Go shopping with your maid of honor and/or your friend whose fashion sense you like the most. Your maid will be a careful hear. Your stylish friend will give aware advice to make you become a real "princess".
You should not go shopping with anybody else (a 3rd person might be your mother, though I'd recommend you only get her on a later visit), as you want to avoid any feeling of being judged.
The gown you'll prefer may be a different one than the people shopping with you. Though they are here to give advice, they should not eventually contest your choice. Even if they disagree, that's your wedding and your perceptions. As you'll be the one wearing the gown, the most essential thing is that YOU love it.
First, you need to define a budget for your dress. Depending on the importance of the gown for you (compared to other items), decide a maximum amount you'll be spending before going to the store.
Visit bridal stores around 1 year before the wedding. You should purchase the dress at least 6 to 9 months before it. The reason is once you’ve ordererd, you'll be put on a list. Then the dress will be made, sent to the shop and you'll start doing tailoring adjustments.
Two quick pre-shopping tips
- Don't wear make up for the trials. You want the tone and color of the dress to match your natural skin characteristics.
- Bring shoes that are about the same height as the ones you expect to wear at the wedding.
At the shop
I've heard people saying not to try gowns that would be too expensive for your budget. I say that's ok, since it will allow you to see on your body what specificities you like. Once you’ve identified these, you do want to stick to your budget though, and look for cheaper gowns with these specific features.
The dress should fit your body shapes closely. Note that sizes for wedding dresses are different than usual dress sizes. In fact, they are usually a bit larger. So don't be surprised here and just trust your vendor.
One thing you should be careful though : there’s a difference between shaping your body and making it unable to move. As you'll be walking a lot and dancing wearing the dress, you want to feel the most comfortable in it.
(Continued in the book...)
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