Whether you're getting married and about to book your first bridal appointment, or you just want to know what to expect when taking the plunge for the first time, Say Yes to the Dress' David Emmanuel is here to help you avoid the most common wedding dress shopping faux pas.
1. Going with no idea of what you want. David says, "Do a little research, get some bridal magazines and flick through, and have an idea." Otherwise, those poor consultants won't know where to start.
2. Going with a set idea in mind. Equally, while it's great to have a concept of what you're looking for, the most important thing for brides to remember on their wedding dress shopping day is to "PLEASE come with an open mind," David exclaims.
3. Bringing a huge entourage. "Because don't forget, then you have five people and five completely different points of view and five completely different taste levels," which does sound pretty overwhelming, we agree, David.
4. Bringing your future-mother-in-law. David says: "In my experience, the bride will come out and the mother will go 'no I don't like' and [the future-mother-in-law will] say 'I love it' and then, where does the bride go? She doesn't want to upset her mother and presumably she doesn't want to upset her future mother in law. So it's tough!"
5. Saying you're a different size. Don't tell your consultant you're one size, if you're not. "I know it's difficult but try to be objective," David says. "I don’t care what size you are but don't fib. Look in the mirror and be realistic and say to the consultant 'I'm the size I am, just dress me.' It will save you both time on the day."
6. Ignoring certain shapes because you don't think they'll suit you. "The girl and the silhouette, it either works or it doesn't, right?" David says. The most important thing? "You need to see that the bride is wearing the gown, not vice versa," David says. "It's all to do with trying on."
7. Wearing black underwear. David exclaims: "You're either going to be wearing white, ivory, or you might wear a tinted pink dress, but please don't wear black knickers because then that's all you see."
8. Judging a dress by the hanger. "What looks great on the hanger might not look great on you," David advises, "but also, what looks very understated and simple on the hanger might look fairly plain but actually suit you." Which takes us full circle back to David's previous "trying on" advice.
9. Not putting the dress in context of your day. Your wedding day has to flow together and fit. If you're wearing a huge satin gown on the beach, that's just not going to look right, just as a boho slip wouldn't work in a castle. "It's just not appropriate," David says.
10. Over-shopping. According to David, over-shopping is a big no-no because the brides "get frightened and they lose confidence. A panic sets in and they say 'Oh my God I'm never going to find a dress...' They've probably had a bad experience, they've probably tried on far too many dresses—and by the time they come in [to see David] they don't know what to do."
11. Ignoring the big B. B-u-d-g-e-t—don't forget it, people. David explains: "Come in with a fixed idea of what you want to spend. I think it's unfair and rude to put a girl in a dress that she can't afford because what you don't want is for a girl to fall in love with a gown and then burst into tears because she can't afford it."
12. Not looking early enough. Most dresses have a lead-time of six months to come into store and then you still have to have them altered, so make sure you leave plenty of time before your wedding to find the right one.
13. Not trusting your consultant. If you've never been wedding dress shopping before, David has one piece of sound advice. "It can be overwhelming but I think you've got to have a trust in your consultant. They're professionals, it's all they do all day every day. They're not going to force you into a dress."
14. Thinking too outside of the box. After all, you still want to look like you on your big day, don't you? "I bring it back to, what do you normally wear?" David says. "If you go out of an evening, do you wear sparkly dresses or cocktail dresses? What do you wear? What do you feel comfortable in?"
15. Ruling out dresses you can't wear without a bra. "If you have a good boned corset bodice, you shouldn't need to wear a bra," David says. "If you do, it's not fitted well."
16. Shopping with a negative attitude. "You've got to believe in yourself," David says. "I'm here to help—I'm not going to say you look great if you don’t look great. I'll be the first one to say, no this is not working out so let's try something else."
17. Forgetting you will have to walk on your wedding day. "The worst thing is putting somebody in a huge Cinderella dress with a train and they don't know how to walk," David says. "Unless you're prepared to take a petticoat home and practice, this is going to look dreadful on the day."
This article originally appeared on Cosmopolitan.com/uk. Minor edits have been made by the Cosmo.ph editors.