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6 tips for saying yes to the dress

Posted: Friday, Jan. 31, 2014

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Samantha is a writer and stylist with a love for pretty details. She took her trip down the aisle in June 2013 and is now living the married life in Charlotte's South End. Samantha can be reached here.

Shopping for your wedding gown is an unparalleled experience. Nothing compares to the feeling of walking into the sea of white dresses in a bridal shop. As you try to envision your big day, each dress that you try on gives a new perspective. For some brides, it’s the first dress they try on. For others, it’s the 100th dress they try on. Either way, the process of shopping for you wedding gown should be magical and stress-free. Here are a few tips for finding the dress of your dreams.

• Start searching ASAP. It’s a good idea to start gown shopping soon after you get engaged. Custom order wedding dresses typically take 6-9 months to arrive so you’ll want to give yourself ample time to shop. 12 months before your wedding is the best time to start.

• Figure out a budget. Before you step into a bridal shop, nail down your budget. The standard is set at 10% of the overall wedding budget, however only you can decide what you feel comfortable paying. And don’t forget to factor in alterations.

• Do your research. Go online or look in magazines to find some wedding gown styles that you love. Take these with you to your shopping appointment to give the consultant an idea of what you like.

• Keep your entourage small. If you are a loyal Say Yes To The Dress viewer like me, then you know big groups equal headaches. Just bring your mom, sister or a few of your biggest supporters. You want people around you who will keep it a stress-free appointment.

• Stay open-minded. While it’s good to bring some gown inspiration, be open to try other styles and dresses. A seasoned consultant will have a good idea of what will flatter you. You might be surprised by what you end up liking.

• Be willing to walk away. Okay, so you aren’t buying a car but a wedding gown is still a big purchase. Once you’ve found the one, don’t be afraid to sleep on it. Then come back and try it on again to be sure. This will help you feel confident about your final decision.

My final word of advice: enjoy yourself! You will never get to shop for your wedding dress again so take it all in. Take pictures, drink champagne and enjoy the moment with ones you love!

Check out Carolina Bride's list of bridal boutiques here.

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