Choosing a wedding gown is, without a doubt, one of the most exciting shopping opportunities of a lifetime. Most women have
dreamed of their wedding day since childhood, imagining themselves gliding down the aisle looking more radiant than ever before.
To make sure that this vision becomes a reality, it is important for every bride to approach the shopping process calmly, to know
her best options before she steps into the store, and to keep an open mind. Following this guide to shopping for wedding dresses
will make the search process as enjoyable and stress-free as possible.
1- Keep an Eye on the Clock
Because there are thousands of wedding dresses from which to choose itís always a good idea to start the shopping process early,
so that youíll have time to see as many as you want. Moreover, it may take a few weeks or months to receive many gowns (especially
couture gowns) once they are ordered, so giving yourself a head-start canít hurt. Nevertheless, most bridal shops can accommodate
brides whose wedding date is fast approaching, so donít feel rushed to choose a gown if it isnít exactly what you want. Expect that
you will need at least two fittings for your wedding gown, which is another reason why many brides prefer to make their selections
early. Finally, finding your dream wedding dress in the early stages of the wedding planning will help you to cross one more thing
off the pre-wedding checklist, so that you can focus on organizing the rest of the wedding.
2- Find Your Style
One of the easiest ways to make the shopping process easier is to make note of your style preferences before setting foot in the
store. Browse bridal magazines, web sites and photos to find a style and design that will flatter your body type. You will save
time by trying on the dresses in your preferred style first and then searching for other possibilities. Nevertheless, it is also
important to keep an open mind during the shopping process. Since most brides have never worn a wedding gown before, they canít
know with certainty exactly which style will suit them best. Donít be afraid to try on wedding dresses that arenít exactly how you
envisioned yourself- you never know which one will be Ďthe ONEí. To learn which dress styles are ideal for your body type, see the
Guide to Wedding Dress Styles.
3- Choose a Companion for the Search
Having the company of your mother, a friend or a sister (or even your father or fiancť!) can make the shopping process more fun and
the decision making process less stressful. Someone whose opinion you value and who has a good eye for fashion can help you decide
which wedding dress will make you look your best. It is important to remember, however, that having too many opinions will likely
make it hard to make a decision, so make sure to limit your ďhelpers.Ē
4- Go with Your Gut
Once youíve narrowed down your options to two or three of your favorite wedding dresses, itís time to make that exciting decision.
Needless to say, making this decision is easier when all of the wedding dresses are located in the same bridal shop. However, this
is not always the case. Consider taking pictures of yourself in each bridal gown and comparing them side by side to help narrow
down your options or to make a final decision. Even without makeup or the veil, you should be able to determine which dress makes
the greatest impression on you.
When making your final decision, many factors will come into play- the cost of each gown, your motherís opinion, reconciling the
difference between the gown you love and the one you always thought youíd wear, etc. However, when making this momentous decision,
it is worthwhile to consider going with your gut. Which gown do you love? Which one makes you feel the best? In all likelihood,
this is the gown that will best enhance your special day and make you feel like the princess youíve always wanted to be. You wonít
want to have regrets about not picking the dress you really wanted or having to settle on something because your mother convinced
you. Let your instinct and heart do the talking- and make sure to listen.
Finally, if the wedding dress of your dreams is significantly more expensive than you hoped, consider having the design duplicated
by a dressmaker. This process may take a bit more time than ordering one from a bridal shop, but it will enable you to have the dress
you want at a comfortable price.
With so many fabulous styles from which to choose, the perfect wedding gown is bound to be out there for you. So take a deep
breath, put on a smile, and get ready for the most exciting shopping experience of your life!