How To Begin Your Wedding Gown Search, According To A Dubai-Based Bridal Boutique Owner

BY Nina Catt / Nov 20 2019 / 12:39 PM

You’ll definitely want to take note of these expert tips…

How To Begin Your Wedding Gown Search, According To A Dubai-Based Bridal Boutique Owner

From how far in advance to start trying on dresses to what undergarments to wear to your appointment, Ginger + Poppy Bridal Boutique owner, May Martin, sits down with BAZAAR Bride’s, Nina Catt, to go over the fundamentals of beginning your journey to finding the one…

Harper’s BAZAAR Arabia: What advice would you give to a newly engaged client about beginning the gown selecting journey?
May Martin:
Start by doing some research about the boutique you’re visiting, ahead of time. It’ll give a good indication of what brands and styles they carry. If you find dresses you really like, the better chance you’ll have an enjoyable experience trying them on. Another piece of advice is to keep an open mind when you first select the gowns you want to try - as you might just surprise yourself if you try a style you’d ordinarily assume you won’t like.

HBA: How do you look after a bride that has no idea about the kind of gown she wants?
We always have a conversation before the bride starts browsing. We ask about the location and the style of wedding to try and get to know the bride. If she hasn’t been wedding dress shopping before, I always advise to try on a variety of shapes to see what she feels the most comfortable in, and what style suits her the most. After trying on several different gowns it’s easier to know what suits her body shape - but also gives a good idea about what the bride want to steer away from.

HBA: What should a bride-to-be bring to an appointment?
MM: It’s really important to feel as best as you can when wedding dress shopping. It’s a great idea to wear good-fitting underwear in which you feel comfortable in - and in a style that won’t create any visible lines. This is the best way to see how the dress is going to look and feel on the big day. Nude shapewear is great for this and also a strapless bra or cups as lots of dresses are strapless or backless.

HBA: Who should a bride-to-be bring with her to an appointment?
MM: We recommend bringing a maximum of three people. Choose people you trust will help you find the dress that’s right for you, and those that will support your decision-making process. It’s great to have constructive criticism but we also want to keep those positive vibes going. It’s also totally fine to come alone too - whatever is right for you.

HBA: What’s the number one mistake or misconception brides-to-be make when trying on wedding gowns for the first time?
MM: There may not necessarily be any tears when you find the one! There’s a myriad of emotions when people try on wedding dresses and it’s totally individual, so whether you just make a pragmatic decision, or an emotional one, it’s still the right decision. It’s not always like it is in the movies. 

HBA: How far in advance do you recommend starting the search for a gown?
MM: We recommend to start looking 9-12 months before your wedding day, and purchasing between 7-9 months out. Designers will take approximately 4-6 months to make your gown as they are made to order. Once the dress arrives, we like to have 1-2 months for any alterations. If you start shopping with more than a year until your wedding day you may be tempted to look at new collections after you’ve purchased something, and if you leave it less than six months, we will have to place rush order to get the gown on time and we don’t want to add any extra stress to your wedding planning.

HBA: What are the key trends or styles that are popular at the moment?
The one-shoulder gown seems to be coming back in fashion as well as statement sleeves. I’m seeing a lot of billow sleeves, bishop sleeves and detachable sleeves - which are great for having two different looks on the day.

HBA: And accessories?
MM: There has been a huge demand for capes instead of veils. Especially simple sheer capes with pearl embellishment, or delicate lace embroidery. Sheer long-sleeved jackets are also really popular to add that statement piece over a simple slip dress for a touch of romanticism.

To make an appointment with May, visit