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What every Bride should know about finding the Perfect Dress

The first thing that every woman should know is that shopping early is essential. This will allow ample time for you to search for and choose the dress that you want. It usually takes bridal stores about 3 months to order the dress, and you will want to leave at least 2 months for alterations and adjustments.

For each shop or boutique that you plan on visiting, call first to ask if you need an appointment (many stores operate under such a policy). You will need to determine the store’s hours. If it is possible, avoid bridal boutiques and stores on the weekends (and nights if you are able too) as this is usually their busiest time. In order to obtain personalized attention and prompt service, try to visit the store during an early hour in the weekday.

Before visiting any particular store, here are some questions to keep in mind: Are the dresses within my budget? (It's always a good idea to establish this important point before entering any store and remember that you should be spending about 10% of your total wedding cost on the dress.) Do they have dresses my size here? What designers do they carry?

For each store that you visit, you will want to verify with the salesperson how much time it will take for the gown to arrive, whether or not the gown could be rush delivered, if that particular store has a seamstress to make alterations and how much that service would cost, and whether or not you or your bridesmaids would be able to receive a discount if they ordered their dresses there too.

Once you begin your search for that perfect dress, make sure that you bring along with you a few key items including a strapless bra, control-top panty hose or Spanx (wedding dresses tend to fit better with these, especially sample sizes which tend to run small), a slip if you plan to try on shear gowns, and shoes with approximately the same heel height that you plan on wearing for your special day.

Be organized! Every time you enter a salon, try to take careful notes on which gowns you like, including the designer, the description, the price, and the size that you need.

Be confident! Stand tall when you are trying on potential wedding gowns, they will look better and you will feel better. Please know that most wedding dresses (and bridesmaid dresses for that matter) run small. Let the salesperson take your measurements (a friend with a tape measure cannot replace this professional service) and make sure that you record your measurements, including bust, waist and hips.

Try to picture yourself on your wedding day! What style of wedding is it? What time of year is it? Do you have a theme or a prominent color? Is your wedding a formal affair? Will it be outside or inside? These are all things to keep in mind when choosing your perfect dress. With these tips you should be well equipped to begin the search for your perfect dress. Happy Shopping!

By Katie G. Fox 



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