bride's friends help to fit the wedding dress

A bride's friends help to fit her wedding dress.

The process of buying a wedding dress should come with a manual. It’s the most important dress you’ll ever wear, and there are many things to remember, from proper sizing to fabric care.

The experience can be overwhelming, which is why so many brides-to-be have found themselves regretting their dress-buying decisions come wedding day. Don’t let that be you.

When to shop

A common mistake when it comes to dress shopping is settling on a particular size or style too early in the planning process. Even if you fall in love with a dress during your initial online searches, there is no reason to order your dress more than a year ahead of time.

This means waiting to visit bridal shops until you are financially ready to buy. An average wedding dress costs more than $1,200, according to the XO Group, Inc., a global media and technology leader.

That’s a big investment. Imagine shelling out that kind of money for a dress too early in the planning phase and then finding another option for the same price — or even less.

Buying a dress is like buying a new car. If you settle on the first test drive, you could be missing out on other options that may actually better fit your tastes.

Too many opinions

Behind every great bride-to-be is a great mother or bridesmaid-to-be. So stop there when it comes to inviting people out dress shopping with you. Take the people whose opinions you value the most and make it as relaxing an experience as possible.

Remember, you’re not looking for people to tell you what you want to hear. Sometimes, only your mom or best friend will have the courage to tell you if a dress just doesn’t look right.

Not only will you be less stressed trying to coordinate a day of dress shopping for a party of 10 people, but your invitees will feel more special that they were included in your special day.

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