AP’s Ultimate bridal guide!

1. Shop with intent.

We find that a brides biggest fear is the fear of missing out. But as our bridal buyers will tell you, there are thousands of dresses out there and no way of trying them all on. So how to do we select which gowns we do and don’t want to try on? Simple - we shop with intent and keep in mind some key pointers.

  • Express Yourself - Your wedding gown is one of the most expressive gowns you will ever wear. Consider how you wish to be perceived on your special day.

  • Consider your Silhouette - Think about your figure and what you wish to highlight on your special day. What are you favourite features? Make sure to consider necklines, length, waistlines, trains, sleeves and so on...

  • What is Important? - Think about what you want to get out of your day. What is most important to you, are you planning on dancing up a storm? If so, comfort will need to be considered. What is your venue like? Is it practical to have a long train? Different styles of wedding mean different styles of dress

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Before you start looking for your wedding gown, set yourself a budget. It is okay if it’s an estimate, however, make sure to consider what would realistically be the maximum price you would be willing to pay for your dream gown. Feel free to chat to your Bridal Consultant about this as they are here to help with any budget!

3. Shop at the right time

Ideally, brides should begin shopping 8-12 months prior to their wedding date and order no later than 6-7 months prior to their wedding or travel date—some designers will even say that 6 months is cutting it close!

Bridal gowns are made-to-order, meaning the creation process does not begin until your measurements are taken and your deposit is paid. Lead times shorter than 6 months are typically considered ‘rush orders’, and, as such, you may incur extra fees to receive your gown in time. However this is the ideal, not the absolute. Chat to your consultant about this if you have any concerns.

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4. Selecting your entourage.


It may seem simple but this is your gown, so you should have the final say on its look, feel, and style. In your appointment, remember that the people you choose to bring along are there to support your decision and help you in the process. Ask yourself how you feel before turning to your support team.

As much as we love the idea of a party in the AP store, we believe that your appointment should be as intimate and calm as possible. The focus should be solely on you and what style and feeling you want to exude on your wedding day. We find that too many opinions can be overwhelming for the brides and your voice can be easily lost .

Most boutiques, including AP will advise keeping your bride tribe to a maximum of 3. This way, boutiques can comfortably accommodate everyone while giving space and respect to other parties that may be in the store at the same time.

When choosing who to bring its important to consider the following:

  • Make sure the people you want to be there when saying “yes” are present! Don’t book an appointment without knowing their schedule. Finding the dress is a beautiful moment and something you will want to share with a special someone whether that be your mum, Gran or your best friend.

  • When choosing who to bring, invite those who understand your personal style and who’s opinion you trust.

  • Don’t feel obliged to bring anyone! Its natural for everyone to want to come to your appointment as they are excited to be a part of the process, but remember, choosing a dress is only a part of the wedding process. Once you have sorted out what you are looking for, invite them along for a key moment, like a styling appointment or your first fitting.

5. Shop for the body you have now!

Should you decide go through a dramatic body transformation prior to your wedding, we applaud you and your discipline - but buying a dress based on how you think your future body will look is a mistake.

Find a dress that makes you feel wow NOW! If you find a gown that makes you really shine, even when you’re not feeling your best then consider how it will feel down the line!

A great consultant will not order you a size down based on your promise to lose weight, and you should not request that she consider it. While your alterations may end up being more intensive, purchasing a dress that doesn’t fit you in hopes of changing weight is a dangerous fashion game plan. It is easier and less stressful to alter a gown than to worry about not reaching your goal size!

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You will also want to look out for boutiques that are RBA certified.

6. Don’t be too open or closed minded.

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Show your consultant your Pinterest. You may see it as a mix of different styles but your stylist will be able to crack to code!

Try to enter into the dress shopping process with an open mind, but not too open. Have answers to the basic questions you'll most likely be asked: do you like a full skirt? How do you feel about lace? How do you feel about strapless styles? Or sleeves? Basic silhouette descriptors, the time of year, and the look and feel of your wedding will help your consultant hone in on the best styles to show you. You may not be fluent in bridal terminology, but one adjective can give your consultant great insight. Think: sexy, quirky, etc.

On the flip side, if you love fashion or have been doing your research, you may know what you want - but don’t lock yourself into this style before actually trying it on!

If you discover that your fantasy dress isn’t your dream dress in reality then trust your stylist and know that she has your best intentions to heart. An experienced stylist will be able to pull you styles that will flatter your figure while staying true to your original style.

7. Be ready and Confident.

Getting ready for you bridal appointment is like getting ready for a date with yourself, you will want to feel as comfortable and confident as you can be for your shopping experience. Get yourself in the mindset of being a bride by styling your hair and makeup in a way you might wish to wear it. This will help to get an overall feel and look when you have the gown on.

You will also want to consider your lingerie. We would always recommend wearing skin toned, seam free lingerie and a well fitted bra.

Luxury bridal stores such as Anne Priscilla will have bridal shoes for you to try on with your selected gowns. However you may wish to bring your own if you are particular about the heel high.

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