Four Scottish boutiques share their shopping tips

Don’t know where to start with dress shopping? We caught up with some of Scotland’s top boutiques, on stand-by to lend a helping hand and keep you calm

Tamara gown and Dana jacket, £POA, Sassi Holford, available at Anne Priscilla Bridal

“Be underwear aware. Come prepared by wearing nude or light-coloured seamless pants. They’re not sexy, but you will thank us later if you slip on a crêpe dress. Choose a bra that you are comfortable in – sometimes you will be required to take it off but, if not, a well-fitting bra will position the bust in the correct way.

Keep your circle small. Head along to your appointment with only one or two close friends or family members whose opinions really matter to you and who understand who you are and what you want.”

Ashleigh Elliott, Anne Priscilla Bridal 

Eleganza Sposa owner Anna Cirignaco in the Glasgow store

“Create a ‘Love List’. Eleganza Sposa has a feature online that allows you to bookmark all your favourite gowns before your appointment. This prepares our stylists with an idea of what you like, and also of your budget. Put your camera phone away at your bridal appointment. Taking bad videos and snaps of your dress will turn you into a critic at a later date and you may even doubt that raw emotion you felt when you stood in the perfect dress for the first time.

Do some pre-shopping primping. Your bridal appointment is your opportunity to visualise how you will look on your big day, so considering and adjusting your hair and makeup accordingly before your appointment will make you feel as fabulous as the gowns you try on. And lastly, don’t hesitate to say yes. When you know, you know!”

Anna Cirignaco, Eleganza Sposa 

Allana, £1,795, Colet by Nicole Spose, available at Ivory Whites

“When shopping, listen to the staff in the boutique, our job is to help you. We know how our dresses look on real brides, not just on the hanger. We will advise you which ones to try on based on what you want for your day. Be open minded; most brides end up liking aspects of dresses they never expected to. But also be honest, as we can only work with the information we are given. If you don’t like something, then don’t worry, we won’t be offended. You have to rule out some dresses or you’ll never choose one.”

Karyn McLeod, Ivory Whites 

Skye gown, £POA, Naomi Neoh, available at Pan Pan Bridal

“I would advise brides to plan in advance. Speak to friends who have already been through it all. Often our brides don’t realise how long it takes for the dress to arrive at the store after it has been ordered. Don’t spend too much time shopping around, trying on dresses. The excitement fades and every gown starts to look the same.

Know your budget and don’t be afraid to ask about cost. It needs to cover the dress, accessories (shoes, veils, headpiece, underwear etc.) and fittings. All these can add up. Inquire about the price range within the store before you visit and find out about the sizes available in the samples before you book. There is nothing more disappointing than arriving only to discover that the dresses are beyond your budget or you can’t fit into the stock.

With most designers, the gowns will go up to a size 18 but unfortunately we can only have one size in a sample. Don’t be disheartened if the sample dresses don’t zip up. If you fall in love with the dress we will measure you and order the size closest to you and if it still isn’t perfect, fittings will make sure the dress fits you like a glove.”

Huda Abdulgader, Pan Pan Bridal