Category: Designer Days

If I was a bride, which I have imagined many times, a Designer Day from the label that I love would be on my wedding dress shopping hit list. Why? Aside from more dresses to choose from, boutiques tend to run special promotions for the day, and there is usually a little more champagne going around to mark the special occasion (simply my own observations!).

If it was in the dictionary, it would probably read:

Designer Day: [dih-zahy-ner dey] a special event in a bridal boutique, where a larger range of a designers collection is in store for a limited period, typically a weekend.

You may not realise if you are new to the wedding world, but bridal boutiques only carry around a 3rd of a labels collection. But for a designer day, they will loan a large selection of samples, and turn their store into a mini mecca for the said designer.

You’ve fallen in love with a designers work, but the nearest stockists for your favourite dresses are located in all four corners of the country, and long motorway drives with greasy breaks at Little Chef was hardly the glamorous vision you had when dreaming of wedding dress shopping. A designer day is your saviour, booking an appointment is your golden ticket to enter a romantic wonderland, and escape out of truck driver hell.
The designer is out of your budget. Do your research first, and find out if your favourite styles are within your budget. For example, my gowns range from 1,500-4,000, with most styles sitting somewhere in the middle, If 1,500 was your top end, darling don’t go. Book an appointment for a different day where you can try numerous labels, working up to your max budget. I’ve seen brides visibly upset when they see other women in the gown they dreamed of wearing, from their favourite designer and its not within their budget. Don’t do it to yourself!

There are a few golden rules that I have learned in my decades of doing designer days. The list is not long, but its vital. Brides that are unprepared might as well have not shown up, they flap about, get overwhelmed and generally turn into a frustrated hot mess. Brides who do their homework, and bring the right things tend to have a wonderful day, leave buzzing from all the champers and filled with blissful serotonin from finding their dream dress.

REQUEST THE DRESS YOU WANT TO TRY ON: Don’t presume that your favourite style will be in store, ring ahead and check if it will be there, if not, request it in, just don’t do it the day before!

BOOK YOUR APPOINTMENT EARLY: The boutique will only have a limited amount of appointments available during the event, so make sure you have one of them.

PREPARE A SCRAPBOOK: This doesn’t have to be Monica Gellar style bride bible, a few tear sheets will do! A few of dresses you immediately like will give the consultant an instant feeling for your wedding dress style, and take a few images of the venue, this helps to visualise the dresses in the setting.

So, you wouldn’t go to beach without your bikini, sandals, sun lotion and towel, there are basic things you need or face disaster, embarrassment and pain. The same can be said for things to take to a bridal appointment:

SHOES WITH THE RIGHT HEAL HEIGHT: you know what height you walk in comfortably, stick to that, no one wants to see a wonky bride. You can take your trusty clubbing stilettos  that you’ve had since you were 18, it really doesn’t matter, trying your dress on with the right heal will give you a better idea of how a silhouette will work on your body, and you can practice walking (by walking I mean strutting), seeing how it moves, and if you carry it well.

UNDERWEAR: Don’t turn up wearing your old lady pants and old comfy t-shirt bra, unless you are going commando and will take them off. Wear what you expect to wear on the day, particularly if you are bigger busted. Buy your bra first, one that feels great, so when you try a dress on, even if your bra is showing, you can order the gown with a raised back or neckline, better to know this before than after.

HAIR ELASTIC- how you wear your hair makes a big difference to how a the top of a dress looks. Have something at the ready so you can see what a dress looks like hair up/down, believe me, it makes the world of difference.

Don’t take to many people with you!!! one passive aggressive comment from your third cousin twice removed who recently gained 10lb who you felt obliged to invite because she’s seen every episode of Don’t Tell The Bride and now thinks she’s Gok Wan to the wedding world, could ruin what should be a wonderful day, and potentially deter your from your dream dress. Take one person that you trust impeccably, you’ll both have a fab time, and you’ll build a closer relationship with the consultant as she doesn’t have to play mediator to Coronation Street style dramas!

I hope this helps you!


Ti Adora
Ti Adora Bridal
26th to 27th of September

Limelight Occasions Designer Weekend
19th to 20th of September

Noble & Wright Atelier
5th to 6th of September

To see other Ian Stuart Designer Weekends click here.