Everything you need to know before wedding dress shopping

Do you need to wear underwear and do you need to bring heels? Hannah Braidford, owner of Northumberland bridal boutique, EB Bridal, shares her tips for trying on wedding dresses.

Written by Rachael Nichol
Published 14.09.2023

advertisement feature

Whether you’ve been dreaming of your wedding dress since you were five or you’ve never thought about it until you’ve finally got a ring on your finger, finding your dream wedding dress can be stressful.

Sometimes what you had in mind might not look right on or you may have a tight budget to stick to, the pressure of buying the most expensive garment you’ll ever own is real.

But what you need is a bridal boutique with a team dedicated to helping you find the gown of your dreams… enter EB Bridal. Fuelled by a passion for design and a luxury showroom stocked with an extensive range of boutique wedding dresses to suit every shape, style and season in a variety of gorgeous colours, EB Bridal’s boutique specialises in offering a new kind of bridal shopping experience.

From the moment you step through the doors of their luxury showroom in Alnwick, you’ll get exclusive use of the boutique for you and your bridal party, meaning you’ll enjoy a unique, relaxed and enjoyable experience.

We caught up with EB Bridal owner, Hannah Braidford, for advice on how to prepare for wedding dress shopping.

HLN TOP TIP: If you’re searching for ultimate wedding inspiration, EB Bridal have also curated its own directory of local, hand-chosen wedding suppliers, advisors and businesses.

EB Bridal shop Alnwick


There can be a delay in terms of the supply of certain dresses. We have at least one dress in every style that we stock in the showroom for you to try on, but getting the right size supplied to us can take between 6 to 10 months in some styles. We’d recommend ordering your dress no later than 12 months before your wedding day, just to be on the safe side.


We’ll get to know you, your style and your dream gown preferences. Then, our bridal stylists will carefully hand-select dresses to create the perfect wedding look, exclusive to you. We can also style your chosen gown with our hand-chosen selection of accessories, veils and hairpins. Whatever you need, we’ll help you on your journey to finding the one wedding dress that’s right for you.

We want to be about the whole wedding experience here at EB Bridal. Choosing your wedding dress is such a personal experience, where some brides may feel a little vulnerable if they don’t feel comfortable. We want to make sure that we develop that sense of trust with our brides to ensure their dressing shop experience is as enjoyable and perfect as possible.



It’s important to think about your venue before you go wedding dress shopping. If you’re having a religious ceremony, you don’t want to have too much skin on show or if you’re marrying in a rustic barn wedding venue, you probably want something a bit more boho to suit the surroundings.

Even if you don’t have a ‘theme’ for your wedding as such, you’ll definitely have a vibe or a feel that you’re going for. Feel free to show us photos of a dress you like. We always say choose three specific words to describe your vibe which can help us narrow down your dress selections. Let us do the hard work for you.


We say anyone with a classic English rose complexion – pale skin, fair hair and cool undertones – would find themselves better suited to warmer colours. Dresses in ivory, cream, nude and blush pink, for example.

If you have a darker, warmer skin tone, we’d suggest going for a wedding dress in a slightly cooler colour: pure white, off-white, champagne or even grey, for example. But there’s certainly no strict rulebook; it’s all about the style and colour that you feel most comfortable, confident and beautiful in. Plus, think about if you’ll be getting a spray tan for your big day.



Bring your shoes. Ideally, the ones you’re going to wear on the day but, if not, then at least shoes that are the same height as your wedding shoes. They can make a huge difference in terms of how a dress looks on you.

Also, bring appropriate lingerie – again, similar to what you’ll be wearing on your wedding day. Further adjustments can always be made after you’ve chosen your dress, but having both with you for your first fitting will help you get a really good idea of how you’ll look on the big day.


If you hate having your hair up and you know you want long, glamorous Hollywood waves on your wedding day, consider that when dress shopping. You don’t want an overly embellished neckline your hair will tangle in or if you want a sleek wedding updo, look at dresses with lots of detail to show off.



The price range of the dresses we currently stock is from around £800 to £2,500, and we’re always honest and upfront about our prices and we’ll help you stick to your budget. It’s best to have a clear budget in mind and discuss this with us so we can bring out dresses within your budget.

Yes, it’s uncomfortable to talk numbers, but it will save you from heartache later. Please keep in mind there’ll be extra costs for things like tailoring, accessories (your veil, jewellery, and shoes), and cleaning and preserving the gown after the wedding if you want it as a keepsake.


Yes, you love your mum, sister, sister-in-law, maid of honour, and six bridesmaids and would want them all to be there. But why not keep the dress as a surprise for your bridesmaids? (The first-look photos are so lovely and sentimental) Try narrowing your group down to the two or three people whose opinions matter most to you and who can be honest without hurting your feelings.



Designed and manufactured in the UK, EB Bridal now offers multi-way bridal dresses which can be wrapped in more than 45 ways, suiting any body type. 

They have 25 colours to choose from including sage, rust and gold, with sizes from UK6 to UK26, as well as for children between 12-16.

Order time is between two days to 15 weeks, without any restriction on variety of colours or minimum orders.

Prices range from £120-£155.


At EB Bridal, we stock an extensive range – so whatever style you’re after, we’re likely to have it in our boutique.

EB Bridal Alnwick


Price range: £880 – £1,600

The Sincerity bridal gown collection is designed for the charismatic and classic bride who wants the perfect princess bridal gown. We’re talking simple, classic fabrics with lots of detail in places and some of them even have pockets, too.



EB Bridal Alnwick

Justin Alexander

Price range: £800 – £2,500

One of the world’s biggest bridal names, the Justin Alexander collection is designed and produced in rich fabrications with hand-crafted details to create elegance with a touch of Hollywood glamour.

EB Bridal Alnwick

Wtoo by Watters

Price range: £1,200 – £2,200

Vatana Watters’s romantic creations are renowned for their ethereal, dramatic, and always surprising style with unexpected details and plenty of classic elements as well. This range offer sparkle, lace and ultimate elegance, evoking that classic fairy tale theme.

Venus Bridal

Price range: £1,200 – £2,500

Venus Bridal is a pearl of the bridal industry, glowing with elegant and timeless designs since 1985. Venus knows that love comes in all shapes and sizes and the collection is at the glitzy-glam end of the scale – think sequins, detailed sleeves and sparkling fishtail dresses.


Other stories by Rachael Nichol
Rooftop drinks, rustic-luxe charm and romance – Tour this new Northumberland wedding venue

Rooftop drinks, rustic-luxe charm and romance – Tour this new Northumberland wedding venue

Rachael Nichol
The Great North Hotel

Tie the knot at Great North Hotel with wedding packages starting from £3,500

Rachael Nichol
Soul Bride Mackies Corner Sunderland

Unveiling the extraordinary: The North East’s newest alternative wedding dress boutique

Rachael Nichol

Inside Capheaton Hall – The Northumberland wedding venue that offers endless opportunities

Rachael Nichol

Cheese wedding cakes are trending – here’s everything you need to know

Rachael Nichol

The Unique Tent Company shares the ultimate outdoor wedding inspiration

Rachael Nichol