Q: “Wedding Dress Shopping. Top 5 Tips I Need to Know?”

For most brides, shopping for a wedding dress is an utterly exciting and wonderful experience. However, for some brides it is stressful, overwhelming and a headache. Regardless of which category you fall into, these 5 tips will help make the process seamless, help you pick the dress you love and that makes you look beautiful and feel wonderful.

1. Know your price point

We know you’re excited and you just want to start shopping, but you really need to figure out what you want to spend before you walk into any store. It happens often that brides fall in love and be disappointed or who blow their budget. Know your price point and don’t try on dresses that are above you top price. If you happen to fall for a dress that is too expensive, don’t worry, just get creative. Ask if the dress comes in an alternative fabric that is less expensive or whether parts of the dress can be left off. If budget is an issue, you can also check out sample sales, where you can get discounts on past seasons’ gowns or even use the internet to scour far and wide. Finally, most brides forget that the wedding dress budget also needs to include an assortment of other things, like alterations, the veil, headpiece, shoes, lingerie and wedding jewelry.

2. Wear the right undergarments

Without wearing proper undergarments to try on wedding dresses, the trip can pretty much be considered a waste. After all, there’s not a woman alive who hasn’t experienced the transformative powers of the right shapewear or bra. You don’t want to try to work around inch-wide bra straps while trying to figure out if a dress looks good on you or not. You want to feel beautiful in your wedding gown and that starts with wearing the proper undergarments when you’re trying your dresses on.

3. Skip the entourage

Keep your group small. No more than two or three people to go with you. Maybe it’s your mom, best friend, and mother-in-law (yes, your mother in-law). Everyone has an opinion, and while they can be great, it makes wedding dress shopping more stressful than it needs to be. This is your day, so skip the Kanye sized entourage and keep it small so you can focus on what you want. The last thing you want is to fall in love with a dress and end up not making a decision because two of your twenty friends don’t like it.

4. Don’t be closed minded

Yes, it’s important to know your own style—and not compromise—but you might be surprised how good you look and feel in a style, cut, or length you normally wouldn’t have expected. There’s really nothing to lose by trying on as many dresses as you can.

5. Buy a Dress That Fits…Now

You’re exercising, eating well and losing weight. That’s great, but planning on dropping the pounds before your wedding can make wedding dress shopping a tough slog. Always remember that while you may lost more weight, your body type isn’t going to completely change. Find a dress that fits your body the way it is now and remember that is it is a lot easier to have a dress taken in than it is to add extra fabric to a gown after the fact.