Bridal designers and Brides readers reveal the little things you may not have considered when shopping for your gown of a lifetime:

Ed Miles

Keep an open mind

'You might have a Pinterest board full of ideas, but that's not to say the dresses will suit you. Use your research to inspire you, but try on a variety of shapes. Often it's a case of picking a similar dress with a slimmer skirt or different neckline.' Naomi Neoh, bridal designer

Know your seasons

'If you're planning a long engagement, be mindful of changing trends from year to year. Bridal designers show off their collections every spring and autumn, and the dresses can then take up to eight months to arrive in store.' Paloma Blanca, bridal designer

Do your hair and make-up (for the appointment)

'I tried on bridal gowns in January, when I was my palest - it was pretty horrifying and ended up with me in tears! Not a great start.' Lara, Brides reader

It doesn't matter what dress size you are...

'There will be a dress to flatter you! I'm known for my corsets, which emphasise the waist and support the bust - without needing any undergarments.' Suzanne Neville, bridal designer

The length of time you'll be wearing it

'You'll be spending up to 12 hours, if not more, in your dress. So it should move with your body, not against it. By the end of the night, it will be one of the most precious memories of your special day!' Amanda Wakeley, bridal designer

Think: boobs!

'You can get carried away with the design of a dress but support up top if you need it is vital. I have curves and nearly bought a flimsy, bias-cut silk number. It would have looked terrible.' Mia, Brides reader

Wear (invisible) earmuffs

'Drown out everyone else's voices (even if it means hiding in the loo), and you'll hear your own telling you which dress is yours.' Nicola, Brides reader