So you've spent hours pinning, and stalked all your favourite bridal accounts on insta ....now it's time to actually start wedding dress shopping.  Freaking out about what to expect? Let me talk you through what happens at your first bridal fitting.

Our bridal boutique in East Belfast.

Our bridal boutique in East Belfast.

The most important thing to us is that you feel comfortable and relaxed and enjoy the experience, so here's a quick run down of how it works.

  • You can book in online and choose a date and time that suits you best. Fo your first time at ARCHIVE 12 please select a FIRST APPOINTMENT from the options.

  • You will receive an appointment confirmation email with all the details for the day.

  • Appointments are booked back to back so try to turn up bang on time. We don’t have a waiting area in store so if you are early we might still be with a client - and if you are late it will eat into your own time slot.

  • When you arrive, we will welcome you and your gang and offer you some fizz! Then we can chat about the kind of dress you are looking for and what your day involves. This is the point to tell us of any specifics you have already decided on - no sleeves, prefer backless etc

  • Let's talk budget.... I have changed my mind a million times about whether to ask clients if they have a budget. Some brides have it as a rough guide, and others are willing to spend on the RIGHT dress. As all our dresses are under £2,500 we don't have anything crazy expensive, but I would say that if you have a strict budget it's better to tell us from the start so we can guide you to the dresses within your price range. (For all our brand prices see our FAQS)

boho inspired decor to make you feel super relaxed.

boho inspired decor to make you feel super relaxed.

  • Next we'll let you have a look through the rails, pulling out all the dresses you want to try. We will offer suggestions IF you want us too. I usually find once I have seen a client try a few on I will have a better idea of what might suit her body shape.

  • Then the fun starts. Your stylist will come into the changing room to help you in and out of each gown.

  • We have shoes sized 3-7 for you to try with your dress. You are very welcome to bring a pair of shoes with you that are around the same height you will wear on the day.

  • We very much take your lead when it comes to appointments. A good stylist knows when to offer advice and when to step back. (sometimes I'd be lucky to get a word in any way once your family / friends see you in a dress!)

  • We will offer you veils and hair accessories to try with each dress. It's amazing how the right accessory can really complete the look.

archive 12 belfast bridal shops .jpg
  • Usually we will narrow it down to 2 or 3 dresses and go back to the favourites for a second try. Hopefully 2nd time around you will know which one stands out the most.

  • Some brides order at their first appointment but most will want to come back for a second - that's totally cool! if you need to have a think we will write down all the info for you take home.

  • We don't recommend you take pictures - the sample dress probably won't be the right size, and the lighting and camera angles won't necessarily do it any justice. We prefer you to remember how you FELT wearing the dress.

  • To order any dress we take a 50% deposit, and then 50% when it arrives in store.

  • Most of our brands take 4-6 months to deliver, but some are quicker and nearly all can be 'rushed' if necessary.

  • All dresses are made to order NOT made to measure so you will still need some alterations when it arrives. We don't offer these in house but can recommend local seamstresses.

  • We really pride ourselves on our relaxed vibe, so there will be no hard sell or being forced to try dresses you don't like. I'm not shy about the fact I think our collections are the bomb, so I know you will too.

and for love - GEORGIANA dress

and for love - GEORGIANA dress


  • Please keep make up to minimum and no fake tan. It's heartbreaking to see a gown smeared in foundation, and there's only so much dry cleaning a dress can take.

  • Choose your underwear carefully. Nude, seam free pants and a nude bra is best. (Only wear a padded bra if you will also wear one on your wedding day.)

  • We welcome up to 3 guests with each client. This is actually for YOUR benefit. Too many opinions is really unhelpful so choose your shopping partners wisely and only bring those who will be supportive of your choices and leave the Negative Nancys at home!

If you haven't made you appointment yet then you can BOOK IN HERE.  We have a really exciting season of trunk shows and events coming up in the next few month and are totally BUZZING to show you all the new season gowns for 2019. 

Much love, Claire xx