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Wedding Dress - Finding the "One"

Your wedding is a big day in your life. As such, every bride - from the traditional to the "indie" - wants to find the perfect dress for the big event. With so many to choose from, however, the hard part isn't so much finding one perfect dress. Rather, it is narrowing down the options.

What Kind of Wedding Are You Having?

The first thing to consider when deciding upon the perfect wedding dress is the type of wedding you are having. Is it an evening formal affair? A garden casual? Will you be in a church or on a cruise ship? What is appropriate for a traditional ceremony probably won't work for a beach wedding.

For formal weddings, a floor-length gown in white, ivory, or cream will suit nicely. Options like a veil or train are also appropriate. If you really want to get decadent, add some elbow-length gloves.

For a more relaxed semi-formal wedding, you'll want to nix the train and cathedral-length veil. And, the gloves would likely be out of place as well.

Finally, if you are shooting for a casual wedding, a destination wedding, or a theme wedding, the sky is the limit. Feel free to add some color in order to fit your dress to the feel of the ceremony and reception. Remember to match your dress's formality to that of your wedding. A ball gown with a train, for example, is a bad idea on a beach.

What Kind of Body Type Do You Have?

Despite what fashion trends would have you think, we don't all look fabulous in the same style gown. Halter-top dresses hang empty if you can't fill them out and bustles are not flattering to wide hips. Therefore, be certain to choose the design that flatters the type of body you have.

Many websites can guide you to the dress that is right for you, whether you are apple- or pear-shaped. Alternatively, spend some time perusing wedding photos, both online and in your local newspaper. Look at these real women - not skinny models! - in order to see what dress types look best, especially on those whose shape resembles yours.

When you try on dresses, don't get distracted by beading or frills if the dress doesn't suit your body. The market is flooded with hundreds of wedding dresses-the one for you is definitely out there. Have patience and it will come.

Where to Buy?

When it comes to buying a wedding dress, there are several things you should keep in mind.

* Look around. Before you open your wallet, be sure you have found the dress you want to wear on your wedding day and that you have found the right vendor for your needs.

* Do your research. This is a major purchase and can really impact your budget. Plus, it's fun! Search magazines and websites for dresses you like. Cut out the photos and note what you do and don't like about them. Get a feel for the price ranges before stepping foot in a store. Knowing you can get the same dress elsewhere for half the price curbs the impulse purchase.

* Try on dresses. If the shop allows, take pictures, noting the dress style and number. It helps to bring an objective friend.

Once you find your wedding dress, take some time to comparison shop. Search online, as many online retailers offer significant discounts. Consider, however, the additional services you may need. Will you need alterations? Matching shoes and veil? You might not be able to find these services with online vendors.

Some shops require you to use their seamstress, charging higher than normal fees. If you're not comfortable with that, take your business elsewhere. Be a bride, but don't let them take advantage of your emotional state.

What's Your Style?

Your wedding dress is about your personal style. Choose a gown that puts you in the perfect frame of mind for your wedding day, whether it's as a fairy princess or barefoot on the beach.

Wedding Planning Tips and Ideas

Your Final Gown Fitting

This is the last chance to make sure all your accessories coordinate. Be sure to bring ALL of the items that you'll be wearing on your wedding day, such as: Shoes & Nylons, undergarments, jewelry and headpiece and veil.

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