There is little in life that matches the wide eyed expectation of a young girl dreaming of that perfect bridal gown that transforms her into Cinderella making the grand entrance. In that dream the wedding dress is perfect and so is she. But in the real world where people are not shaped by an artists pencil finding the perfect bridal gown is sometimes more of a challenge than we would like. However, by understanding a few basic things about bridal gowns and the industry that supply them it is possible not only to navigate the gauntlet, but to find the wedding dress of your dreams.
The bridal gown industry is, for the most part, a special order industry. Its goal is to provide you with a bridal gown that fits perfectly and compliments your individual body style. Because of this, if you are even thinking about buying a special ordered bridal gown, plan to finish your shopping for the wedding dress at least six months in advance of your wedding date. Doing so will help to reduce the chance that mistakes or shipping issues will leave you without a bridal gown when the day finally arrives.
Likewise, look at pictures of bridal gowns in magazines and discover what you like, but consider your body type as well and use that knowledge to help you focus in on the type of dress that works on you. Talk to a wedding consultant and get the name of a good bridal wear shop in your area and go in for a fitting. A well trained consultant will help you to figure out what bridal gowns work on you and which ones don't. Furthermore give every bridal gown she recommends a try. Who hasn't had the experience of looking at an article of clothing on the rack and disliking it only to be talked into trying it on and ending up loving it?
Your choice of a bridal gown should take into consideration what specifically you expect to be doing while you wear it. Are you going to wear the wedding dress all through the reception? If so, what activities can you reasonably expect to do? Are you going to dance? Is it reasonable that you will end up doing the Limbo while you're still wearing your wedding dress? Will your wedding ceremony require you to kneel? You'd better be sure the dress will allow you the flexibility to be involved without destroying your bridal gown. I mean who wants to kneel in front of the entire congregation only to hear the ominous sound a seam popping?
When you do go shopping for that bridal gown, take your mother or a friend and go early in the day when you are fresh. But whatever you do, don't buy anything that first day - even if you find the wedding dress of your dreams. Instead, go home and sleep on your decision. The bridal gown will have to be ordered anyway so one day isn't going to change anything and the time away just might protect you from making a wedding dress decision you will regret later.
The one exception to this rule is for those who choose to purchase a used wedding gown at a charity fund raising event (such as the one that Making Memories Breast Cancer Foundation sponsors) or other first come, first served wedding dress sales event. Many of these events can offer you a great opportunity to get a designer bridal gown at a discount price but by their very nature you must have done all of your homework before the day of the sale if you hope to take full advantage of this opportunity.
Finally, after you've found and ordered your wedding dress, when it finally comes in, go in to pick it up on a day that you are not rushed. Bring a friend along, preferably someone that is detail oriented, and take the time to carefully inspect your bridal gown before you pay the balance. Try it on; make sure that the wedding dress really does fit like it is supposed to. Check the seams and the look of the fabric and if you find any problems have the shop make sure the problem is remedied. In this way you will insure that the bridal gown that you ordered is the one that you get. Remember, the bridal gown business is a special order business, and in a special order business accepting and paying for the bridal gown often constitutes approval.