How We Found the Perfect Wedding Dress

28 Nov 2011

Finding your dream dress is almost as important as finding your dream husband. Here, four Dubai brides tell us how they made the right choice

Magda Hindia married Sherif in Cairo on September 22, 2009
“Despite being a designer and photographer, I’d never had a dream dress in mind. In fact, I used to wonder why I wasn’t like my girlfriends who knew every detail of their ideal wedding gown. My main concern with any wedding dress was that I felt relaxed and comfortable in it – and the fact that I met Sherif at a dance class meant that I needed to be able to dance in it! Four months before the wedding, I found the dress after trying about five on, all from the same shop. My sister and Sherif came with me and having narrowed it down to two options, I let my husband decide which one was right. I know that’s quite unusual, but I thought that whichever one he thought I looked most beautiful in would be The One. And I have to say, he was right! It was by La Sposa and cost about Dhs10,000. I loved it because it felt young and girly, as opposed to overly bridal and grown up. Above all else I wanted to feel relaxed on the day and to feel like me; I think the dress fitted that perfectly.”

How to do good dress
● Dress shopping is great fun, but don’t forget the real reason you’re getting married.
● Go with your gut feeling; you’ll know instantly if it’s not right.
● Make sure you feel comfortable

Debra Campbell married David in Tuscany on August 20, 2011
“My dress has been on a global journey! I bought it in Dubai, used Skype to model it to friends back home, sent pictures of it to those who couldn’t make the wedding and then it was fl own to Italy for the big day. My mum came over from New Zealand to go shopping with me and I tried on about eleven options. I didn’t have a dream dress in mind (which made things easier) and a lot of the ones I tried did nothing for me - I quickly realised that what I thought looked good, actually didn’t! It was mum who made the decision for me. She said I’d only have one chance to wear the big white dress so why not go all out. She was right, and I chose this beautiful one shoulder gown with ruffles from Pronovias for Dhs10,700. My favourite part was the ruffles - they were messy but elegant and perfect for my personality. It was surprisingly light to wear - at night when we were dancing I was able to spin around, which made the photos look fab, and it was even versatile enough for me to hike through the Tuscan fields in it and still feel amazing!”

How to do good dress
● Try on lots of different styles - what suits you as an evening dress could look totally different as a wedding dress.
● Ask people you know for advice.
● If you’re torn between two, think about what your fiancé would like

Nazma Jamal married Faisal in Dubai on February 26, 2011
“I always knew that for the religious ceremony I would wear a sari because within our culture, marriage is very traditional and pure and you tend to wear white. I had mine made especially for me in India where my cousin, Salima, is a designer in Bombay and owns a boutique called Nazakat. I was very clear on the style of dress I wanted right from the start. I wanted it to have a slightly vintage wedding feel and the fabric used is very rich, intricate and delicate. The blouse is simple, but quite traditional, and rather than it being covered with bling, it has a little bit of an edge with silver trimmings. The sari took about four weeks to be made but the blouse took much longer because of all the detail and because I was being quite picky! I wanted the shade of silver edging to be just right and everything just so – embroidery is something I’ve loved since I was a child so I was very particular about that. On the day it was utterly perfect – it was comfortable but glamorous and I’ll never forget Faisal’s face when he saw me in it. The look was completed with a pair of Gina shoes and yes, I did feel like a princess!”

How to do good dress
● Take your time to choose.
● Stick to your choice. You’ll always see dresses that are not more beautiful than yours, but different.
● If customising, put in a lot of effort to ensure getting it exactly right

Sarah Dalton married Anthony in Nice on June 4, 2011
“I looked for my dress for about a year before I found it. I searched Dubai but I couldn’t find anything and like they say, what you end up with is not what you think you’ll wear. I thought I’d have a strapless, plain, simple design but when I tried some on they swamped me - I felt like I was wearing my big sisters’ clothes playing dress up! After looking around London I stumbled across a Welsh designer, Stephanie Allin. I saw Bella – my dress – on her website and said ‘Oh that could be The One’. It was about eight months before our wedding and back then, lace wasn’t really in fashion. I was really pleased when I saw the Royal Wedding - Kate Middleton wore lace too! One of the main reasons I went with Stephanie is because she makes every dress from scratch. When the top wasn’t working, there she was pinning me into it. The dress has an amazing mix of vintage and modern with the ruffles at the bottom giving it a twist. I like the way the corset gives me a waist, hips and bust as I’m always envious of girls who have that. It felt very romantic on the day and it endured quite a lot. I felt a few rips on some of the ruffles… but I was doing the can-can so that is perhaps to be expected!”

How to do good dress
● Don’t buy the first dress you see.
● Listen to the shop girls’ advice.
● Take along an honest friend.