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Taking the Stress out of Wedding Dress Shopping

Rachel Moore

Purchasing a wedding dress should be one of the first things you do after he pops the question. The general rule of thumb is to purchase your dress nine months in advance, giving you plenty of time to receive it and make alterations. If you’re having a dress custom-made, however, be sure to give yourself additional time.

With so many to choose from, wedding dress shopping can be overwhelming. But follow these tips, and you’re more likely to have a good time!

Date. The season you’re getting married will help you narrow down your choices. Having an outdoor ceremony in the summer? You may want to avoid ball gowns or full skirts, which will add weight to your dress and leave you simmering.

Location. Keep in mind the location of your wedding ceremony and reception. A lightweight, airy dress will work best for the beach, for instance. You’ll also want to consider a different style for a vintage rustic wedding than you will for a traditional black-tie affair.

Budget. If you watch Say Yes To The Dress, you know it’s risky to try on gowns that are beyond your budget. Once you establish a budget, only shop in stores that you know carry dresses within your price point. Remember that few bridal boutiques allow walk-ins; most insist that you make an appointment.

Style. Know the style basics (silhouette, style, fabric), but remain open minded. Even if you have an image of what you want on your big day, be willing to consider other looks. Our brides often think they want one silhouette but completely change their minds after trying on other options. And that’s perfectly okay!

Pictures. A picture’s worth a thousand words! Make sure you bring pictures of dresses you like to your bridal appointment. You don’t have to like everything about the dresses but, if your bridal consultant has an idea of the kind of silhouette, neckline, style and fabric you like, he or she will be that much more likely to pull your perfect dress.