Being Christmas week you may have a few days off. If so, this is the perfect time to start searching for your wedding dress. I occasionally meet brides who know exactly what they're looking for, but I'd say they're among a rare few. If you're not that sort, don't despair because this week, I've written you an action plan!     
A question I'm often asked is, "When should I order my dress?" Although designers and boutiques have various systems for ordering, fittings and alterations, I'd say that six to twelve months is a good window to start looking, so your dress can be found, created or ordered in good time for your special day.
Remember that 'knowledge is power' and your primary port of call for inspiration is your newsagent's, where you'll always find Brides magazine, among others. One of my favourite sections is 'Real Life Brides' where you see the dresses in action. Don't expect yours to be instantly staring back at you, but do investigate images that catch your eye - both for designs and photographic ideas, as well as websites.
Next, shortlist three designers or boutiques in a price range you're happy with. When you shop for your dress invite just one trusted friend or family member with whom you feel comfortable. Taking five friends with five differing views probably won't help your decision making!
Every gown is different, but generally I'd look for one with a silhouette that flatters the best bits of your figure while skimming the others! The detail should reflect your personality and taste. If it's a bespoke design, ensure that you feel at ease enough with your designer to ask questions. You'll be working together for six months to create the dress of your dreams! And, if you find it after this - it'll be enough of a Christmas present for me to know that I've helped in your quest!

Happy Christmas.  

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