You’ve chosen your flowers, selected your bridesmaids and decided on the venue.  But now comes the big decision – the dress. All eyes will be on you and you will cherish your photographs and memories forever, so getting it right is essential.

Shane has photographed hundreds of weddings throughout Manchester, the North West and beyond, so we know just how important getting the perfect dress is. Here are our top tips to help you say ‘I Do’ to your ideal wedding dress.

Houghton tower wedding photography

Start early

There can be a long lead time on wedding dresses, particularly bespoke designer gowns, so starting your search early is a must. Designer wedding dresses should be ordered up to nine months in advance to allow for delivery, fittings and alterations. It can take even longer if you want to customise your dress by adding sleeves, changing the neckline or lengthening the train.

This will also give you and your bridesmaids plenty of time to search for the perfect dress – and enjoy plenty of Prosecco along the way. We are really lucky in Manchester that we have some amazing wedding boutiques within a stone’s throw, so enjoy looking around.

Head online for some #weddinginspo

Picking the perfect wedding dress can be daunting. There is a huge amount of choice and it is easy to get lost, particularly if dress shopping isn’t your thing. Instagram and Pinterest are your friends here. Before you head out, make sure to take a look. You’ll be able to find everything from up to the minute bridal trends to classic looks to help narrow your search. You can also show your boutique some of your favourite pics and they will be able to help you select the perfect dress. Saving them to a private Pinterest board is a great way to arrange your favourites.

View Shane’s portfolio for lots of wedding dress inspiration.

wedding dresses manchester

Keep an open mind

Wedding dresses are funny things; gowns that looks amazing on the hanger fall flat once you have it on while one you’re not sure about on the rack can turn out to be spectacular. I see so many brides who have had their heart set on something in particular that have changed their minds once they’re in that changing room.

Set a realistic budget

Setting a budget is just as important for your wedding dress as for every other aspect of your big day. It will help narrow down your search when you are visiting bridal boutiques too. Remember that you will need to allow some extra cash for alterations as they are unlikely to be included within the price on the tag.

Limit your entourage

It might seem odd, but taking too many of your nearest and dearest can actually make dress shopping more difficult. Bridal consultants recommend selecting two or three loved ones to come along to appointments with you. Too many and the greater the chance of getting overwhelmed or confused. And remember to pick those people who will be honest with you.

Abbeywood estate wedding photography

Be practical

Being able to breathe is something many a bride has underestimated in pursuit of the perfect wedding dress. You’re likely to be wearing your gown for hours, so it’s important that it fits properly and is comfortable. You will need to walk down the aisle, sit down for your wedding breakfast and possibly dance into the early hours. The last thing you want to be worried about is a too-long hemline or pulling up the top for fear of a wardrobe malfunction. A comfortable bride is a happy one – and that means a wonderful day and brilliant wedding photographs.

Fall in love

This is your big day and you want to look and feel amazing, so choosing a dress you love is essential. Remember, this is your big day so pick something you love. You want to feel beautiful and confident in your wedding gown, so trust your instincts and pick whatever feels right to you.

sunset wedding photo

Like what you see? 

I hope you’ve enjoyed reading the blog and picked up some helpful tips for your wedding dress search. If you’d like to find out a bit more about me and my style of wedding photography, I’d love to hear from you. I’m based in Manchester and work across the North West. I’m also experienced in shooting weddings abroad, so please do get in touch if you’re considering a destination wedding.


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