should i shop around for my bridal gown?

Why shopping around could damage your bridal experience
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Should You Shop Around for your Bridal Gown?


“Let me think about it… I’ve still got another 5 boutiques to go to…”

Recently it’s become more and more commonplace to visit several, if not tens, of bridal boutiques before deciding on your wedding dress. We hear from brides all the time who have tried on 20 or more dresses and are at their wits end. 

As you’ll likely know, it’s important to recognise that choosing your wedding dress is not the same picking up a bodycon number for your next girl’s night out. And there is often a lot of internal and external pressure to choose the right dress – and the overwhelm can get a bit much! 

Shopping for your wedding dress should be a beautifully exciting, luxurious and much anticipated event! And sadly, by ‘shopping around’, this event can get diluted and eventually the excitement runs out, and you might find yourself frustrated, confused and indecisive. 

So, listen up lovelies! Go with your gut, trust your intuition and go find ‘The One’! Keep on reading to discover 4 reasons you shouldn’t shop around for your bridal gown, as well as how to nail your bridal shopping experience.


Should I Shop Around for my Bridal Gown | Hannah Elizabeth Bridal
Should I Shop Around for my Bridal Gown | Hannah Elizabeth Bridal

4 reasons you shouldn’t shop around for your bridal gown


It’s hard to imagine getting tired of trying on luxury wedding dresses – but trust us, dress fatigue is a real thing and it comes around quicker than you’d imagine. 

Dress fatigue starts hitting brides around dress 10. By this point, they’ve seen so many options that they can’t even remember what they liked, or why they liked it. You’re suddenly not even sure you like any of them! You’re tired from the workout that is trying on wedding dresses (seriously) and honestly you just want to go for a coffee and a cake.

Suddenly the experience is less fun and more effort – not how you want your bridal shopping experience to feel.



The other conundrum we see is brides chasing ‘The One’. That feeling you get you find ‘The One’ is not repeatable! Trying on more and more and more dresses will not allow you to feel that tummy-flipping excitement more times. In fact, the more you keep trying on after finding ‘The One’, the more diluted that experience becomes. 

It’s so important to know when you have found ‘The One’ and to trust your intuition! You can read more about how to know you’ve found ‘The One’ on our blog here.

Watters Wtoo - Damali | Hannah Elizabeth Bridal
Watters Wtoo - Lucia | Hannah Elizabeth Bridal


Whilst we’re on the topic of ‘The One’, some brides start shopping for their dress without their nearest and dearest – which is absolutely fine if they’re ready to purchase solo! However,  many brides understandably want their mum there, or they’d like their sister to join in on the experience. Some brides, however, like to come alone – and that’s wonderful too! 

However, imagine getting that feeling of ‘oh wow I’ve found the one’… but having to walk away because you felt the need to come back with your family or friends. You cannot recreate that moment, so if you want to have guests with you when you find The One, make sure they’re there for the real thing. 

Getting ‘an idea’ often leads to ‘no idea’

There is no merit to bridal shopping to ‘get an idea’ of what’s out there. For one, that can be done online (girls, we’ve all got Instagram). But secondly, trying on multiple dresses will only cause confusion or a dilemma. Which do you choose? Can’t you wear them all? 

And dilemma when you buy your dress is the worst situation to end up in, as you will constantly question yourself post-purchase, all the way up to your wedding day.

What if you make the wrong choice? Are you sure that was ‘The One’? What about the other style? What about the one with the plunge neckline? Or the one with the ballgown skirt? 

Cue the heart palpitations, the sibling squabbling, the sweats and the regular coffee and cake breaks. If your bridal shopping experience is starting to feel like a battle… you’ve gone too far. Ultimately, ‘getting an idea’ often results in ‘no idea’ and feeling frustrated and confused.

How to nail your bridal shopping experience…

1. Do your research

You don’t need to be designer savvy, but you do need to have a vague image of what you might like. No bridal shop will stock every style – most of us have niched down. For that reason, we’re not for everyone and that’s ok! Our style includes modern luxury, contemporary chic, fashion-forward and timeless classics.

Not your style? No problem, we totally understand! All we want is for you to have a lovely bridal shopping experience and trust us when we say that research plays a huge part in this, to ensure you do not feel disheartened or disappointed. 

2. Ideal budget vs. The One budget

Have an ideal budget as well as a ‘The One’ budget is crucial. Let us explain.

An ideal budget is the amount of money you’d like to spend on your wedding gown, in an ideal world. ‘The One’ budget is the absolute maximum you can afford, if it really was the perfect dress for you. 

We highly recommend you come into the boutique with a full understanding of your budget, as well as this budget split, and with full awareness of the cost of bridal gowns per designer.

While we totally understand trying something on out of your budget, it can be super difficult for yourself as a bride to fall in love with a dress, to then have to hang it back on the rail and say goodbye. We simply do not want you to leave with a bridal gown in mind that you cannot stretch to. For this reason, we recommend choosing to try on 3-4 dresses in your ideal budget, and 1-2 dresses in your The One budget. This will enable you to find a dress that truly fits the bill, and if you need to stretch to your maximum for The One, you can. 

Our number one rule here is to not try on any dresses that cost more than your ‘The One’ budget – this will only make your decision even harder.

3. Check out the FAQs and your Ultimate Guide to Bridal Shopping

The brides that get the most out of their bridal shopping experience are the ones that are fully prepared on every single level. We’ve made this super straight forward for you, both with our faq page (which you can view here!) and our Ultimate Guide to Bridal Shopping which you’ll receive via email after booking an appointment with us.

This goes through all the tiny details you’ll need to know about your bridal appointment and purchasing your dress. Knowledge is power, so being clued up will have you feeling like a powerful bride as you walk through our door. 

4. Be ready to purchase

On the morning of your bridal shopping experience, tell yourself… “I am getting my dress today!” As we discussed above, entering a bridal boutique to ‘get an idea’ simply leaves you feeling confused, frustrated or with absolute dress fatigue and not enjoying your bridal shopping experience. You deserve to get your dream dress – so don’t go out thinking you’re doing anything else.

5. Stick to your gut

As we’ve reiterated throughout this blog, it’s important to stick with your gut and trust your intuition. You will know when you try on The One. How? Check out our other useful bridal blog, ‘How Will I Know When I’ve Found The One‘?

We also recommend sticking to your gut in the face of your guests opinions. While we love you to bring your nearest and dearest to experience that special moment with you, don’t let their opinions distract from how you feel in The One when you try her on. Trust us, you will regret it. 

Blush wedding gown, Cabinet of Wonders, an exclusive Watters WTOO event
Watters Wtoo, Cabinet of Wonders, an exclusive Watters WTOO event

Want to do your research before heading in to see us (wow, we love you!), then check out Hannah’s Lookbook. You can browse our designers and get a feel for the kind of vibe our Parisienne style boutique covets, all behind our little blue door.

We also share hand-picked, behind-the-rails photos on our Instagram, so you can see our dresses up close and personal before booking an appointment.

Of course, if there’s anything you’d like to ask us – we’d love for you to give us a call! You don’t need to book an appointment to ask a question. Just slip a message into the Hannah Elizabeth mailbox.



Hannah Elizabeth Bridal is an award-winning luxury bridal boutique with a reputation for carefully curating a collection of beautiful, elegant gowns. It celebrates a journey, empowering your individuality and aims to give modern, bold and fashion-forward women the chance to let their personality and style shine through on their wedding day. Other designers stocked include, Nostalgia by Amber HeRosa Clara, Rosa Clara Boheme, Hayley Paige and Tara Keely.

For more information, or to simply find out more about our gorgeous boutique contact Hannah or Kelly on appointments@hannahelizabethbridal.com or 0238 1781911.



Your bridal appointment

Our award winning bridal boutique is located in the Hampshire village of Botley, home to our carefully curated collection of modern luxe wedding gowns. From the streets of Paris, to the beaches of Australia, and the hustle and bustle of NYC – we’ve selected the finest bridal designers from across the globe, all specialising in exquisite designs, classic couture and exclusive styles. Your bespoke experience starts the moment you make contact with us. From our first phone consultation to your exciting and luxurious bridal boutique appointment. We lead you with our expertise and guide you through our extraordinary array of designers, their exquisite fabrics and mesmerising designs. We passionately provide an unparalleled, inspirational and high-end bridal shopping experience.

5 High Street, Botley,
Southampton, Hampshire,
SO30 2EA