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How to Choose the Perfect Wedding Dress .

For some, wedding dress shopping can feel like a wonderful adventure. For others, it may be an overwhelming nightmare. To take some of the stress out of finding the perfect dress to match your perfect day, here are a few essential tips.

Match the Dress to the Weather and Location

The type of dress you choose will largely depend on the weather and the location of your big day. Are you planning a summer or winter wedding? Will it be in a fancy church or on the beach? The material of the fabric and the overall style should match the surroundings, not just for aesthetic appeal but for functionality as well. A huge ballgown may become a hindrance for a beach wedding, and velvet is unbearable for a mid-afternoon summer wedding.

Consider Your Body Shape

Although brides shouldn’t feel completely limited in their dress choice based on their body types, there are certain styles that may flatter some body types over others. A small-framed bride may get lost in too much fluff, and a tall bride may look disproportional in a high-waisted dress. If you aren’t sure what type of dress would look best on your body type, you can conduct some research beforehand, but your bridal store consultant will have some ideas as well.

Know Your Budget (and Stick to It!)

The price tags for wedding dresses can quickly get out of hand. However, finding a beautiful dress within a tight budget is far from impossible. Before visiting any bridal shops, know what your budget is, and make sure you don’t go over your maximum threshold. Some stores cater to budget-conscious brides, while others only carry dresses from upscale designers. For instance, Hollywood may have more expensive dresses, while Houston wedding dresses may be found at a variety of price points. Knowing your budget can help narrow down your shop choices and the selection within the shop for an easier choice.

Start the Search Early

Between ordering the dress, shipping times, and alterations, it could take months to get your dress wedding-day-worthy after deciding on the perfect style. So, it’s best to start your search months in advance, especially if you know you will need to make alterations. Some lucky brides can buy a dress off the rack and wear it the next day, but even they will be glad that part of their checklist is done early!

Take Your Undergarments with You

When trying on dresses, you will want to take the undergarments you will be wearing the day of with you, so you know how the dress fits with those particular pieces. A bra strap may be visible in the back, or the cup shape may peek out in front. If you are planning on going bra-less, then be sure to try on dresses sans bra, so you know how your bust fits in the top.

Try on a Variety of Styles

Even if you know the exact style you want when you walk into the shop, you may be surprised at how certain styles look on you. You might have had your eye on a ballgown, but discover the mermaid cut looks stunning on you! A sweetheart neckline may be what you’re looking for, but you may fall in love with a plunging neckline. Don’t limit yourself right away, but go ahead and choose a few of your favorite styles to try on before deciding on your perfect dress.

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