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Once you slip into your wedding gown, the magic truly begins, so savor the time you spend trying on one stunning gown after another until you find theone.  We’ve compiled some helpful hints to help make finding your gown as exciting and momentous as you’ve dreamed.

Start your gown search after you, your fiancé and your families have agreed on the style of your wedding. Carry photographs of dresses you like, but remember that the time of day of the ceremony and the degree of formality at the celebration determine the proper style of dress for each member of your wedding party.

To ensure sufficient time for delivery of the dress and headpiece you’ve selected, start shopping soon after becoming engaged. It is recommended that you allow at least four to six months for delivery. A full-service bridal salon is an excellent resource, one that will help the wise bride to look her very best on her wedding day.

Remember that white doesn’t always mean white. White can refer to candlelight, ivory and winter white. Your choice of fabric –silk, organza, taffeta, chiffon – may offer the opportunity to achieve the ideal shade that flatters your skin tone. And choose a dress with an attractive back. After all, you’ll be standing with your back to your guests for most of the ceremony.

Quality construction of your gown, headpiece and veil is a must. Make certain that buttons and other trims are securely hand sewn, not glued on.

Don’t forget about the train. There are three popular styles: The court-length train is the shortest, then the chapel-length train and for the most formal of wedding ceremonies, the grand cathedral-length train. Your gown can be bustled later for the reception.

Inquire about the store’s policy on custom fitting. Again, quality tailoring is worth the price you pay for a good fit and you’ll probably find the best at full-service salons.

At every fitting, wear the same shoes you’ll wear on your wedding day or a pair of similar height. Just as important, take along all the appropriate undergarments for your gown.

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