Dress to Impress: 7 Wedding Dress Shopping Tips

bride and groom on wedding day

Saving for a wedding and feeling a little overwhelmed at the amount of things to be considered? It’s no surprise when you think about what’s involved. And for most brides, their wedding dress is a priority. But buying the perfect gown isn’t as simple as a quick trip to the bridal boutique. In fact, with so much pressure to look perfect on your wedding day, buying the dress can become a highly stressful occasion.

But never fear, there are a few things you can do to make searching for that special gown a much more pleasant experience. Here are our top tips on shopping for a wedding dress.

1. Determine the Dress Code

Think about what kind of wedding you’re going to have. Is it being held in a church or a registry office? Will it be formal or informal? Maybe you’re opting for a standard hotel wedding or going abroad to tie the knot. Whatever type of wedding you opt for, your dress will need to reflect the tone of the occasion. You should also bear in mind the time of year, whether the venue is inside or outside, and what weather you can expect.


2. Start Shopping Early

To avoid disappointment and additional stress, start shopping for your wedding dress at least six months in advance of the wedding day - preferably earlier if you can. You’ll most likely want to weigh up all your options, including bridal boutiques, online shopping and second-hand wedding dress stores. And it can take a number of months if you’re ordering a dress specially. What’s more, the dress may need to be altered which could take time. You will want it to look perfect on your wedding day, so give yourself plenty of breathing room to avoid a last-minute panic.


3. Come Prepared

Wear the right underwear when bridal dress shopping (make sure to take a strapless bra) as it will give you a better idea of how the dress will look on the big day. You should also avoid wearing fake tan or any heavy makeup when going to a fitting to avoid leaving unsightly orange streaks on a dress. And don’t forget to bring a pair of high heeled shoes to see whether you can walk in your dream dress!

4. Take Selfies

You’re most likely going to try on a lot of dresses and they might all start to blur together. One way of remembering them all is by taking pictures on your phone. That way you can look at them at home in your own time. Just make sure to get permission from the shop owner before you start snapping!

5. Be Realistic

You might plan on losing a few pounds before the wedding day, but it’s important that you’re realistic about your body shape and what suits you. What’s more, don’t be influenced by others when it comes to choosing the style of your dress. It’s your wedding day and you can wear whatever you want!


6. Have Fun!

Rather than getting stressed out in your quest for the perfect dress, cultivate a positive attitude about it. See the shopping for the dress as a fun occasion itself and one which doesn’t have to be a chore. Why not invite a couple of family members or friends along to give their opinion and make a day out of it? With the right attitude, the right dress is bound to appear.

7. Keep a Price in Mind

If you think you’ve seen your dream dress, it’s easy to get carried away and spend too much. Our advice? Set a budget for your wedding dress before you start shopping. According to a recent survey, the average cost of a wedding gown in Ireland is €1,706 - but you don’t have to spend a fortune to look amazing. Shop around and you’ll find beautiful gowns to suit any budget.

Need Help with the Cost?

If you want to take some pressure off your savings in the lead up to big day, it’s worth considering getting a Wedding Loan. AIB offer loans from €1,000 with a loan decision in just three hours*.You can apply online through AIB Internet Banking or the AIB Mobile App. You can also book a branch appointment or phone 0818 724 725 if you’d like to speak to someone in person.

Use our handy loan calculator to find out how much you can borrow today.


*3 hour loan decision applies to fully completed new personal loan applications processed within 3 hours 9am-5pm, Mon-Fri excl. bank holidays. Loans from €1,000-€30,000. Excludes applications: to restructure or clear existing AIB credit facilities; received through Branch and referred to a lender for review, from customers in financial difficulty; for Student and First loans; applications through Business Centres; or where total borrowings exceed €100,000 (excluding Home Loan debt up to €600,000).


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