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Weddings require a lot of time and planning.  Brides and grooms spend hours putting together their guest list, countless weekends touring different wedding venues and reception halls, and pour over different décor schemes and themes for their big day.  The bride and groom get to spend a lot of time and money on different aspects of the wedding, but there’s one important part that’s almost entirely the bride’s responsibility: the wedding dress.

The Association of Bridal Consultants did a survey on wedding costs, and they found that most women can expect to spend $1,053 on their wedding dress alone.  Brides can spend months searching for the right dress, but the end result is almost always worth all of the time and money invested into it. If you’re going spend hundreds of dollars and hundreds of hours on your dress, you want to make sure that you pick the right one.  If you’re going to be shopping for your wedding dress soon, make sure that you remember these tips.

Know your best shade of white

Today it isn’t uncommon to see brides walking down the aisle in a variety of colors, but many brides still want their wedding dress to be white.  There is no such thing as a simple white dress, there are a lot of shades of white you have to choose from.  You can choose something that’s a stark snowy white, find a creamy colored white, or white with undertones of different colors.  If you have cool colored skin you may want to look for a wedding dress with blue, pink, grey, or bright white to compliment your skin.  If you have warm toned skin, look for dresses with peach, yellow, or ivory undertones.

Shop for your current size

Almost every bride resolves to lose a lot of weight before their wedding day, but you should still shop for a wedding dress in your current size instead of your ideal size.  You want a wedding dress that’s going to compliment your shape, and your body shape isn’t going to change that much even if you do lose a lot of weight.  You can always get your dress tailored to fit your body, but you should still shop for a dress that’s your current size. You don’t want to end up not losing as much weight as you planned and not being able to fit into your dress the morning of your wedding.

Shop with different bras, accessories, and shows

Do you have a necklace you want to wear with your wedding dress?  Have you fallen in love with a pair of shoes you want for your wedding?  When you go out dress shopping, you should bring the accessories you know that you want to wear.  There’s nothing worse than falling in love with a dress that doesn’t look good with your extra accessories, so make sure that your dress goes with everything you want to wear.

It would also be a good idea to bring a few extra bras when you go shopping.  The shape and style of your bra can make a difference in the way your bust looks, and switching your bra could make you fall in love with a dress you wouldn’t have picked.

Don’t get glued to the rack

When some future brides go to bridal boutiques, they immediately get dismayed when they don’t see something they want on the racks.  If you have a good idea of what you want your dress to look like, it may be best for you have a dress that’s custom made for you.  Sometimes the Vera Wang wedding gowns you see are beautiful, but they aren’t for you.  Instead of spending days going to different shops looking at dresses that don’t fit your dress vision, find a seamstress that would be willing to design your dream dress.

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Ashely is a newly wed and she knows how important and stressful shopping for the perfect wedding dress can be. She likes to share wedding tips and ideas. To see more, check out her Twitter @ashelymarie1985.