be inspired: vintage weddings

Resolving Wedding Dress Dilemmas

Wondering what will suit you, what is a reasonable amount to spend on a dress, how you will know when you have found ‘the one’, what happens if you don’t find something immediately, how far in advance of the wedding do you start looking. These are questions every bride struggles with, so it is normal that you ask them. After all, it is a big day and all eyes are upon you. It is normal that you want to look your very best.

Here are some of our top tips to put your mind at ease:
Plan Ahead
Always allow for plenty of time when it comes to wedding dress shopping. It is not something you want to rush. Hitting the panic button because you fear you wont find what you want in time, is not much fun. It is not just finding the dress that takes time either. Remember to always factor in order and delivery time, dress fitting sessions and alterations, the search for shoes and other complements to bring the whole wedding ensemble together.
Keep an Open Mind
Let go of that ‘dream’ dress. While that might sound like madness, it will make sense it you keep reading! What may look great on the page of a glossy bridal magazine, may not look good on you, not matter what you do. Now we know how much this realization may disappoint but you need to feel fabulous when you wear your wedding dress and you might need to accept, that the best fit, might come from the most unexpected design. Your ‘dream’ dress is the one that will suit your height, frame, weight, and even your personality. Keeping an open mind and trying on styles that you have never before considered, will open you up to finding the dress with that ‘wow’ factor. Let the dress fit you, rather than you try to fit the dress….if you get what we mean.
Ordering Online
Don’t be afraid to order online. There are some great dresses to be had at amazing prices and nearly half than off-the-shelf ones. Don’t let anyone kid you either that it takes the fun out of wedding dress shopping – sit down with your besties and surf away. I mean, where else in the world can you open up some wine and order in pizza while embarking on the wedding dress hunt! We do advise however, that you always check out terms and conditions, returns and reviews. It is also worth ensuring that you can get on the phone and talk through your choices with someone. Bridal dress assistants are great dress vs body shape judges and will be able to guide you through your selection. Remember that matching the dress to the bride is their living, so it is worth taking advantage of this experience. Be also sure to yourself properly measured so you can find the perfect fit.
Bar re-designing the dress, there are always ways you can personalize it. Adding a little touch of something here or there, adding in or taking out the straps, adorning with gloves, bolero jackets, jewellery and hair pieces can go a long way in making a big difference.
Whether you plan to order online for that bargain buy or not, there is nothing to say you can’t try on a variety of different style wedding dresses at your local bridal to find the shape that best suits you. As we mentioned, until you try, you never know. Always be prepared to step out of your comfort zone and try on some recommendations. I mean, if nothing else, just have some fun!


Money is never an easy subject but if you don’t have it, you can’t magic it. We strongly advise against loans or spending well above what you can afford. Don’t allow society, friends or family to guilt trip you into spending more than you are comfortable with. Just because you buy on a budget, doesn’t mean it is any less of a dress or won’t be that ‘dream come true’. It is the shape and style of dress that counts, not how much it costs.
Look out for sales, discounted items, second hand racks and vintage pieces that often come at a lower cost that off-the-peg designer items. There are some one-of-a-kind gems out there that will not cost you the earth, you just have to be patient and not be afraid to look off the beaten track!
The ‘One’
You may not know exactly what you are looking for until you find it but when you do, you just know. Be prepared to end up with quite the opposite of what you had in mind but if it makes you feel like a million dollars and the price tag hasn’t given you a heart attack – then it has your name on it. Never feel pressured into buying something because you feel you are running out of time or if it hasn’t completely won you over, no matter what anyone else says. It is OK to keep looking. As we said, you will know when you have found it!
Where to Start
Wedding dress hunting is overwhelming. With so many wedding designers, bridal shops, magazines and wedding fairs, it easy to understand why it would seem that the entire world has an opinion. It is no wonder that brides often end up feeling lost among the myriad of choices. So why not start with the style you want your wedding to take? Have you always dreamed of a vintage inspired affair, a rock ‘n’ roll extravaganza, a great Gatsby theme or would you prefer to keep things simple but elegant - a classic, timeless set-up of white and gold? Even if you need to work backwards and start with what you definitely don’t want, it will help you focus on what you do and might give you some idea of the style of dress you envision yourself in.
Wedding dress hunting is a careful process of elimination. You might not like the overall shape of one dress but ask yourself if there are elements of it that you do like and what these are. Check out different lengths, discover what aspects of your figure you would like to highlight or hide, what shape suits you best and what you feel comfortable in; whether it is a low waist or a high neck. There is something out there for everyone.

Actually Achieving the Proper Fit

Suck it in

SO, IT’S THE BIG DAY. Your hair is flawless, your makeup is perfection and you are ready to slip into your dream wedding dress and walk down the aisle to greet your future. And...hold please! You can’t get into your dress!  With only minutes to go before you make your big debut, no matter how much you suck in, exhale, whether you lay down or apply cooking spray all over your body, you are not getting into this dress.  AHHHHHHH! And...awake.  Phew! It was only a dream nightmare.  But what if it weren’t.  Thankfully, we have some pretty good ideas on how you can avoid this wardrobe malfunction. Although most wedding dresses can be altered by a professional seamstress, the key to getting that flawless fit is to MEASURE, MEASURE, MEASURE.  Yes, even before you make that first appointment or click buy from an online wedding boutique (like ours), it is very important to know your measurements.  There is nothing more disappointing than falling in love with a dress just to find out it just won’t fit. Here is a helpful basic measurement guide to assist you in determining the dimensions of your own beautiful curves.  Oh, and just as a side note, please use a cloth measuring tape. The kind contractors use just won’t do the job in this case.   measuring guide   Measuring Your Height:  Many might not be aware of this, but your height does make or break how a dress is going to drape your figure.  We recommend that you stand straight (not too straight, just as usual) with your back, your head and your heels against the wall. Ask a friend to mark a spot at the wall using a ruler that goes on top of your head perpendicular to the wall. Then measure the vertical distance from the floor to the mark. Your Bust:  Despite what your bra says, you should probably take this measurement as well.  Why?  Not all bras are created equal.  You may be one size in on brand and a different size in another.  To properly take this measurement, wrap the cloth tape over the fullest part of the bust and across the widest part of the back. The measuring tape should go horizontally all around your body. Your Waist:  Here is a handy trick to measuring your waist.  First, you must locate your waistline.  To find the proper location, tie a narrow string around the waist and let it settle into the natural waistline as you bend to the left and to the right. Take the measurement along the string-line. Your Hips:  Take the measurement around the fullest part, which is usually 18cm (7") to 23cm (9") below the waist. Of course, there is more to measuring just your height, bust, waist and hip.  In some cases,  you might also want to know the measurements of  your torso (shoulder to waist) and your skirt length (waist to floor).  If going with a long sleeve, don’t forget your sleeve length (top of shoulder to just a smidgen beyond the wrist)  Finally, unless you are going to go with a strapless gown, measuring your shoulders are also a great idea.  This is best done measuring across the top of the back, close to the shoulders, from the outside of one arm to the outside of the other.  This is where the shoulder seam will fall. Once you have all of your measurements, add an additional inch to the bust, waist and hip.  This will give you just enough wiggle room to be comfortable. Happy dress shopping!