Organising a wedding is a huge undertaking with so many things to consider. The venue, food, flowers, transport to and from the wedding, number of guests, bridesmaids, the dress. The list goes on. You may find that many people are willing to give you endless advice on all aspects of a wedding, but for many brides finding the perfect dress is a priority.
Although shopping for a wedding dress can be fun, there is so much choice it is sometimes difficult to make a decision. If you take time to assess yourself before you shop, you could save yourself a great deal of time and effort. Take a look at yourself in a full length mirror and assess your body shape (are you curvy with a small waist, big busted, narrow, flat-chested?) And your colouring (hair, skin and eye colour).
Although white is a traditional colour for wedding dresses, not all women look their best in pure white. It can be very harsh and a softer colour such as ivory or champagne can be kinder on the skin. Try standing in by the window of the shop and hold the material up near your face and see what effect it has on your skin. If you have visited a colour consultant, you can use your colour swatch wallet to find the perfect colour.
The style of the dress is equally important. You may have a mental image of the style of dress you are looking for, but different styles suit different body shapes. For example if you have an hour glass figure, wearing a stiff taffeta dress without any waist definition will not be flattering. You will be better in a soft silky fabric that drapes your curves and shows of your tiny waist. If however you have a very straight body without much waist definition, a dress with straight lines and some rigidity to the fabric will give you a slim shapely silhouette. Consider your height. If you are under 5'3 "tall, a very full skirted dress will make you look shorter and squarer. Try and match your petite stature with less froth and frill. An image consultant can help you discover how to dress your body shape and give you specific styles to look for.
Although some bridal shops have experienced shop assistants who can advise you on colour and shape, it is worth having a good understanding of your body and naturally colour to help you decide. It is also worth looking in bridal magazines prior to your shopping trip and cutting out pictures of styles you like to use as a "starting point".
Now you have decided on the dress, you need to consider veils, shoes, jewelry and bridesmaids, and possibly the mother of the bride!