Buying a wedding dress is a big investment. It will likely be one of the top two or three expenses for your wedding. This is why it is so important to take your time and do your research in advance. There are few brides who are happy purchasing the first dress they try on. Even if they are surrounded by designer wedding dresses and feel like they have seen every dress in the world, they still need to take some time to think about their decision. Some people say you will just know the dress is right when you put it on. Many times this is true. But this magic moment also takes time. You might have to weed out styles you think you will like and try on a few that might not seem that great, but turn out to be very flattering. The important thing is to know you have found the right dress and not questioning your decision once you have made your purchase.
When you first start the process, take time to browse through magazines or look on the Internet at photos. Try not to get overwhelmed. Note the things you like and the things you do not like. Even if you only rule out one entire style of gown, you have still made headway. Get a feel for the styles you like. Are you looking for something fun and trendy or elegant and classic? How do you want to feel on your big day? Are there any restrictions in regard to the ceremony site? These are all questions you should be trying to answer in the preliminary stages of your search.
Next, set a price range. You can usually find any style you want in any price range, but you might have to go with a lower quality dress in order to get the style you want. For instance, if you have your heart set on a heavily beaded gown, but your budget is modest, you might have to go with machine beading instead of hand beading. Decide what is more important to you: the specific style or the overall quality of the gown.
Once you know what you can afford and you have a general idea what styles you like, head to the store to try on a few gowns. This is when things get fun, but also a little emotional. You might realize the style you fell in love with on the pages of the magazines look terrible on you. You might realize a heavily beaded gown is impractical for a day long outdoor event. Enjoy your experience when trying on dresses, but also use this time to apply practical issues to your shopping.
Finally, make your decision. It does not matter if this takes an hour or months. Take your time and try on as many dresses as possible. If you think you have the one, but something is not quite right, have the dress customized. This cost a bit more, but it saves time and money searching for a gown that does not exist. In the end, you should feel comfortable, confident, and beautiful on your big day.