Finding the perfect wedding dress can be the point at which your wedding plans all come together. Plus, it’s great fun trying on lots of different styles and flouncing around like a princess for a day! Here are our top tips for stress-free wedding dress shopping…

Stick to your budget. Before you even start looking, work out your absolute top limit for spending on your dress. Don’t forget to factor in accessories like a veil, shoes, jewellery or a matching shrug/jacket. Try to keep your feet on the ground and be realistic about what you can afford. Remember also that you can find designer dresses at drastically reduced prices online or at wedding dress factory outlets, so keeping to a budget may not be as much of a hardship as you imagine! Buying a discount wedding dresses could save you up to £1500!

Experiment with style. You may have your heart set on a particular cut or style of dress, but sometimes what we imagine or see in magazines just doesn’t look right on us. Use the experience of the wedding store staff to help you find something that is ideal for your body shape. The best way to do this is to try on a variety of different dresses to see which is right for you.

Watch your angles! Try moving about in your dress to make sure it’s comfortable and flattering in all positions. Do you fall out of it when you bend over? Does it make your bum look big? These kind of questions may make you giggle while you’re trying on dresses but think about the logistics of your day – make sure your dress is comfortable for sitting, dancing, bending over to kiss a multitude of relatives etc…

Get the right fit. Buy a dress that fits well, even if you plan on losing weight before the big day. Most wedding dresses have generous seam allowances so that they can be made larger if needs be, and all wedding dresses can be adjusted to fit a smaller size. On the day you buy your dress, you need to know the style fits and suits you well. Don’t be overoptimistic or rose-tinted about how different you plan on looking in several months time! Oh, and don’t worry about the size on the label – wedding dresses work on a different measurement chart, so don’t feel deflated if you’re trying on something several sizes ‘larger’ than your usual size.

Stay consistent. That crystal-studded meringue in the corner with the twenty-foot train might have stolen your heart, but think about how your dress will fit in with your chosen decoration style and venue. Match your dress with other aspects of your wedding – think about the potential weather, walking across muddy grass, the formality of your venue, what you want your bridesmaids to wear etc.

Start early. Give yourself plenty of time to find your perfect dress, have it fitted nearer to the time and organise your accessories, hair and bridesmaids. You don’t need to wait for the sales or special offers, some outlets have discounted designer dresses in stock all year round.

Get a second opinion. Bring a trusted friend or relative (or a few!) to help you choose your dress. Remember that the staff in the store also have lots of experience so make use of all the opinions you can! Ultimately, though, you need to choose the dress that feels right for you. Personal styles may vary, but your comfort and confidence on the day is the most important thing.

Is it ‘you’? No matter what you’ve seen on celebrities, or in magazines and on TV, your ‘ideal’ dress may still not be right for you. What is your personal style? Don’t choose something that is miles away from your normal tastes, because you won’t feel like ‘you’ on the day (and your husband may not recognise you!). Your perfect wedding dress isn’t meant to make you look like someone else, it’s meant to make you look the best you possibly can.