It is a moment that every wedding attendee relishes, the first appearance of the bride in her wedding dress.
The style of her dress can set the tone for the wedding. If it's regal in design, relaxed and laid back, perhaps has a theme, or is old fashioned, it's logical to expect the whole wedding celebration to mimic it.
In finalizing plans for the perfect wedding it's sometimes necessary to compromise on a number of aspects, usually to fit within the budget. If at all possible, don't compromise on the dress. It should be exactly what the bride wants.
To help that wedding-dress-dream come true, regardless of how regal the dream be, be creative in sourcing it.
Here are a few suggestions:
~the bridal shop
~try to find factory outlets
~retail clothing stores (not necessarily bridal oriented)
~try vintage clothing stores
~have a friend or family member sew it for you
~a custom dress from a dressmaker
~wear your Mom's or other relative's dress
~wedding dress rentals
Each of these options for getting your wedding dress have pros and cons, and must be examined in the context of your own wedding and dress requirements.
As you begin your wedding dress hunt, it might help to answer these questions.
~what style of dress (simple, elaborate, sleeve style and length)
~what dress length
~what color of dress suits me
~do I want a train (length, have it removable)
~is a veil or headpiece part of my plan
~what shoes do I need to complement the dress
~is there a special piece of jewelry or other memento that I plan to wear on the dress
~if a theme wedding how does that affect dress selection
Can you prioritize the list of wants in case you find a dress where everything but one or two attributes are perfect, and you change your mind a bit to grab the near-perfect dress?
Don't despair. You may take weeks to find a dress, or you may find one the first day! Shop manufactured dresses are notorious for long lead times, maybe up to six months or more. Completely custom wedding dresses can take even longer to receive.
Almost any wedding dress may need to be altered just before the wedding to take into account changes in the bride's shape or size.
The point? When a wedding is in the offing, waiting until the last moment for embarking on the dress search may mean that you will be disappointed in not getting the wedding dress of your dreams.
Begin your search at least 9 - 12 months before your wedding date.
One more thing. Make sure your wedding dress selection and alternation makes it very comfortable for you to wear. You will probably be wearing this dress for a really long time on the day of your wedding, and you will need to be comfortable in it all day long.