Wedding dress shopping is always a very mixed bag of emotions. Brides at Waterfields in Torquay has been established since 1992 and we have seen hundreds and hundreds of brides from start to finish over the years but no two brides are alike. Personally I feel like there is so much pressure on “getting it right” and I think it's mostly down to social media so hopefully this will help you with our most frequently asked questions…
“Do I make an appointment or can I just pop in if I’m passing?”
Most bridal shops operate on an Appointments Only system, we welcome browsers and sometimes if you are lucky we may have some time to try a few on. Making an appointment guarantees you one-on-one attention and a chance to relax and enjoy our dresses and it makes for a special experience.
“What do I wear to the appointment? And do I have do get undressed in front of someone?”
Wear something comfy, you don’t need to dress up or put on lots of makeup. We do not mind what underwear you wear just as long as you are wearing pants. We see semi-naked ladies all day long so we pay no notice. Nude coloured pants are a great idea for the more sheer dresses, a nude strapless bra can be good too. Most of the time halfway through the appointment the bra comes off as we can fit the dresses with sewn-in bust cups instead of wearing uncomfortable underwear.
If you are anxious about getting undressed in front of a member of staff just let us know and we can step outside and just pop back in to do you up. You should have your appointment your way, we will do anything to make you more comfortable.
Image Supplied By Brides At Waterfields
“I have already been to a shop and felt awkward because I didn’t like anything…”
I say, do your research first before making an appointment. Every shop has a different vibe and a different price range, a different style of dresses. Some shops will strongly specialise in a certain style. I think it's much better to pick a shop that has the type of styles you love the look of and then go from there. Our top designer is Maggie Sottero, you could easily look the designers up online and you may fall in love with the styles, the way they are accessorised, this will really give you a great idea as to whether the shop will be on the same wavelength as you.
“How many dresses should I try on? How many shops should I visit?”
My biggest piece of advice is: Do it your way. If you know what you want and you try on one dress, know it's the one and don’t want to try on any more, then do it. If you want to try on every dress available in the South West then do that! We are ever-so-lucky here in South Devon as there are so many contrasting bridal shops within a stone’s throw of each other. Some brides are very forthcoming and have looked online, envisioned what they would like and some ladies are the “reluctant bride”. Some brides are very nervous and worry they will never find something that looks amazing and feels right for their day. This is all very normal. Some ladies have tried on far too many dresses and can’t even remember what they have tried on and therefore nothing feels special. I would say not to waste time in the wrong dresses and move on as most shops will carry rails of different styles. Also if your first appointment in the first shop was not quite right, be positive, ask them when their next collection will be arriving in store, learn from the experience as to what looks best, what details are really important to you and you might find that one of those dresses might be worth a revisit later. Also if you do want to visit multiple shops, maybe just do two a day with lunch in-between, you will be surprised how exhausting it can be!
Image Supplied By Brides At Waterfields
“How will I know when I have found THE ONE?”
This is fun question as every girl goes through a different journey to find her dress. Some ladies its as clear as day when it's the right one, someone in the shop will be brought to tears and it's occasionally a lightbulb moment. Some ladies have to think about it overnight, try on others to make sure, check with their partner that they should buy it, I sometimes have ladies returning weeks later. Good signs are when you can completely relax, you can imagine walking down the aisle in the dress, you feel like yourself (or a slightly different version of yourself!), if you will be excited to wear it on the day. If you are in any doubt about it, think about it. We hear that a small handful of shops in the South West are pushy, or perhaps you didn’t get the right service at that shop? See if you can find another local supplier of that dress, you should be treated like a queen and have an experience that makes you feel special and comfortable. You will be spending quite a bit of time at that shop and you should feel excited to visit your dress, not dreading it.
“When is the right time to put down a deposit?”
If you have found your dream dress on a sale rail or there is a great promotion running at the shop, this will help you make a decision a little quicker. On average I would say most ladies put a deposit down on their dress between 12-18 months before their wedding. However, we also have brides right now with 2/3 years to go until their big day and some ladies come in with only weeks to go until their wedding after ordering the dreaded online dresses! There is no set time but the sooner you find your dress you will have more flexibility with payment plans, fitting dates, and also more time to plan the rest of your wedding. Your dress will have more sway on your wedding than you imagine. If you choose your dress before your venue for example, you can imagine your dress as you visit these places, also you have to think of the colour theme, what your bridesmaids will wear, flowers, photographer etc. It's worth noting that wedding dresses do suffer price increases throughout the year, and designers will constantly be discontinuing styles, if you have found your gown, the best thing to do is secure it to avoid disappointment.
Image Supplied By Brides At Waterfields
“I want to lose weight so when should I try on dresses?”
As wedding dresses take up to 6 months to arrive after being ordered you need to figure out a timescale. I say start looking as soon as you want, if you look amazing in a dress at the size you are then you know its only going to get better. Also most ladies who lose weight before their big day don’t usually drop a dress size, it may need taking in and tailoring but don’t give yourself unnecessary stress. If you are worried about sizing or you yo-yo in weight, why not look at corset back dresses as they are very versatile and can even be loosened for your meal (this would be important to me!) Also most wedding dresses can be taken down a size or two without any of the fit being compromised. If this is a concern, we have specific dresses that can be altered up to 3 sizes smaller if necessary.
We are a family run shop at the top of Torre, and we really have lovely friendships with our brides and we are often told our shop is like a second home. We are contactable at any time and you can come in and visit your dress as many times as you like. We promise to care for your dress like its our own and treat you as an individual. We love to customise the look of dresses and we can add sparkle to a plainer dress, remove volume from the skirt, customise your accessories, source speciality items and we always strive to meet our bride’s special requests. We absolutely adore our dresses in shop, when we choose what is right for the shop we have to personally fall in love with the dresses too, from the vintage tea length to a twinkly ballgown, its all about the detail and the quality. We look for that something special in the dresses, something to make you stand out, to wow people, to create that stylish look but giving you the comfort to last the whole day. We have so much passion for our shop and even more for our brides. We have dresses to try on from a size 6-24 and can order most dresses from a size 0-34. Our prices range from £399-£1499 and we can do payment plans to suit your budget. If you would like to call us or pop in sometime and have a chat you will be very welcomed.