How to Say Yes to the Right Dress

Mara Urshel, co-owner of Kleinfeld Bridal in New York City and a regular feature on "Say Yes to the Dress," gives us her advice on searching for the right gown. So before you begin your quest for the perfect dress, read Mara’s quick shopping gown tips.

1. Research – Start looking for gowns in magazines and websites and bring the photos to your appointment; it’ll give your bridal consultant a general idea of the kind of dress you like: traditional, straight, empire, princess ball gown, etc.  

2. Plan – Make sure you have enough time. “It’ll take anywhere from nine months to 12 months to order your dress,” says Urshel. “Sometimes six months is okay, but you’ll be limiting some of the dresses that can be available to you.”  

3. Budget – Know your budget. A lot of people forget they have to pay for alterations, a headpiece, a veil and undergarments. There are a lot of extras and sometimes those extras can add up to more than the gown.  

4. Who to Bring – Don’t bring an army of friends and relatives to your bridal gown appointment. Bring along one or two trusted partners – your mom, a close friend, etc. for a second opinion. Make sure you bring people you can trust and that you select a dress that works for you – not for them.  

5. Open Mind Keep an open mind, listen to the consultant and try on gowns she suggests.Gowns don’t always look as good on the hanger as they do on the body.Try on as many styles as you can. “Do it; try everything. This is your chance to try on all the dresses in the world and any salon should take the time to work with you to make sure you’re happy.”  

6. What to Wear – Wear appropriate undergarments, since you’ll be undressing in front of a sales consultant you’ve never met before.You may also want to wear a strapless bra or the salon may have samples for you to use.  

7. Trust your Instincts – You’ll know it’s “the one.” If you have to be reassured the gown looks great on you, it's probably not "the one." Ask yourself: Is this how you pictured yourself looking as a bride? Does the gown suit your personality? Are you comfortable enough in it to enjoy your wedding day?

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