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.
For those with lofty budgets, this is the way to go. You can work with wedding dress designers directly. It helps if you’re in a hub like New York or Paris, but top designers of wedding dresses can be found in most major cities. If you’re considering going the custom route, you’ll need to find a designer whose vision aligns with yours and whom you trust, as it will be a collaborative effort. In the end, you’ll have a gown like no other.

These bridal stores will normally offer a full range of bridal related services. In most cases, it makes sense to make an appointment but not necessarily. You can expect to see all of the wedding dresses out in the open which is nice. It is important to note that while an off-the-shelf wedding dress may be a possibility, these shops typically require special-order gowns for brides. Price ranges and wedding dress designers vary from moderately priced to high-end.

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