Don't let the idea of finding the perfect wedding dress be the most daunting task when planning your nuptials—we tracked down some of the best in the business to get their suggestions on finding your dream dress for your big day.
Don't Walk into a Bridal Salon Completely Clueless
"My best advice to brides looking for the perfect wedding gown is to do a little research before walking into a bridal salon. Every store is a little different. Make sure you choose the stores that will have the style of gowns you are looking for. For example, if you know you want a dress with a low back, like the Geneva gown by Katie May pictured here, book appointments at stores that will have a good selection of gowns with dramatic backs." —Ivy Kaplin, owner of Lovely Bride Philly
Do Be Honest & Realistic with Yourself
Dress designed by YolanCris.
"Be realistic about what looks best on you. Unless you're 6 feet tall and a size 0 or 2, it's unlikely you'll look just like the models in your favorite dress designer's ads, so be honest and open to looking your personal best. Be open to trying on styles recommended by an educated bridal consultant. It's almost impossible to tell what a dress will really look like when you put it on if you've only seen it on the hanger." —Kathy Hart Bado, owner of The Wedding Factor Boutique & Event Studio
Do Pay Attention to the Small Details
"If you're looking for a lace or beaded fit to flare style gown, pay close attention to specific cuts and patterns in the lace and beading. The designer has created an illusion that will accentuate your curves (in all the right places) for the most figure flattering look." —Cyndi Deal, owner of Bridals by Cyndi
Don't Be Narrow-Minded about Your Style Preference
Dress by Ashley and Justin Bridal.
"I would say my biggest tip for the brides today is to keep an open mind when dress shopping. Most girls will have tons of pictures. I say put them away because until the dress is on the body, you can't know! Weddings are a lifetime event: be big, be daring—it's the only day you can!" —Frannie Erase, owner of Unveiled Philadelphia
Don't Overlook the Significance of a Veil
Veil designed by Toni Federici.
"A veil completes your bridal look and should be not an afterthought. You should be trying on different style veils as you shop for your dream gown and say 'yes' to the complete look. Most grooms imagine their bride walking down the aisle with a bridal gown and veil! It’s a tradition that will always be in style." —Pattie Lamantia, owner of The Wedding Shoppe
"I love to call attention to the natural waistline as it's the slimmest part on everyone. Try a dress with waist detail or simply add a belt or adornment to create the look." —Alisa Frederico, style director at Dressing Jane
Don't Be Afraid to Share As Many Details As You Can with Your Stylist
Accessory by Sara Gabriel: custom Swarovski crystal embroidered straps.
"Give your stylist lots of details about your wedding: the venue, the decor, your color palette, even special touches that may be sentimental or meaningful. We love personalizing each bride's look so that she is a true reflection of both her personal style, and relationship with her beloved. Sometimes an accessory can make all the difference; sometimes a lace pattern on the gown, or even a special connection with the designer can help you decide on 'the one.' Please allow us to help you find a gown that speaks to you beautifully, and personally." —Abby McGrath, general manager of The Wedding Pavilion at Van Cleve