Start looking for gowns in magazines and websites, and bring the photos to your appointment. It will give your bridal consultant a general idea of the kind of dress you like: traditional, straight, empire, princess ball gown, etc.
Make sure you have enough time...it can take six to 12 months to order a designer bridal gown. "It'll take anywhere from nine months to 12 months to order your dress," says Urshel. "Sometimes six months is OK, but in that case you will be limiting some of the dresses that can be available to you."
Know your budget. A lot of people forget that 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 grown.
Keep Your Party Small
Do not bring an army of friends and relatives to your bridal gown appointment. Have one or two trusted partners -- your mom, a close friend, etc. -- accompany you for a second opinion. Bring people you can trust, and select a dress that works for you -- not for them.
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 style 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 are happy."
Wear Appropriate Undergarments
Wear appropriate undergarments; you will be undressing in front of a sales consultant you have never met before. You may also want to wear a strapless bra, or the salon may have samples for you to use.
Trust Your Instincts
You'll know if the gown is "the one." If you have to be reassured that a gown looks great on you, it's probably not the right choice. 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?