On your wedding day you will want to look your best, after all it’s the only day you get to feel like a celebrity. It’s your special day and this guide to selecting your dream dress and accessories is sure to help you with that all important choice.

First of all no matter what shape or size you are don’t worry there is a dress out there to suit every bride. Most importantly ensure that you have plenty of time to find that dream dress, as many dresses take up to 5 months to make and don’t forget all the fittings that will need to be done.

There’s no doubt that you have fantasised and dreamed about what your dress will look like and have that perfect image of what style you would like, however there are so many styles of dresses to choose from your view may change. It is important to try on styles which you may not have thought about as it might just turn out to be the perfect style to suit your body and end up being your dream dress.

There are all different issues to consider when choosing your dress, firstly consider the season in which you will be getting married in as this can help decide on which fabric will best suit. Late spring or summer ceremonies call for cool silk, chiffon, pure cotton or lace. Autumn and winter weddings call for warm, heavier fabrics such as velvet and duchess satin.

The most traditional wedding dresses are white, ivory or cream and strapless gowns are the most popular around however don’t feel that you have to keep with tradition and there is a wide range of dresses to choose from. Pale pinks have become quite popular recently since Jordan’s wedding and lace gowns are also becoming popular.

When selecting your dress remember it is your choice so you have to be entirely sure about your choice and do not let anyone choose for you.

Your wedding day will be the only day when all eyes are on you and when your groom sets eyes on you, you want him to be wowed by your dress, so take time and have fun finding that dress with the ‘wow’ factor.

You have thought about this day for your entire life, and it’s finally about to happen. Finding the perfect wedding gown can be both challenging and pleasurable. Wedding gowns come in many styles, fabrics and price ranges. Gowns vary from simple, informal types to elaborate puffy productions with intricate beading and long trains. Below are a few thoughts to keep in mind while searching for your perfect gown.

Shopping
Searching out the ideal wedding gown can be a demanding task, because there is so much to choose from. It’s best to have some idea what you are looking for before you begin to shop. Wedding magazines are a good source of ideas

Preference
Wedding gowns are very personal and should be chosen based on your individual style preference, the type of wedding you plan to have, the place you are being married and your budget. Almost anything is acceptable - - - so remember, this is YOUR day. Do it YOUR way.

Where To Look?
There are many sources available for bridal gowns: bridal salons, discount warehouses and outlets, resale or consignment shops, and custom designers. Call these merchants in your area and find out what they have to offer. Many of the boutique bridal shops require an appointment or have limited hours. Many, but not all, bridal stores have knowledgeable sales people, who can assist in selecting the right gown for you. If your choice is a new gown, allow at least four months for fittings, manufacture and delivery. Allow extra time to guard against the possibility of something going wrong - - - for example, delay in delivery of the gown, delivery of the wrong gown, or delivery of a damaged gown, which will require repair.

Reputable Source
It is not difficult to imagine the chaos that can result if, on the appointed day for delivery of your gown, you discover that the person or firm with whom you are dealing is no longer in business. The best protection is afforded by dealing with a firm which has long been established in the community, a store with national affiliation, or a shop which has qualified as an "authorized dealer" or representative for a nationally recognized product line. The reliability of the merchant with whom you are dealing is particularly important in the field of specially manufactured wedding gowns, because a non refundable deposit is almost always required at the time the gown is ordered. A quality firm will also be able to assist you if problems are encountered in the manufacture or delivery process.

Ask Questions
Do not allow yourself to be intimidated by the salesperson who is assisting you. Feel free to ask questions about anything you are unsure of. Be sure to satisfy yourself that there are no additional or hidden costs, such as for steaming or final alterations.

Put It In Writing
Insist that all of the essential terms of your agreement with the salesperson be in writing. Do not proceed on the basis of an oral agreement or understanding. Unfortunately, should you and the salesperson later disagree on the terms of your agreement, the salesperson will have a distinct advantage in the negotiation process, since he or she holds your gown and, in all likelihood, you will not have sufficient time to make alternative arrangements, such as purchasing a gown from another shop.

When Choosing Your Gown
There are thousands of gown fashions to choose from. Brides can choose a gown with traditional embellishments like the bell-shape skirt with lace and a train, or a modern form-fitting gown made of satin and decorated with sequins. Whatever the bride may decide, she will eventually have to visit some type of wedding gown dealer.

Selecting Your Gown
When you visit the salon of your choice, make sure that you have a clear vision of your wedding's theme. Do not hesitate to let the salon know what you have planned for a budget. Bring magazine clippings of gowns you like, and see if they have those styles or something similar. Keep in mind that with most bridal salons, you get some consultation for free. Take advantage of the advice you receive. The consultant will be able to offer suggestions on fit and style based on your age and body type. A gown may look wonderful in a magazine (and most do), but it may not look good on you. Your consultant will help you find the right gown at the right price. You should visit a bridal salon even if you do not plan on purchasing your gown through one. The advice you receive will more than pay for your time.

The Costs
Don't purchase a gown that is out of your price range. Bridal gowns can range in price from a few hundred to a few thousand dollars. Take some time to think about your selection. It may help to sleep on the idea and make a commitment on a different day. Remember that bridal gowns come with many unforeseen expenses. Don't spend all of your allotted money on the gown itself. Save a little for alterations and accessories. Plan to spend approximately 5.5% of your total wedding budget on your gown and accessories.

Get Fitted For Your Gown
When you go to get fitted for your gown, make sure that you bring your mother or maid of honor with you. If neither of these people can be there, take a friend whose opinion you trust. If nothing else, this friend can provide some moral support if you are in doubt. You should plan on at least six months to decide on and fit your gown. It will take at least three months for your order to be placed and your gown to be made by the manufacturer. Then you can plan on three fittings. The first when your gown arrives. The second to correct any mistakes, and the third to verify that everything is perfect. You should expect your gown to be perfect. After all, you will only wear this gown once. If you do not have six months, relax. You can still get everything done in time. It will just cost a little more to rush your order.

Your final fitting should take place a few weeks before your wedding. The last thing you should worry about on your wedding day is whether or not your gown fits. So make sure your gown is ready early. Your salon should hold your gown until the week before your wedding. They are better equipped to store your gown than you will be, and proper storage is essential to prevent your gown from wrinkling.

It would be a good idea to bring your maid of honor to your fittings. She will be able to learn her responsibilities for the wedding day. Sometimes, small emergencies come up right before the wedding is about to begin. Your maid of honor should know your gown, and she should also know how to perform small alterations in a pinch. If your mother would handle this situation better than your maid of honor, you might want her at the fittings as well.


On Your Wedding Day
Your wedding day is going to be very hectic. Allow yourself at least two hours to get ready before your wedding is scheduled to begin. If you are planning to have photographs taken before your ceremony, start getting ready two hours before your session is scheduled to begin. These last few hours are stressful enough, don't add to the stress by running late. Take your time when getting ready, and enjoy the company of those around you. Bring an emergency kit. This kit should have sewing supplies, extra makeup, extra hose, and tissues. You should also bring a pair of comfortable shoes such as flats with you. During the wait before the wedding, you will not want to be running around in heels. Your feet may never forgive you.


Other Helpful Gown Tips
  • This is your special day. Make sure your gown makes you feel like a princess when you put it on. When you look good, you feel good.
  • Wedding gowns tend to run small. You will probably need a gown that is a size or two larger than your normal size.

  • When you go for your fittings, consider wearing a strapless bra. This will help you get a better feeling of how each gown would look during your wedding.

  • Take at least one day to decide on the gown that you would like to purchase. This will help ensure that you make a rational decision.

  • Use a credit card to pay for your gown. Most cards offer some kind of buyer protection services. So if something goes wrong, you may be able to recover some of your losses.

  • Expect to give an initial down deposit of up to 50 percent of the cost of the gown.

  • Be sure to get a written contract with specific information like gown size, color, style, etc.

  • Avoid cash-only brokers. They could turn out to be scam artists.
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