There is a lot of pressure during the wedding planning process and it seems that the gown is the epicenter of it all. Stepping into that gorgeous gown means this wedding thing is 100 percent real. So before you start operation Find a Perfect Wedding Dress, take a deep breath and try to go into the process calm as a cucumber. Trust us -- you'll find the one. And it will be perfect.
Scour the web and magazines for wedding dresses you think might be your cup of tea, but remember that just because they look gorgeous on someone else doesn't mean you are going to fall head over heels in love when you try one on. So study up on the styles you like (sleeves or no sleeves, full or slim-fitting), but realize it might all change when you try on the wedding dress you decide to walk down the aisle in. Being open-minded is key to finding "the one."
Are you a seaside bride getting married in the sand? A rustic chic bride with a barn reception? Are you planning a black-tie city soiree? A modern bride getting married in an art gallery? These wedding styles are typically a good guide to what your overall style is, so envision how you want to look in your dream wedding surroundings, and let that help you decide on which wedding gown complements the vision of your dream day.
The fabulous thing about wedding dresses nowadays is that there are pick-your-jaw-off-the-floor gorgeous gowns at every price range. No lie. So let your price range be known and stick to it. Save your extra pennies for a fabulous pair of shoes!
Think about the whole shebang when purchasing your gown. Your veil, your shoes, your jewelry and even what your bridesmaids will be wearing -- it doesn't stop at the wedding dress. Envision your entire look and then make like Rachel Zoe and play stylist!
The most important tip of all the "find your perfect dress" tips is find a dress you can't wait to twirl in. One that makes you stand a little taller, one that makes your heart flutter and one that makes you feel like a bride. There are no rules. Even if the look on your mom's or best friend's face isn't as smitten, when you find that dress... you'll know.
Many boutiques do allow for walk-ins but the gown hunt will be so much more pleasurable if you take the time to make an appointment, you show up on time and you’re gracious to your consultant who will be lugging very heavy dresses back and forth. By booking that appointment, you'll guarantee that you have one person on staff giving you one-on-one attention and that you'll get the best possible service that they can give.
Bring one to two of your most trusted people with you.
When you fill the room with all of those you love, you also fill the room with a myriad of tastes and opinions -- many of which won't hold back their criticism or elation -- which may or may not match what you feel. Having the support of one to two people makes the experience fun while still allowing for your opinion to reign Queen.
Abby Larson is the Founder & Editor of Style Me Pretty, a style savvy wedding resource devoted to the modern bride.
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