One of the most important decisions for a bride is choosing the dress in which she will walk down the aisle.

Where to go

Department store: Most department stores offer complete bridal services for not only the bride, but her bridesmaids as well. Some even have a special deal with high-end designers where they can sell certain gowns at lower price points. If you prefer, you can shop right off the rack, or you can come in and choose made-to-order gowns and book in-house alterations. Feel free to browse online first and see which styles you like to save yourself some time.

Bridal salon: Depending on the bridal salon you go to, there are a wide range of services and prices available. You can either take the lead during the appointment or let the consultant guide you to your perfect dress. Independent salons can lean toward specific styles, like glam or indie, so they’re great for the bride who already has a unique style in mind.

What to bring

Ideas: Do you like strapless or halter? Do you want short or long? Satin or beaded? Searching for your dress can take awhile if you have absolutely nothing in mind for the style or design of the gown. It’s best to flip through bridal magazines and scour Pinterest for any dresses that spark your interest. This way, you can find certain features that you love, like lace, strapless or tea-length gowns.

Shoes: Not sure if you’re going to rock flats or heels down the aisle? Bring both to the appointment and try them out with your dress. This can help you decide if your gown needs to be altered and if you like a certain style of shoes with your dress.

Undergarments: Be sure to wear the proper undergarments when wedding dress shopping. It may not be exactly what you’re going to have on for the big day, but having on Spanx or tights can prevent lines from poking up through the fabric – this way you can see the true beauty of the dress. Wear a strapless bra so that if you try on multiple style gowns your straps won’t be seen.

Other tips

Dress simply: For your appointment, you’ll probably be trying on a lot of dresses, so you’ll want to wear something that’s easy to take on and off to speed up the process.

Don’t try on too many: If you want to find the perfect dress, it’s understandable that you’ll want to try on a whole slew of them. But you shouldn’t try on more than 10, because it can lead to one confused bride-to-be.

Do you have any tips for wedding dress shopping? Share your thoughts with us!

Photo credit: Delica Bridal