He's "popped the question" and you're ready to hit the bridal shops for that wedding dress. But where do your start? There are so many wedding dress patterns to choose from.

Well, a good place to start is with a few of the many bridal magazines that are published today. This will give you a good idea of current styles and you'll find ideas for both traditional full white wedding dresses and the huge range of fresh and fun patterns that the brand name manufacturers are offering.

One thing you will need to consider right from the outset is just what sort of wedding dress will suit you best in terms of both your personality and figure. In this latter respect you'll need to remember that any dress can look great in a magazine, on a model or even simply on the hanger, but it might not look quite so good when you put it on.

There are hundreds of ways in which designers can change the look of a basic dress pattern but, underlying the finished product, there are basically four main wedding dress patterns that are seen today.

The first is the "Ball Gown". This is the pattern of the traditional white wedding dress, which remains extremely popular, and consists of a fitted bodice and tight waistline leading into a full bell shaped skirt.

The second is the "Empire" gown. This has a high waistline coming right up under the chest and the dress falls away into a somewhat slimmer skirt than that seen in the ball gown. This pattern of dress is also designed to enhance the bust and can be cut in a traditional or modern style.

The third pattern is the "A-line Princess" dress. This is often described as a vertical form of dress with lines flowing down from the shoulder and is particularly popular as it flatters a wide range of different body types. Just about any bride will feel happy wearing this pattern and will appreciate the way in which it accentuates the body.

The final style is the "Sheath" dress. As its name suggests this is a very close fitting and slimming dress which will certainly not suit everybody. The sheath style of wedding dress is very much a modern style and for those that can carry it will certainly make a lasting impression on not only the groom but also the wedding guests.

These four different patterns can of course be made up into an endless variety of different finished wedding dress patterns and can come in many different colors and lengths, with or without sleeves, with high or low necklines, full backs or no backs at all and so on.

Whatever you choose the most important thing to remember is that this is your special day. So, choose a dress that suits you and your personality and that make you feel great.