It’s All About the Dress!

Choosing a wedding gown is something you've dreamed about since you were a little girl, and now the time has flown by and the day is here.

You should begin your search at least six to nine months ahead. Special orders can take four to six months.

picChoosing your dress from off the rack or having one made just for you are some options to consider. Always set a budget. Off-the-rack dresses can run $250 and up. A simple custom-made dress can cost as little as $750, and can cost as much as $10,000.

Shop at bridal boutiques for a wide variety of styles. Keep a file of photographs of wedding dresses you like from bridal magazines, newspapers, and retail promotions handy when you shop.

Ask when bridal stores are next having a sample sale. Be on the lookout for warehouse sales on discontinued styles, samples and overstocks.

Consider your figure with a dress that flatters your body type. Take someone honest with you who has your best interests at heart when shopping. Try one of each basic shape--sheath, princess, ball gown, and empire waist--to see which most flatters your figure. Walk, turn, sit and bend in the gown to make sure you will be comfortable, as well as stylish. Comfort and peace of mind are important on this special occasion.

Choose a style appropriate for the ceremony. For a formal evening wedding, a floor-length in ivory, white, cream or champagne, often worn with gloves and a train, is an elegant choice. At a less-formal or second wedding, the bride may choose a long or short dress, or even a suit. A short veil may be stylish.

Walk, turn, sit and bend in the gown to make sure you will be comfortable, as well as stylish. Comfort and peace of mind are important on this special occasion.

Use a credit card to make the deposit. Ask for an itemized receipt spelling out every detail (manufacturer's and design name, number, price, color and size) and stating that the deal is canceled if your dress isn't ready by a specified date.

Don’t forget to budget for alterations, which can run $300 or more. Find out if pressing is included and if your dress can be stored there until your wedding date.