easier. Call us biased, but we think the unrivalled attention and personalised service of an independent boutique is second to none!

You can find LOVE on Instagram and Facebook, plus all our latest dress collections are over on Pinterest. You can also choose to have all our latest news delivered straight to your inbox, guaranteeing you are one of the first to find out about all our new dress arrivals, events and more!

Step 5 – Set a Budget


Avoid dress disappointment by finding out how much the dresses you like cost. Determining a clear solid budget before you try anything on is the 100% best way to keep everyone smiling. There’s absolutely no point in trying on something that you can’t afford; it will only dampen your spirits. A huge price tag isn’t a fast-track way to finding the perfect dress. There will always be YOUR perfect gown within your price range, once you know your budget. So, save yourself a load of stress and crunch the numbers before you step in store.

Step 6 – Be Body Beautiful

Bride body beautiful

Brides, please embrace your body! The worst thing you can do is to choose a dress style that you will have to diet or put weight on to feel comfortable in. No-one needs extra (and unnecessary) pressure on the run up to what should be one of the happiest days of your life.

Have a think instead about which areas of your body you’d like to show off. Perhaps have a look in your own wardrobe to see if you’re already drawn to backless, V-necks, strapless or spaghetti straps. Knowing what already suits you before you start trying on dresses will mean you’re more likely to make a dress choice that won’t require extreme measures or fad diets.

It’s worth noting that big shifts in weight after you’ve chosen your dress is usually not advised. It can change your proportions making a dress fit differently. If your wedding is more than 18 months in advance and you are planning on losing or gaining weight or even embarking on a personal training programme, perhaps resist the urge to try on dresses straight away. Instead, why not give yourself a deadline for when you would feel at your optimum shape – then start your search. At LOVE, we take bookings a maximum of 18 months in advance of your wedding date you so you’ve ample time to get body confident beforehand.

Step 7 – Dive Into the Details

Wedding dress details

You don’t need to have the whole wedding planned before you come to your first dress appointment, but there are a few key decisions that will have a huge impact on the type of dress you’re looking for.

Setting a date is massively important so you have an idea of the season and temperature it is likely to be on your big day – you don’t want to be regretting those long sleeves in summer! Similarly, your choice of venue will also impact the type of dress you choose – think sleek and chic for a city wedding to boho festival glamour at a rustic barn venue! It will be very hard to picture yourself on your wedding day in a particular style of dress without knowing the actual setting in advance – it will make your dress decision unnecessarily difficult!

We have intimate knowledge of a great number of UK wedding venues and of course those close to us here in Altrincham, Manchester, Cheshire and up and down the country, thanks to our many years of experience and close relationships to wedding friends and LOVE brides. So, if you think you’ve found your venue but want some extra advice, we can offer our insights too!

Starting your dress search is a significant step in every bride’s wedding journey. From prepping on Pinterest to building a list of your favourite designers, doing some thorough dress research before you visit a boutique is vital. It’s the best way, by far, to ensure that your wedding dress appointment is everything you always dreamed of and more! We want you to enjoy every minute of it 🤍

Lots of love,

Emma xo