BUDGET- Everyone has a budget, there are many things to consider when setting your budget for your wedding dress. When you purchase a wedding dress you're not just going to be paying the price you see on the tag, there are many other things that you'll need to purchase to accompany your dress. Shoes, you're going to need shoes, lingerie (yeah!), a veil (are you going to wear a veil?), and jewelry. Now let's not forget the cost of alterations, sales tax, and possibly shipping costs. Once you've taken all of these things in mind you can set your budget for your dress. When you arrive to try on dresses you can let the attendant know your budget. He or she will bring you dresses from within your budget, that way you don't waste time trying on dresses that will not work for you.
TIMING- Do not wait until the last minute, no one needs the added stress of wondering if you're going to get your dress in time for alterations/the wedding. Some dresses take upwards of 9-12 months for a custom dress. Especially if it has lots of little embellishments on it. Remember alterations take time as well.
COLOR- While tradition states the wedding dress should be white, a pure white dress is seldom a great idea for most brides. A pure white dress had a tendency to wash out certain skin tones. Not only is it going to wash out your skin, pure white dresses do not photograph well. They easily wash out and have a tendency to look blue, even when photographed properly. If you want something that is going to flatter your skin I would go with an off-white, champagne, rum white, ivory, or other similar non-pure-white dress. These colors are going to photograph phenomenally and they will make your skin look great. If you're looking for something a little more on the contemporary side go ahead and check out a light gold dress or a blush pink! Here are some examples: a light gold by Morilee, a blush pink by Maggie Sottero, and a blush by Maggie Sottero.
A FEW LITTLE THINGS- Keep in mind some churches have their own dress codes. If your church has restrictions against exposed shoulders you may need to purchase removable straps or a shawl to comply with any dress codes. Another little piece of advice is to call ahead, many bridal boutiques require you to call ahead to schedule an appointment to try on gowns. Also, weekday appointments are a lot more laid back since the stores are less busy than weekends. When you go to your appointment you're going to want to bring along your shoes and your lingerie to ensure the right fit!
KEEP AN OPEN MIND- Definitely go in with an idea of the type of wedding gown you envison for yourself. However, if the salesperson brings out a dress that initially may not be your thing, try it anyway. When I was shopping for my wedding dress I thought I knew what I wanted, the salesperson brought out dresses that fit everything I was describing. She also brought out a dress that was a different style, a different material, and different color that I was initially looking for. She brought me this gorgeous (I didn't think so at the time) A-line ivory dress (I was looking for off-white) with a train (I did not want a train at all). I reluctantly put it on, and knew it was the one! Mostly....I did chop majority of the train off! haha, I'm pretty sure the salesperson nearly fainted when I told her I was going to have it cut off.
TRUST YOUR GUT- If it didn't give you the "it's the one" type of feeling, keep looking! You will know. Ask the salesperson when they get new gowns in or try another boutique.
YOUR CREW- Are you going to bring your girls? Mom? Soon-to-be Mother-in-law? I think this one is different for everyone, but here are some things to consider: do you want other's opinions? Is there anyone's opinion you don't want to consider in making your decision?
I hope these helped you! If I left anything out please feel free to comment below! Cheers!