9 Tips For Finding The Perfect Wedding Gown

The gown. You've dreamed about it forever (almost literally!) and while shopping for your dress can be a very exciting thing, it can also be terrifying and overwhelming. There are so many styles and fabrics and cuts and necklines to choose from! Some brides find it exhilerating to try on everything but a lot of brides worry over finding the "right" one. Below are tips to help you enjoy the shopping process.

1) Find a reputable wedding dress shop
Ask family and friends and co-workers for stores that they recommend. It should be a place that's been in business for quite some time and has a history of satisfied customers.

2) Have your total bridal image in mind when trying on gowns.
Browse bridal publications for styles and silhouettes that catch your eye. However, don't be afraid to try on something completely different. You never know-- it could be the one!

3) Find a store with great staff
Look for a store that is staffed with personable, experienced bridal consultants, who will guide you through the selection process. A knowledgeable consultant is invaluable in assisting you in choosing the ideal style for your figure and can suggest gowns that are in your price range (another perk: you don't have to search all over the store for dresses to try on!).

4) Choose your fellow shoppers wisely
Bring along a friend or relative who will be supportive during your shopping experience, and give you an honest opinion about your selection. Try not to bring more than 2 or 3 people. The more people you have in attendance means more opinions and could ultimately be more stressful than helpful.

5) Make an appointment!
Find a store where you can make an appointment and will have a dedicated staff member. Most stores also carry lines of hair pieces, veils, jewelry, and shoes, as well as dresses for your entire bridal party.

6) Plan your budget.
Know how much you want to spend before you begin. There is very little worse in the world than trying on a dream gown only to discover that it is three times the amount you can spend! A store with understanding consultants will help you stay to your budget. Payment options, such as credit cards, checks or financing may be essential.

7) Find a reputable seamstress
A store with an on-the-site alteration expert is vital - whoever alters your gown, be sure they work with wedding gowns frequently. Altering a gown is different from altering every day clothes. Be sure it is steam and packed on a form to hold its shape for the big day.

8) Find a store that makes you feel at ease
Friendly service and a comfortable atmosphere, good lighting and plenty of full-length mirrors are important factors. You should enjoy the process!

9) Most importantly, you will know the dress is "the one" when you feel comfortable, confident and never want to take it off. You may even shed a tear when you catch a first glimpse in the mirror! And trust me, I have yet to work with a client who has not found "the one" - even the sceptics. :)

Happy Planning!