Ask the expert - A guide for brides // Bridal Elegance Boutique

When a girl get’s engaged, finding the perfect dress is probably the number one thing you will want to do. Most of us have been dreaming about this moment since we were kids. That’s why we’ve teamed up with Lauren from Bridal Elegance Boutique in Larne to answer a few questions.

Lauren worked in retail since she left school, in different roles such as customer assistant, supervisor and management. She took a break from it all and worked in community care before working night-shifts in a local nursing home after she had her middle child. It was when she was expecting her third child, that her and her mum Hilary opened the boutique.

When Lauren was getting married herself and looking for her own dress, she found the process quite stressful and she never had that amazing experience which everyone tells you about. In the three bridal shops she went to, there wasn’t much variation between styles. The consultants came into the changing room with you to put you in the dress (she hated this part, standing in your underwear in front of a stranger isn’t very nice), and the overall process was quite serious due to the lack of atmosphere in the shop. Lauren’s mum Hilary had been hiring formal and bridesmaids dress part time, and then the bridal shop in Larne closed down the year after Lauren got married. They both saw the opportunity to open a bridal boutique offering brides a relaxing and friendly atmosphere, to make their wedding dress shopping a memorable, stress free experience. Something you wouldn’t get in every other boutique.

Lauren’s top tip for choosing the right dress is to be open minded - try on dresses you think you don’t like on the hanger and styles that you haven’t thought of. Nine times out of ten, brides buy a dress that is totally different to what they had in mind. She would also recommend bringing only one or two of the people you are closest to. (e.g. mum or sister) Too many opinions can make finding your perfect dress a nightmare.

Lauren would recommend wearing a good nude, strapless bra and if you want to, shape wear to your fitting. Underwear can make a huge difference to the fit and look of a dress. Bring shoes with the height of heel you want to wear on the day. Heels can help your posture and it will let your consultant see if the dress needs shortened.

Brides should start looking for their dress 12-18 months before their wedding. Dresses can take up to six months to be made and arrive in store. Your alterations usually start eight weeks before your wedding. Lauren’s favourite style of dress would be the A line. It’s a classic shape and looks great on most people.

Bridal Elegance Boutique are having another one of their fabulous open nights on Tuesday 9th April at 7pm. It’s your perfect chance to grab a glass of bubbly & have a look at their dresses. Live make up and hair demonstrations from Emma at Savage Beauty and Jennifer at Shek. Caroline Smyth Photography will also be chatting about your wedding photography and Jill from Maggie’s Working Kitchen will be showing what amazing food she can provide.

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