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Bridal Gown Shopping? These 5 Prep Tips Will Help You Say Yes To The Dress

by Abbie Lawson

Are you excited to head out to the bridal store and start trying on wedding dresses? It's understandable, but there are a few things you should consider doing first in order to have the best experience possible. Here are five of these important planning steps:

Start Early. It may take some time to find the right dress among an almost limitless pool of choices. And, once you do find "the one", you may need to allow time for customization and tailoring. So be sure to start your search as early in the engagement as you can. If your schedule is tight, try to buy local and choose less exotic materials to avoid shipping delays. 

Have Money Handy. In addition to knowing how much money is in the budget for a dress, you should have at least half readily available the first time you go shopping for it. Why? You may need to pay a deposit or even the full price in order to reserve that particular gown. Having to wait in order to come up with the fund could result in finding your dress already sold or even discontinued.

Shop Midweek. You want to be able to take the time you want in order to find your dress, and you want to do it without other brides and high traffic. This means that it's ideal to shop when there are fewer people doing the same thing. Midweek days are best, and early afternoon can be even better than midweek mornings. Reserve a time with your bridal shop so that they can give you attention. 

Leave the Crowd Behind. You may want to share this special activity with all your friends and family, but it's often best to limit the number of people you invite to the shop. A small group of no more than 4 or 5 friends is manageable and can give constructive feedback without distracting and confusing you.

Learn the Lingo. Before you head out to stores, do some research on wedding dress silhouettes—such as A-line, empire, mermaid, sheath, fit-and-flare, etc.—and accessory lingo. This will help you help the bridal store associates zero in on your wants and needs faster and easier. It will likely also give you some idea what types of silhouettes look best on your frame and save time in front of the mirror. 

By spending some time planning for your bridal store appointment beforehand, you can help ensure a smooth shopping experience and an easier time finding a dress that makes you feel like a real princess for your big day.