Bridal wear is very different to shopping for your favourite fashion items. I am sure you are very excited at the prospect of going and trying on as many gowns as you can, but I’ll bet you are also a little nervous, if not a bit daunted at the prospect!!

I thought it might be helpful if I tried to give you an idea of what to expect by answering a number of questions I have been asked in the past by new brides.

How many shops should I visit?

Start by checking out wedding shops in your area. Put two or three on your shortlist to visit, particularly any stockists of your favourite designer. Most good retailers will have plenty of information on their website including pictures of their collections, so you can have a look at their gowns without necessarily having to visit the showroom first.

Shortlist shops with a good range of collections for you to choose from, this is usually a good indication that they have invested in you as a potential customer in order to offer lots of choice when you are looking for your dress.

When you start to visit the showrooms you have shortlisted make sure you feel comfortable, don’t be rushed. You will be spending up to a year with the consultants in the shop that you eventually choose, and remember, you are spending more money on this dress than on any other, so you should expect friendly, courteous, helpful service and information. If you don’t get it, then think seriously if this is the right place for you.

At Opulence we always start by sitting down and having a chat with you first, then, once you have selected some dresses yourself, we will start to help you try them on, and begin to help you find that truly special gown.

We want to listen to what you have to say, so we can start showing you the right kind of gowns that meet your expectations. You will always be offered drinks and nibbles, and when you have chosen your gown we will, of course, break out the bubbly

Do I need to make an appointment?

You may find you can walk in without an appointment in midweek, but you will definitely need an appointment at the weekend.

At Opulence, allow at least 2 hours for your appointment, so that you get the full benefit of viewing our extensive collections.

Can I look through sample dresses myself?

On the day, as well as having our guidance, you will have the opportunity to look through all the preview gowns by yourself.

You will always be able to choose your own dresses. At Opulence brides wander around the shop and put discs on the hangers, indicating dresses they want to try on.

You should never feel pressured to try on dresses that you don’t like the look of – although it’s good idea to keep an open mind, too.