As you begin wedding dress shopping, there are seemingly endless styles: billowy ball gowns, strapless mermaids, long-sleeved illusion dresses, spaghetti-strap sheaths. The list goes on and on. To find inspiration, browse wedding dresses by cut, see what real brides wore, and view the latest looks from Bridal Fashion Week (which happens every April and October). Start trying things on 10 to 12 months before your big day so you can order by the six- to eight-month deadline most salons require. If you don’t have that much lead time, you may still be able to get a made-to-order gown; some can be produced in as few as four weeks. Just be ready to pay for the convenience: It’s usually an additional 10 to 15 percent, not including rush alteration fees.
Research: Look through bridal magazines and wedding websites, attend bridal shows to familiarize yourself with latest designer trends. Keep pictures of the designs you like. From the type, size and location of your reception, determine your budget and styles of wedding gowns you prefer. Contact friends and/or relatives for recommended bridal shops in your area.

You’ve done your research, you’ve browsed hundreds of wedding dresses online and browsed through a big stack of bridal magazines. Now it’s time to buy your wedding dress. The good news is that you have lots of options, depending on your time and budget constraints. The bad news, of course, is that you have lots of options. Either way, go have some fun. Also, don’t forget to check out our latest on wedding dresses here.
If you've gotten "The One," stop purchasing. Anymore window-shopping now will just lead you later on toward the uninspiring land of Two-Dress Brides. What you need to do rather is remember that blissful feeling of having actually tried out The One. Go get The One out of the closet, put it on as well as stand in front of the mirror. You'll bear in mind specifically why it's The One.
If you plan on wearing a veil, first consider the venue: “A long cathedral veil is beautiful for a traditional religious ceremony, but it could be distracting on a windy beach,” Risatti says. Depending on your preference and budget, you can buy off the rack, order from a bridal designer, or have one made by a veil specialist. (A high-end salon can give you names.) Wait until you’ve chosen the gown to start shopping so that you pick the right length and shade of white; get a swatch from your dress to match it exactly. Custom can take up to six months. In all other cases, just buy it in time for hair and makeup trials.
Don't be afraid to aim high-- regardless of what your budget plan. Some bride-to-bes understood from the start they wanted a developer tag, but life just really did not cooperate by making them heiresses. Yet all is not lost if you agree to go shopping courageously. At any type of given minute, a better-heeled new bride is offering her once-used St. Pucchi or Ulla-Maija on ebay.com. She paid thousands upon thousands, however you, wise consumer, will certainly pay half that or less.
One of the reasons we love rustic weddings so much is their simple, yet elegant style. It also helps to reduce the costs of the ceremony – a lot. Their family-oriented relaxed feel is very pleasant. Even cheap rustic wedding dresses look fantastic in natural settings: pastures or a forest, barnyard or a field. If you go for a rustic wedding you know you will look at peace with Mother Nature. Simplicity is the key to that innocent, yet feminine look.
Bridal gowns are made to order, so once you’ve picked yours, the sales consultant will take your measurements and request the closest fit from the designer. You’ll put down a deposit (typically 50 percent), then pay the rest when it ships to the salon or your home, with no returns. Some salons offer payment plans, while others might cut you a deal on your veil, accessories, or in-house alterations. Just ask! Expect two to five fittings, scheduled at least three months before the big day, which can cost up to 15 percent of the price of the gown. If the salon doesn’t have a seamstress on staff, ask for recommendations in your area. But not everyone can handle a couture-like gown, so don’t cut corners.
For brides with a smaller budget, discount wedding dress outlets are great places to find major discounts on wedding dresses. Brides will typically shop off the rack and take the dress home immediately. Styles may be a mix of discontinued national brands and private-label merchandise sold at reduced prices. Also look out for big sales by major name dress designers, because those sales are few and far between, but when they happen they are an awesome place to find an amazing wedding dress on the cheap.
The sales contract you will sign to finalize the order is designed to protect both you and the retailer. It will, of course, include your name, address, phone number, and method of payment. Your wedding date and last acceptable date for delivery of the gown should also be included. Be sure to allow time for portraits and/or alterations in the last acceptable date. The sales contract should include the manufacturer’s name, style number of the gown, size and color you are ordering, a description of the gown, and a picture reference, if available, for designer wedding dresses list the designer’s name. A reputable retailer should not keep this information from you. It should not be acceptable to allow a store code in place of the actual manufacturer name and style number. At the bottom of the contract is the disclaimer or “fine print”. Be sure to read this and ask questions if you have them.
Shopping: To make your day a pleasant and rewarding one, try not to visit too many bridal shops on the same day. When you are fresh, full of energy and enthusiasm, you will be able to make sound judgments. On the other hand, if you come to the store exhausted and unprepared, after trying a few styles you may be confused and find that all the gowns begin to look the same and you may come home toting one of the cheap wedding dresses simply because you were tired! Bring along pictures of wedding gowns you like and be open to discuss your plan and idea with a bridal consultant. It could happen that the gown you like in a picture doesn’t look good on you. The bridal consultant will study your figure type and personality to help select the styles that flatter you and suit your budget. Try on all of the dresses the consultant shows you, even if it may not seem like “your style” of dress as most wedding dresses look much better, and different, on you than on the racks. You may want to bring a family member or friend along for a second opinion. Avoid taking more than one person since too many opinions can conflict and confuse. Wearing appropriate undergarments and a bit of makeup can also help to make the wedding dress look and fit better. Take a Polaroid camera along just in case you cannot decide. Take a picture of yourself wearing each wedding dress and bring them home to study.
Of course! We know the big, dramatic skirt of ball gown wedding dresses can be intimidating for petite brides because of the fear of being swallowed by all that fabric, but rest assured, Martin Thornburg has ball gown wedding dresses for your petite stature. If you’re a petite bride-to-be looking for a regal wedding dress, it might be best to avoid ball gown silhouettes that feature voluminous ruffle skirts because it gives the illusion of a lot of fabric. Instead, opt for ball gown wedding dresses with satin skirts because it’s smooth surface won’t add too much volume to the bottom half of your body like ruffled tulle. Trust us - it’ll be easy to achieve your princess desires in one of these ball gown wedding dresses from Martin Thornburg.
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