I can speak for the team, and thus I will say – we all girls marry for that perfect dress! I mean, I have been dreaming about my wedding dress since the day I decided that I will marry bae!

I had to search for two amazing dresses because I was having two wedding receptions. I was very sure about the gown I wore. I also had to decide on to one lehenga. I was sure that the two colors that I will wear will be gold and silver. The reds and pinks are not for me! I love bling – I absolutely do!

No matter how much Instagram and Pinterest you browse, you will always end up buying the dress which wins your heart when you are in the studio/shop. I was lucky with my silver gown – I spotted it at the first shop that I visited and I know I will wear that – only that. I invaded the whole of Hyderabad but came back to it eventually.

I took some time to spot my perfect lehenga. But when I did, I know there is no more treasure hunt involved!

Just about every bride-to-be dreams of finding that perfect wedding dress to complete the ceremony of her dreams, but with thousands of options, how do you decide? Apart from your colour and other preference, these are some super practical tips, which will help make this daunting task infinitely easier.

Set a Budget

The first step in finding that perfect dress is to set a budget, giving yourself a price range and sticking to it. It’s important to be realistic as to what you can afford to spend and avoid trying on any gowns that are above that to avoid disappointment. The average bride spends $1,000, with the typical range anywhere from $280 to $1650, reports WeddingWire. Don’t forget about the accessories, like undergarments, a veil and alterations, which usually make up around 10 to 15 percent of the total cost of your wedding attire.

I had it very clear that I will not spend more than $1000 on both my dresses and their accessories – jewellery and shoes – because I had to spend a lot on my honeymoon and my home decor!

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Of course, if you have the cash, you might want to consider luxury wedding dresses that can be uniquely made for your particular physique, which makes it much easier to get the exact gown you want. 

Consider the Location

You’ll need to have an idea of your wedding venue before setting out to find your dress. Will it be an outdoor wedding, perhaps in an ornate cathedral? A casual vineyard affair among the vines? Or maybe a beach resort? You obviously don’t want a voluminous ball gown on the sand, or a short, simple dress in a large church.

My receptions were both indoors but I knew I had to roam around a lot – meeting everyone. So, for me, the weight of my dress mattered the most! The Indian wedding receptions usually require you to sit on the chairs most of the time while people come and meet and greet you. But mine didn’t have that jazz!

Know the Right Styles for Your Body Type

Some styles flatter more than others, depending on your body type. Do some research to find out which style is best for you – if you’re petite, avoid a ball gown which overwhelms a small frame. You’ll want to elongate it with a natural-waisted dress like fit-and-flare or A-line styles, for example. Tall slender brides look great in ball gowns with low waists.

A-line worked best for me! It always does.

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Know What You Want and Don’t Want

It may be easier to narrow down the options simply by knowing what you don’t want first. Look through magazines, books and websites to learn about the various silhouettes and fabrics. You’ll probably get a better idea of what you really don’t want, and then you’ll have trimmed down your list to those you don’t dislike. Put together a folder and include pictures of dresses that appeal to you most to bring with you when you go shopping.

With technology, having those folders is easier. I had different boards on Pinterest – based on colour and designs that I wanted – for everything, beginning from the wedding hall decor to my dress to my hairstyle!

Be Flexible

If a bridal consultant urges you to try something on that doesn’t seem like you’re style, don’t immediately turn it down. Some dresses look much better on than they do on the hanger. Of course, you don’t ever want to let someone else talk you into buying something that you’re not really in love with either.

Choose Your Entourage Carefully

Don’t bring everyone in your bridal party with you when you’re shopping and trying on dresses. If you do that, odds are, you’ll only end up confused with the wide range of opinions. Only bring one or two who are closest to you, trusted sources who are willing, to be honest about what looks good and what doesn’t.

I shopped alone. Basically, with my bae and after shortlisting, took my sister along for a second opinion.

Forget About the Numbers

If you normally wear a size 4 in most clothing, don’t be shocked when you find you need a size 8 in a wedding dress. Forget about the numbers and think about the fit instead, as bridalwear frequently runs smaller than your usual, ready-to-wear clothing. And never insist on a smaller size because you plan to lose weight before your wedding, you want the one that fits now.

Honestly, I took a size larger and got it altered before the wedding day. I was actually open to both the option. Though I was working hard towards ‘losing weight’, I was not stressing over it!

So yes, these were the few things that I learned from my experience. Care to share yours?

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