Order your wedding dress six to nine months before the big day. All the manufacturers take several months to ship the dresses and this will allow plenty of time for fittings and to find matching shoes, accessories and bridesmaid's dresses.
How to Select the Perfect Wedding Gown
Finding the wedding gown that makes you feel like a princess does not have to be stressful.
In fact, it can be a whole lot of fun if you know the secrets of navigating the sea of bridal salons, designers and outlets.
Finding the right dress is a lot like finding Mr. Right. Many of the same rules apply.
Ask the person assisting you to select gowns that she thinks would look good on you. The staff has an excellent eye for what flatters.
THE RIGHT FIT
Most likely, you have fantasized about your wedding dress from the time you were a little girl. But now that you're actually getting married, you probably feel overwhelmed by all the choices.
Start your search by scouring bridal magazines and web sites for photos of all different types of dresses.
Keep a file of all the styles that are appealing to you, and bring those images with you when you actually go to the bridal salon.
Mom and the maid of honor can come to the appointment, but you shouldn't make it a parade of friends and acquaintances. The dress you choose for your wedding is ultimately your decision. Besides, part of the fun at a wedding for many guests is seeing the gown for the first time!
Try on various styles to see what looks best and use those images as a guide. It's best to also bring a pair of shoes that are about the same height as the ones you'd like to wear on your wedding day.
"We also recommend that you ask the person assisting you at the salon to select two or three gowns that she thinks would look good on you -- even if they aren't what you had in mind," says Rosanna McCollough, editor-in-chief of WeddingChannel.com, an online wedding resource. "The staff members work with brides and gowns every day and have an excellent eye for what flatters."
Good Manners and Charm Count
The gown should also reflect the formality of your reception.
If you are having an evening reception with more than 200 guests, then you can opt for a floor-length dress with a long cathedral train, according to "Contemporary Bride."
But daytime or semiformal brides should choose simpler dresses with chapel trains that are shorter.
Never Settle for Less
No matter what your budget, you should always pay attention to the quality of the gown.
Look closely at the dress to make sure the seams are straight, and any beads, sequins or details are fastened tightly. There should be no loose threads.
And the hems -- particularly after you've been fitted -- should stay in place even after a firm tug. You have to walk down an aisle, dance, and spend an entire day -- one of the most important days of your life -- in this dress. It should be durable and fit you well.
Often, because of nerves, brides tend to lose or gain a little bit of weight just before the big day. So it's important to test the fit as close to your wedding date as possible.