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The Biggest Wedding Gown Shopping Blunders

Shopping for the wedding gown is one of the best parts of planning a wedding, if you ask most brides. That said, there are some common mistakes that can derail your plans in a hurry. Learn how to avoid the biggest wedding gown shopping blunders.

When you start planning your wedding budget, you will typically hear to allow about 10% of it for your attire. What may not be clear to many brides, though, is that does not mean you should purchase a wedding gown that takes up 10% of your total wedding funds. That is because you also have to factor in alterations, the veil, the shoes, a headpiece, sparkling crystal bridal jewelry, and all of the other wedding accessories. If you have used your entire allotment of attire funds on the gown alone, you are either going to end up over budget or without all of the pretty accessories, crystal bridal jewelry, and other special details that will complete your look. So what can a bride do who really needs the whole 10% to get the gown of her dreams? Ask for the accessories for your birthday, Christmas, or other special occasion!

Another big mistake is to begin shopping for your wedding dress before you have set a date or decided on a location. It is only natural to want to head to the nearest bridal salon as soon as you get engaged - after all, trying on gowns is so much fun! But if you purchase your gown before you know when and where your wedding will take place, you may end up with a dress that does not suit the style of the event. The wispy chiffon gown you fell in love with won't look so good when if you end up having a late autumn wedding. The heavily beaded ballgown that first struck your fancy will seem out of place if you end up opting for an informal backyard ceremony. Once you have figured out when and where you will have your wedding, then feel free to shop to your heart's content.

Speaking of when to shop, another common blunder is to wait too long. Many brides have no idea how long it can take to order a bridal how many shopping trips it can take to find the right one! There is no worse feeling than the panicky fear that you are running out of time to order and you haven't found a dress that you love. Or than falling in love with the most perfect wedding gown ever, only to learn that you do not have enough time to get it made. Even if you could get a rush delivery, why pay for rush charges when you don't have to? It is generally recommended that you order your wedding dress at least six months before your wedding, so start shopping even sooner than that. Buying a gown up to a year in advance would be reasonable, as long as you have already booked your venue.

Given the importance of the bridal gown, brides usually want help in selecting the right one. But sometimes too much help is no help at all! It is often much harder to find the perfect gown when shopping with a large entourage, as everyone will have conflicting opinions. Most brides find that it is more productive to shop with only one or two people for opinions. And once you have found your dream wedding gown, be wary of showing it to a lot of your friends, lest they say something that undermines your confidence in your choice. A gown could look amazing on you, but not as beautiful on the model in an ad. Or it could be fabulous in person, but not look great in the blurry picture your sister took of you in the sample gown with her cell phone.

It's also wise to keep your wedding gown a secret because a so-called "friend" could go out and buy the same dress for her wedding...which takes place two weeks before yours. Besides, if everyone has already seen your dress, it will not be as special when you debut it on the day of your wedding. You work so hard to find the most beautiful gown in your budget and for your wedding; keep it a secret so you can wow everyone when you appear in it at your wedding ceremony.