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The Wedding Issue

10 tips for finding that perfect dress

By Tina Sutton
February 14, 2010

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It’s not as hard as you might think. Just follow my shopping dos and don’ts, based on years of covering bridal fashions.

1. Don’t start shopping until you pick a date and reception location. A formal, heavy satin gown will make you wilt at an outdoor resort wedding in August.

2. Do plan a budget for the entire wedding first to help determine how much you can spend on a dress.

3. Don’t get hung up on one dress or style. Another may be far more flattering.

4. Do keep comfort in mind. It’s great to look sexy or dramatic, but make sure the gown will stay in place when you dance, sit, and bend over to greet guests.

5. Don’t go shopping with friends. Their favorite dress isn’t necessarily yours.

6. Do choose the shade of white that most flatters your skin tone.

7. Don’t wear a long, delicate train at a beach or other outdoor wedding. It can get snagged and dirty easily.

8. Do bring a variety of well-fitting bras when shopping for your dress. You’ll get a much better sense of the look and fit of each gown.

9. Don’t wait. Bridal salons say six months before the wedding is ideal, to allow time for ordering and alterations.

10. Do pay for a wedding gown with a charge card rather than a check. If something goes wrong, you’ll have more options for getting your money back.