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    33 Crucial Tips To Find The Wedding Dress Of Your Dreams

    Everything you need to find the best dress ever. (Promise.)

    1. Have an idea of what you want before you step foot in a bridal shop

    2. Begin the process early — but not too early!

    3. If you're getting a custom design, plan 6 to 8 months out—at least

    4. If you can, buy between Thanksgiving and Christmas

    5. Be clear about your budget

    6. Make bridal salon appointments during the week, and don't forget to block out time for fittings

    7. Give mass retailers Like J. Crew, Anthropologie, and The Limited a try

    BCBG, Anthropologie, J. Crew, and Ann Taylor have all launched bridal collections, and with the exception of Anthro, most dresses are under a $1,000 (and many are actually under $500).

    8. The easiest way to save big? Shop at non-bridal locales

    9. Involve your trusted counsel

    10. Familiarize yourself with some of the terminology

    11. Bring heels and a strapless bra — and shapewear, if you're actually planning on wearing it the day of your wedding

    12. Do your hair, but DON'T do your makeup when you're trying on dresses

    13. Get your gang together before you go shopping

    14. Expect to spend at least a couple hours at each appointment, so bring snacks

    15. Consider the venue when choosing what kind of style will suit you

    16. Try a sample sale or trunk show, but be prepared to pay for your dress up front

    17. Or try an online sample sale

    18. Find out what the return policy is

    19. Consider a vintage or second-hand dress

    20. Or buy a dress for a good cause

    21. Remember: There's no perfect number of dresses to try on

    22. Take a look at what's already in your closet when trying to decide what shapes will work

    23. Be open-minded when trying on different styles

    24. Go for a corset if you're short on time

    25. If you’re buying online, read and research the product descriptions—like it's your job

    Like, really read them. And if you’re not sure what something is, contact the seller or Google the term. It’s okay not to know what a watteau is.

    26. Don’t forget about the headpiece, veil, shoes, and all the other little details that are going to complement your dress

    27. Sometimes a bridal shop will throw in a veil or an accessory for free on a big order

    It doesn't hurt to ask! Fun fact: Veils are inexpensive to make, but come at a high markup. For that reason, they're great bargaining chips.

    28. Before you buy, have a think on it

    29. Focus on how the dress feels—not on your perceived physical flaws

    30. Get your wedding dress details in writing

    31. You might not cry when you find the dress, and that's totally okay

    32. Remember: It's just a dress

    33. But when you found the right one, you'll know

    Don’t feel pressured to buy something you don’t actually want to buy because it’s on sale/someone else likes it/you’ve already looked at 5 million other dresses. You’re theoretically only going to do this once, so give yourself the time and space to do it right.