Nowadays, it is hard to think of a wedding without such a big, if not the biggest attribute like a wedding dress, which is almost always white in colour. We might think women have always been wearing white gowns at their weddings, however, this is not the case. Before Victorian times, brides just wore their best dresses. Materials, details, and colours of dresses varied depending on brides’ social status and culture. It was Queen Victoria who began a trend of white wedding dresses. She wore a white gown at her wedding in 1840 and women of a higher social status in Europe and America began wearing white dresses at their weddings, too. Interestingly enough, while white represents purity in Western culture, it is considered to be the colour of mourning in some other countries where brides still wear a dress of a different colour than white – such as red, for instance.
What about you? Have you ever thought about or imagined your dream wedding dress? Its shape, details, material, length and colour?
When I was a teenager, I wanted and dreamt of wearing an elegant mermaid or an A-line silhouette dress at my wedding. However, I never thought much about any smaller details. It is only now after being proposed to, that I have started to think more seriously about wedding dresses and accessories that would fit. I visited 12 wedding shops in Nuremberg and spent at least one to one and a half hours in each of them trying on various gowns. The average price of a wedding dress in Nuremberg ranges between 1200€ and 1600€. In most cases, dresses must then also be fitted, which costs an additional 100-300€. That’s not even including accessories such as veils, headpieces, belts, gloves, jewellery, cover-ups, clutches, and shoes which can be expensive as well. However, if you do not want to spend a lot of money on an outfit that you will wear only once, check out some wedding outlet stores or order a dress online. For example, ASOS, as well as outlets, offer both new and beautiful dresses for 100€-600€. For accessories and shoes, you might want to check Zalando, ASOS, Aliexpress, Shein, or Amazon.
At some of the wedding shops I visited in Nuremberg, I received excellent customer service where consultants were very helpful, professional, honest, and polite. They also let customers take pictures of themselves wearing their favourite dresses, which I found very useful, as I was mainly shopping alone and wanted to know the opinions of my mother and best friend, both of whom live far away.
At some other places, unfortunately, I experienced mediocre or even poor customer service, where consultants talked down and bad-mouthed competitor shops, or tried to manipulate me into buying a dress at their shop immediately, and were generally annoyingly pushy. These places didn’t allow you to take photos of your favourite dresses either. Nevertheless, there were 1-3 dresses at each place that I liked and would hypothetically wear at my wedding.
Taking this into consideration, I can recommend the following wedding shops in Nuremberg which, in my opinion, provided the most satisfying experiences:
- Brautatelier Mutz
- Lilly Brautkleider Outlet Store
- Pia Charlotte Brautmoden
- Elise De Luxe.
Based on my own experience, I would like to give you the following 15 tips when looking for a wedding dress:
- Set your budget.
- Make an appointment at a wedding shop first so they can give you their full attention.
- Take along someone whose taste in fashion you like or trust.
- A dress sets the tone for the wedding, so think about the location and setting of your wedding (a classic ballroom affair, a restaurant up in the mountains or a beach party) in order to pick a suitable gown.
- Take pictures or short videos of yourself in dresses from the front and back, as you will very likely forget some details of the dress, thus making it hard to compare with other dresses.
- Do not rush to buy the first dress that looks nice. Go to other shops and see what they offer.
- Be open to different types of wedding dresses and colours. Maybe you will like a dress that you thought would not suit you.
- When trying on a dress, do not hesitate to walk, move your arms, sit down and stand up to make sure it does not restrict your movements and you feel comfortable in it.
- Once you have your favourites, look at the details: fabric, length, laces, glitters, colour, price, types of necklines, etc. Sleep on it. Ask family and friends what they think, but remember it’s your day, your dress, and finally your decision.
- Some dresses with particular necklines or silhouettes may restrict a full range of movements, e.g., with a Carmen neckline, it is impossible to fully raise your arms, unless the material is stretchy.
- Get a dress that reflects your personality. Though I visually liked wedding dresses of a princess style on me, I felt out of my element because those dresses were contradicting my inner-self.
- Get the dress first, and then look for accessories and shoes that harmonize well with the gown.
- Consider buying shoes that you could also wear in your everyday life. Bridal shoes are beautiful and comfortable but you cannot really wear them on other occasions.
- Some accessories, such as earrings, necklaces, rings, bracelets, and clutches, can also used in your everyday life after the wedding.
- Once you get your dress, do not show it to your groom! 😉 It has nothing to do with superstitions – you just cannot make a first impression twice. Surprise him on your big day.
Whilst looking for a wedding dress can be stressful – believe me, I’ve been through it, enjoy yourself and try to make the most out of it. After all, it will most likely be a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Trying on a dress and imagining wearing it on your special day is actually a very exciting process. It’s most likely your first time trying on such a dress, so you might feel at a loss at the beginning – but don’t worry! You will surely develop a taste for it and come to know what you like and dislike in dresses once you start looking for one and trying some of them on. The variety of wedding dresses can be extensive and overwhelming. However, you will definitely find a dress no matter your personal style, timeline, or budget, which you will absolutely love.
Best of luck,