Los Angeles Times

Got engaged over the holiday season? Now what?

ARA Content

If you're among the more than 25 percent of brides-to-be who received an engagement ring over the holidays, it's time to begin the search for 'the one.' No, we're not talking about 'the guy,' we're talking about 'the dress!'


Photo courtesy ARA Content David's Bridal - the nation's foremost bridal authority, with more than 250 stores coast to coast - offers several helpful tips to ensure a stress-free shopping experience and allow you to look picture perfect on that special day:

Don't Break the Bank

Brides should establish a budget and stick to it. According to the Fairchild Bridal Group, women spend about 5 percent of their total wedding budget on the gown. To keep finances in mind without compromising on style, try a store like David's Bridal that not only has a wide range of fashionable styles at great prices, but also offers the affordable luxury of designer gowns from Oleg Cassini and Monique Luo.

Do Your Homework

Scour bridal magazines, websites and bridal shows for styles that best suit your personality and body type. Educated brides will have an easier time conveying their preferences to bridal consultants, maximizing their appointment time and enjoying the shopping experience. Be prepared to try on a variety of styles in order to find the best dress for the most important day of your life.

The Smarter Shopper

Look for a store that carries a large assortment of gowns in all sizes. David's Bridal offers dresses from 0 to 26W that can be tried on and even taken home that day. If you prefer personalized attention, try to schedule your appointments on a weekday when shops are quieter, rather than weekends, which tend to be busier. It is also a good idea to bring someone along whose opinion you value to assist with the decision-making process.

The Perfect Fit

On the day you purchase your gown, schedule the appointment for your fitting. Be sure you have the proper foundations and shoes in hand for your appointment. Experts suggest that alterations be made at the store where your gown was purchased, as they will be more accustomed to the fit and construction of your gown and guarantee better results. Allow a minimum of six to eight weeks prior to your wedding or portrait date for alterations. This ensures that the work is completed to your satisfaction, and the dress is ready for pick-up in time for the special day.

Accessorize

While the bridal gown is the showpiece of the wedding attire, accessories complete the look. Many gowns have coordinating accessories, ranging from tiaras and veils to shoes and handbags to necklaces and earrings, so be sure to ask your consultant about finishing touches. Once the headpiece and veil are chosen, hair trials are also a great way to ensure that these items compliment your hairstyle for the big day.

Get Coordinated

Every aspect of your special day should reflect your personal style. To provide a truly customized affair, David's Bridal offers color coordination for all of your bridal needs–from complementing bridal party attire and accessories to matching invitations and even reception favors. Everything you need to complete your overall theme, with the convenience of one-stop shopping, is undoubtedly a smart way to go.

So, while finding the man is up to you, following these simple steps will help to make the shopping experience an enjoyable one and ultimately, find the dress that can make your dream wedding a reality. When the big day finally arrives, all you have to do is look fabulous, enjoy the party and live happily ever after.

David's Bridal gowns range in price from $299 - $1,200. For further information or the location nearest you, call (877) 693-BRIDE or visit www.davidsbridal.com.

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