Tips for Choosing Your Wedding Dress

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Choosing the perfect dress is an exciting yet daunting task. Whether you have a clear idea of THE dress or you are not sure where to start, here are 15 tips to help ensure you get the most out of your search for the perfect dress.

  1. Use wedding magazines or the Internet for inspiration and ideas on styles, trends and prices.
  2. Set a budget and stick to it.
  3. Allow plenty of time to find and order your dress. It may take you a while to find one and most dresses have to be ordered four months to six months in advance.
  4. Start out with a general idea of the kind of dress you like: traditional, straight, empire line, princess line, etc.
  5. Keep an open mind. Try at least a couple that the bridal consultants recommend or have a different silhouette from the ones you have been trying. You may be surprised.
  6. It may seem silly, but be certain to check out the view from behind. Your wedding guests will have an uninterrupted look at your back and you want to look good.
  7. Be practical - a huge skirt or an extremely long one will be hard to maneuver in a tiny church. Make sure that the dress can be bustled for ease of movement after the ceremony.
  8. Consider the season of your wedding and whether it will be indoors or out. Late Spring or Summer ceremonies call for cool silk, chiffon, pure cotton or lace. Heavier fabric such as as brocade, velvet and satin are more suitable for Fall and Winter weddings. Some wedding designers also sell cover-ups that can be worn over the wedding dress for additional warmth.
  9. Always take at least one other person with you (two is best) when shopping for your dress, so that you know what the dress looks like from every angle.
  10. Try on a veil with the dress to get an idea of the complete look - a short veil may turn a dress from ordinary to extraordinary, while a long veil might not work at all.
  11. Think about your shoes and any other accessories you may need to set off the dress and add that finishing touch.
  12. Remember that most gowns run small and it is normal to need a couple of sizes larger than your normal clothes size. Be sure to look at the size chart for your designer of choice.
  13. If you are planning on losing weight, you may factor that into the size you order but be realistic about how much smaller you should go. It is not always possible to let out a dress, while it is possible to take in a dress in most instances.
  14. Allow ample time for fittings and always make an appointment; gowns and slips have to be pressed ahead of time. Remember to bring the shoes and bra that you'll be wearing with the gown.
  15. When your wedding gown is complete, it will be pressed and packed neatly. When you get it home, hang it in a bridal gown bag to protect it until the big day!