Shopping for your wedding gown can be a super stressful task. Here are some important tips that may help you from losing your mind:

-Plan to order your bridal gown nine months or more ahead of time (certainly no less than six months before the wedding). It will take a few months for the gown to be sent from the designer / manufacturer, plus you’ll need time for alterations. Many bridal salons will charge a rush fee for gowns ordered after a certain point.

-Call before visiting a bridal salon or a department store’s bridal section, as most require an appointment.

-Weekend appointments are difficult to obtain, so book as soon as you can. And request a time slot early in the day, or be prepared for long waits.

-Feel free to ask your mother or an attendant to accompany you when you try on dresses, but don’t ask too many people to tag along; not only will you have to contend with the displeasure of bridal salon personnel, who tend to frown upon entourages, but you’ll need to sort through too many opinions.

-Keep an open mind, and try on a number of dress styles; something that looks good on the hanger may not be flattering on your body, and something you hadn’t considered might turn out to be the perfect gown.

-Don’t try on too many dresses during one visit. As exciting as the process is, it can also be overwhelming; you don’t want your shopping excursion to become a big blur by the end of the day.

-Don’t select a gown that you’re not comfortable in. You don’t want to be pulling at your dress or worrying that you don’t look your best on your wedding day.

-Once you’ve ordered a gown, ask the seamstress for recommendations regarding undergarments. Be sure to purchase these articles, as well as your shoes, before your first fitting to ensure the most accurate alterations.

-When selecting a veil, keep in mind that this accessory should be flatter — rather than compete with — your wedding gown and should express the same level of formality.

-When trying on a veil, consider the ease or difficulty of movement in it — some are more unwieldy than others.

-Make sure that the shoes you purchase are comfortable; you’re going to be on your feet for many hours, and you don’t want to be wincing in pain.

-If you plan to have shoes dyed to match your gown, be sure to select ones that are dyeable.