Here are the top tips you should know before you go wedding dress shopping. I think most brides agree that the most exciting part of planning a wedding is picking out that dream wedding gown. It is something most of us dream about since we are little girls. You get treated like a princess, your closest friends and family ooh and aah as you come out dressed in the different options, and it’s that one time in your life you feel as royal as Kate Middleton or Meghan Markle. So here are some tips to make the most out of this time in your life and ensure you pick a great dress.

Like a good primer under foundation, first you must prep. Let’s start with makeup and hair. If you look dreadful, tired, or hungover, you will hate every single dress. None of them will make you look pretty because you are walking in unkept and plain. You want to envision what you will look and FEEL like on your big day. So before you head out to your appointment, do your makeup and brush your hair. And before you leave, grab a strapless bra and heels with approximately the same height heel you will have on your wedding day. Good to go.

If you were paying attention above, the second tip is easy. Make an appointment. The attendants at these stores are very versed at their inventory, fit, lead times for orders, etc… You want to have personalized attention and the ability to ask all your questions. This will be very difficult to do if you just walk-in. The attendants might be busy helping various customers or might be waiting for an appointment to arrive. So call ahead and make an appointment to make sure they receive you champagne in hand.

This tip is CONTROVERSIAL, but please believe me. You will thank me forever and send good juju my way. The first time you go dress shopping…..Go alone. What?!?! But how about the part with the mom and friends oohing and aahing?! That will come later. But first, go alone and narrow down the dresses that you like. The ones that you are comfortable in and make you feel gorgeous. Then invite the entourage. What you are trying to avoid is having your entourage sway your opinion. And this can happen very quickly. True story: I had a bride that went shopping with her parents for her beach wedding dress. The parents fell in love with a chiffon mermaid style gown. They praised and complimented the bride to the point that they convinced her to get the dress. The mom immediately paid for it and all was done. But weeks later the bride could not stop thinking about the fact that the mermaid gown was not her dream dress. She wanted more of a lacy, boho A-line dress. So about a month before the wedding I was driving her around Miami trying to find the perfect dress that we could purchase off the rack. Lesson: Go alone first!!!!

Next tip, do not follow popular dress trends. Your dress should be timeless so that in 10 or 20 years you can still look back at your wedding pictures and still love what you wore. Right now the trend for the lingerie style dresses that leave little to the imagination make me cringe! Is that the photo you want on your wall when your kid’s friends come over? Probably not. Go for classic and you will never go wrong.

And finally, no second guessing. There is no perfect dress. There are tons of dresses that could fit you and your venue perfectly. So pick one and move on to planning your shoes, jewelry, hair style, etc…without looking back and second guessing yourself. Not only good advice for your choosing your dress, but for choosing your husband too 😉