~Gown Shopping Tips~

The Wedding Gown is one of the most important purchases for your wedding day. It may even be something that you have been dreaming of since you were a little girl. You want to be sure that you find the dress that fits your budget, flatters your body and suits the style of your wedding. Some brides are fortunate and find the right dress right away while others have to do a lot of hunting and searching.

Here are some basic tips that will help you as you begin your search:

~Ask Around- As soon as you announce your engagement, your friends and co-workers will immediately start telling you about their experiences at certain bridal shops. Listen to the positive and negative information and consider it when you are shopping around.

~Start looking in Bridal Magazines for designs and styles that you like- the more information you have before you enter the gown shop- the better.

~Keep an Open Mind- You may think you have found your THE dress in a magazine, however listen to the advice of the salespeople at the store. They may have a suggestion that you would not have considered. If you follow the advice of the salesperson and try on a dress that you would have overlooked- you may be surprised to find that it is a perfect fit for you.

~Be Prepared- Come ready to try on dresses. Bring a strapless bra and a pair of shoes of similar height to those you expect to wear on the wedding day. Wear your hair up so you can get a clear view of the top of the dress and how it fits you in the shoulders. Shave and moisturize your legs, paint your toenails and wear good quality stocking so you will feel confident and beautiful.

~Set a Budget- Let the salespeople know your price range. Most Bridal Shops stock gowns from a variety of price ranges and may even have some from the previous year. Many of the trends change slowly so these dresses will be just as nice as the ones from the current season.

~Shop Around- Visit a number of shops and choose one that makes you feel comfortable. Keep in mind that some bridal shop owners have multiple stores. They may operate under different names and management but they are owned by the same company of individual. Some shops specialize in plus size wedding gowns or offer more affordable options. You will know when you find the shop that will be best able to meet your needs.

~Ask for honest feedback. There is nothing worse than getting photos back and realizing that the dress was not flattering from the back! You want friends who will lovingly and diplomatically critizue each dress and help you look your best.

~Relax and have fun. You can either take a couple of girlfriends and head out together or scope it out yourself. It is best to limit the size of your party to two or three. Too many opinions may be overwhelming and many of the gown shops are quite small so too large a group can actually make the process more difficult.

~Choose a dress that makes you look and feel beautiful but remember you will be wearing it for many hours of standing, dancing, sitting, eating and hugging. Make sure you will be comfortable doing all these things in it.