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Your wedding day will most likely be one of the most memorable days of your life, and as such, you want to make sure everything is perfect. You will be the focus of attention, and you want to look picture-perfect. If you’re anything like me then you have probably spent a lot of time imagining your big day, ... read more

Your wedding day will most likely be one of the most memorable days of your life, and as such, you want to make sure everything is perfect. You will be the focus of attention, and you want to look picture-perfect. If you’re anything like me then you have probably spent a lot of time imagining your big day, and at the forefront of those thoughts is your wedding dress. So, how do you pick your perfect wedding dress? Here are 7 of my top tips that will – hopefully – help you in doing just that!

Many brides-to-be find wedding dress shopping an overwhelming task, but it doesn’t have to be. Armed with the right tools and a bit of preparation, it can be an almost effortless and certainly an enjoyable part of preparing for your big day. Follow my 7 top tips and you’ll have your dream dress picked out and ready for your wedding in no time.

1) Set a Budget

It’s a good idea to determine your wedding dress budget beforeyou start visiting shops or browsing online. This will help to ensure that you don’t set your heart on a dress that you simply cannot afford. The general rule is that your wedding dress budget should be around 10% to 15% of your total wedding budget. That budget also includes any alterations that may need to be made to the dress too, as these can often cost hundreds of dollars by themselves.

2) Think Fit, Not Size
This is something that regularly ruins peoples weddings! :-( You have probably heard stories of someone who bought their wedding dress a few sizes too small, in the hope that they would be able to shift some weight and fit in the dress on the big day… only to find that when the big day rolls around, the dress doesn’t fit! Imagine how mortified you would feel on the morning of your wedding if you couldn’t fit inside your dress.

You should ALWAYS order your dress in a size that fits you now. If you do lose weight, that’s great, you can always have the dress adjusted for your new, slimmer size. It’s far easier to have a dress reduced in size, than it is to have it increased.

3) Start Sooner, Rather than Later

Don’t leave your wedding dress shopping until the last minute. In-fact, you should start as early as 9 months prior to your wedding date to ensure it’s ready in time. Remember, it’s not just about finding the right dress, but you will often need to have alterations made to get that perfect fit, and these can take time! If you have left it a little bit too late then you can find shops that offer “rush orders”, however these do often carry additional charges.

It’s always a good idea to visit wedding dress shops as early in the day as possible too – this is because you’ll find the staff are much more helpful and energetic at the start of the day, compared to the end of the day – once they have already dealt with a handful of frantic brides.

4) Complement your Body Shape & Complexion

Complexion and body shape make a huge difference in how a dress will look on you. As a general rule, the lighter your skin complexion, the warmer color you should pick for your dress. If you have dark skin then a pure white dress would really stand out, and if you have pale skin then a champagne, gold, or off-white color dress would suit well.

There are different styles of dresses which better suit different body shapes. I wrote a whole article on picking a dress to complement your body shape, you can read that here. [Note: please add the link in once the other post is published, thanks!]

5) Keep the Location in Mind

The location and venue of your wedding plays a bigger part in picking the perfect dress than you might first expect. For example, if you’re getting married in a huge, glamorous church, then a short 60’s style dress will probably leave your guests more dazzled by the architecture and interior decor of the church, rather than your dress. And if you’re getting married on a sandy beach somewhere, then you want to make sure the color of your dress isn’t going to blend into the background.

6) Bring your Friends & Family
It’s also a good idea to bring along a few trusted friends and family members to bounce ideas off and get advice from. Make sure you also bring any accessories you plan on wearing on the day – such as sentimental jewelry, just to make sure it complements the dress you pick.

7) Stay Open to Suggestions
It can be hard to take suggestions or advice from a stranger, but bridal consultants and wedding dress shop owners do this for a living – if they’re giving you advice, it’s probably good advice, and you should take it. There is no harm in trying something on, even if you don’t think it looks good on the hanger, it might look incredible on you.

And perhaps most importantly, remember that this is a happy time – not a time of stress. If you find yourself getting too overwhelmed or stressed out – not just with finding your wedding dress, but with any of your wedding preparations – then take a moment and remember what you’re doing and where it’s heading. That should put a smile back on your face :)

{Top Image via AmyMancuso.com}

Lou Pierson runs the Backless Wedding Dresses blog, where she blogs about everything to do with wedding dresses; from how to pick the perfect wedding dress, to the latest in wedding dress styles and variations, through to exercises that will ensure you look your absolute best in your wedding dress on your big day. Lou regularly updates her blog with guides and inspirational posts to help you with all of the difficult decisions that come about when you’re on the hunt for your wedding dress. You can connect with Lou on Google+.

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