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Wedding Dress Shopping For the First Time: Tips & Advice

Stick to budget
One of the first stages of wedding planning is setting your budget and you do that for a reason so it's important that you don't completely ignore it when you start dress shopping. You don't necessarily have to start your appointment by revealing your budget, it might only come into play when it comes to decision making. Some shops will have the prices on the dresses, others might only tell you the prices of the dresses you show a particular interest in. Whatever happens remember if you go over on the dress something else will have to suffer!

What to wear
You'll spend part of your appointment standing in your underwear and a pair of heels so try to wear something you'll be at least a little bit comfortable in. A strapless bra is a good option to help show the different dress designs off. As for knickers you might just opt for white or nude, or a pair of spanx if that's something you'd consider on your wedding day. You don't have to take heels with you, especially if you haven't even considered your wedding shoes yet, most shops will let you borrow a pair for your appointment. 

Who to take with you
You need to make sure whoever you take with you is someone you trust and someone that will be honest with you. Your Mum and/or your bridesmaids tend to be the best support but Granny's, Aunties and Mother-in-laws to be are all good options. That saying 'too many cooks' can sometimes come true in the bridal shop if everyone is quite opinionated. Some shops are also quite small so you can't fit your whole entourage. I took my 3 bridesmaids and my Mum and it was perfect - everyone chose out a dress which definitely helped at the start and everyone was on the same wavelength. Don't feel bad if someone can't make it to a dress appointment, they can maybe come to a different appointment or a fitting.

Don't worry about style before
I was one of those bride-to-be's that walked into my appointment with no clue in my head. I'd barely even looked at wedding dresses with real focus or intent, except 5 minutes on Pinterest before travelling to the shop. This turned out to be a really good 'blank canvas' to work with. I was open to trying different styles and ideas and I quickly came to realise what styles and designs I liked. The shop owner was an absolute star for taking on board my likes and dislikes and picking out different variations. She also took the time to show how dresses can be changed with straps, sleeves, belts and embellishment. Even if you have an idea in your head, be open to trying different things. It's better to try it on and rule it out than risk missing out on the potential one. Having my bridesmaids and Mum choosing out a dress was a fantastic was to get to see the different shapes and details that really suited me.

Give yourself plenty of time
Choosing a wedding dress isn't necessarily going to happen in the first shop you walk in. Start looking with plenty of time, around a year to 8 months before the wedding is a good time if you can. You need to have time to order, have fittings and make alterations. You don't want (or need) the stress of everything running out of time. Wedding dress appointments can get booked up quickly, especially if you're hoping for a Saturday appointment so be prepared and get booked in well in advance. When it comes to the appointment make sure you've got a good few hours. You don't want to be watching the clock because you've got somewhere else to be. You want to be relaxed and able to enjoy it. My first appointment was 2 hours long and I must have tried on around 10 dresses.

Think it through
Don't rush. After your appointment try and gather your thoughts and take note of what you liked. Find out the designers and style number and have another look online. It might be time to book another appointment or perhaps it's time to try the one on again. Don't be disheartened if you didn't have a movie style dress discovery with tears all round. Keep those preferences in mind and trust your instinct.

OOTN: Floral Dresses

Last week I went to my first wedding dance of the Summer with 2 of my best friends and bridesmaids. We had a fantastic night drinking Prosecco, dancing and catching up. The bride looked beautiful, she had a stunning dress, the band were really good and the venue was decorated so nicely.  All 3 of us were wearing floral dresses, mine was from Quiz and actually one that's been tucked away in my wardrobe for 2 years. It was a bit tight when I bought it and now it's a little too big but really comfortable, I'm glad I finally got a chance to wear it. My heels are from Primark and I lasted all night in them, even with a bit of dancing. My clutch bag is also from Primark and a really good size for all my essentials. The girls were wearing dresses from New Look and Want That Trend - 2 good places if you're looking for an occasion dress. My hair was curled with my Babyliss Curling Wand and I added in a French Braid crown for something a little different. I don't really like wearing my hair up so I'm on the lookout for some different hairstyles, any ideas?

Holiday Supplies Haul | Superdrug

As soon as my summer holiday was booked and I'd done all the essentials like travel insurance and airport parking I headed straight to the Superdrug website for some holiday supplies. Superdrug had some impressive deals and offers, I don't think there was much that I actually paid full price for.

The first offer I signed up to was 2 for £18 on Nip+Fab products. Nip+Fab are fast becoming one of my favourite skin care brands and considering a lot of their products are around £15 this wasn't one to miss out on. I didn't want to take micellar water on holiday because knowing my luck it'll leak so instead I'm going to take the Nip+Fab Gylcolic Fix Gentle Pads for Sensitive Skin. For £3 more I could get something else so I opted to try a range that I've never used and a product I don't really own; an eye cream. The Nip+Fab Bee Sting Fix Eye is for battling fatigue and plumping skin and I've got my fingers crossed it'll be a slight difference to my under eye area. 

The next offer I couldn't resist was a double deal. Aussie products were on 3 for £10 and if you spent £10 on Aussie you got a free dry shampoo - win, win. I chose two shampoos, Winter Miracle for Dull and Tired Hair and Aussie Beach Mate Shampoo, and the Aussie Winter Miracle Conditioner. Yes, I know it's not winter but it's good for my hair type. I saved £4.07 across the 3 products and got a free dry shampoo which would normally be about £4.49.

Onto the real holiday essentials, Superdrug has buy one get one half price on selected suncare. I've already bought my suncream so took advantage of the offer by buying Banana Boat Aloe Vera Aftersun Gel and Superdrug Buzz Off Insect Repellent. Another saving around £3. I bought a delicious holiday smelling Mojito shower gel from the Star Buy section for 59p and lastly bought some eye drops that I use daily for my contact lenses.

All that with free delivery, 8 freebie sachets of Garnier Moisture Bomb Moisturiser and a saving of just over £19. I'm so ready to fly off to Turkey now.

Wedding Planning - eBay Finds

With wedding planning well underway I spend a lot of my time looking for ideas on Pinterest and thinking up all the DIYs I can get up to this Summer and the things I'll need to buy instead.  It goes without saying that weddings are expensive so I don't want to spend over the odds on all the added extras so eBay is pretty high up on my list and my watch list seems to grow each week.

I'm going to making my own stationery and making my own place cards is something I'm likely going to do but if it gets closer to the big day and I've not tackled them yet I would be so happy to buy these Gold Confetti Personalised Place cards. I love the font on them and the foil/glitter design isn't too much. We're not going to be having any children at our wedding but I feel like a sweetie table is more for the big kids anyway. If we do decide to keep the sweet tooth guests busy then I would love a wooden Mr & Mrs Sweetie Display tree. It would make an amazing centrepiece on the table. 
Talking about sweet stuff, we're already in talks with our cake maker about what we'd like. I can't wait for doing some taster sessions! With what we've got in mind we want to keep the design pretty simple and have a Personalised Cake Topper on top to do all the work. I know I said I'm planning to tackle the stationery myself but the Wedding Table Seating Plan is something I'm not quite sure about yet. There's so many different ways of doing it and if I go down the 'all on one piece of paper' look then I'd definitely consider getting it done for me. I can't print in A3 at home so why not take all the stress away? I absolutely love the Dotty Hens eBay items especially their Wedding Gift Bag. This would be gorgeous for the thank you gifts that need to be given on the day of the wedding. 
Obviously the thank you's don't stop on the day of the wedding so some Personalised Thank You stickers are bound to come in handy, whether it's on envelopes of thank you cards or wedding cake boxes. A cute little added extra. So far I've already gathered a couple of bridesmaid thank you gifts and this Bridesmaid Keepsake Box would be gorgeous for gathering it altogether. Maybe even a personalised one with their names on it! Any other ideas for bridesmaid presents? And who all do I need to buy thank you presents for? Wedding planning is like a part-time job sometimes!