The Vow

6 things to know before buying your wedding dress

We've got weddings on the brain.

Fresh from our first ever Bridal Bootcamp at the gibson hotel, we got tips from the best in Ireland. To start our series, stylist Courtney Smith gave some priceless advice when it comes to shopping for your wedding dress.

1. Don’t be afraid to try something new


"I think, especially in the last five years, people are a lot more true to their own personal style and not necessarily sticking to what the 'norm' is for the wedding," Courtney said. "There are a lot more girls wearing two pieces, girls wearing things more fashion forward like a jumpsuit or tuxedo."

2. You don't have to travel far to find your dream dress

Dress by Jenny Packham at Sharon Hoey

"We’ve got such great bridal stores in Dublin. On Drury St, you have The Suite - if you’re a modern bride and you want something long and slinky; Sharon Hoey does a lot of exclusive designers like Jenny Packham, then of course you have Myrtle Ivory who do boho like no one else does and De Stafford in Howth have the couture lines," she explained.

"I think if you are looking for the amazing designer dress, you don’t even have to necessarily look further afield. The experience that you get in those shops – like the White Room in Mullingar."

3. Don't get scared of shopping online

Dress by Asos

"I would never say don’t look online," Courtney explains. "Net-A-Porter have incredible dresses – you can try them on, return them for free, there’s no obligation to keep them. Asos is the exact same. It’s great for anyone on a budget - €300. I don’t necessarily agree with the ‘budget’ thing – if you put this dress next to a high end one, no one can tell the difference. And no one is going to ask you how much your dress was."

4. Wear your heart on your sleeve


"I don’t think there's any strict rules for long sleeves in winter or strapless in summer. I think whatever you’re comfortable in, especially Irish women, we like to cover our arms, so why not?"

5. Find your sole mate


"I’m about comfort. If you can’t dance in them all night (unless you have a change of shoes you feel comfortable in and will stick work with your dress) – I would be always opting for comfort," she says. "Go for a brand you wear often. A lot of the bridal dresses, unless they’re a shorter option, are full length and you can’t even see them. I don’t think they are the most important part."

6. Step back in time

Dress from Jean Cronin Vintage in Powerscourt Town Centre

"If you want to go for a two-piece, something a bit cool and different and you wanted to make sure no one was ever going to wear the same as you – look at vintage and alterations. See if they can re-imagine it with you."