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How to shop for a wedding dress: Part 2

Shopping for the perfect wedding dress takes a little time and patience. Asking the right questions can help you make a final decision.

You may already have an idea of the price range and style for your wedding dress. Now, it's time to decide which shop will give you the best service.

Be prepared to ask questions before you make the all-important decision of selecting a dress.

-How long does it take to order a dress?

-Do I need to pay in full when ordering my dress?

-When the dress arrives, will the store keep my dress until closer to the wedding date?

-If I buy my dress off the rack, do I have to take it home right away or will the shop store it for me?

-Does the store provide in-house alterations?

-Are alterations included in the price of the dress or are they additional?

-How much advance notice is required to request alterations if I want to wait until a later date?

-How many fittings will it take? How long does a fitting last?

-What is an average time for alterations to be completed?

-Because I was unable to try on the right size, what if the dress I ordered does not fit? Will the store reorder?

A few last tips:

Even though you select a dress as the first to-do item on your list, wait as long as possible for actual alterations. Weight fluctuations do occur and you want to avoid additional alterations or last-minute panics over deadlines.

If you are having professional portraits made and plan to wear your dress, decide now as to whether you want the setting to be outdoors or inside. When you are shopping for a dress, be sure to look at the shade in different light settings.

Everything has gone smoothly so far and you've selected the perfect dress. What if relations with your wedding consultant turn sour? What do you do?

Get the manager involved immediately. There is no excuse or reason to allow a bad experience to continue. Base your next step on how the manager responds: if you feel the situation cannot be rectified, request a different consultant. As a last resort, and if the manager does not handle the situation to your satisfaction, call the company's customer service line.

The most important fact to remember: As you shop for that very special wedding dress, you must feel comfortable with the consultant at the store - especially when making a final decision. You want to be sure you have the dress of your dreams - not someone else's. Your consultant, your friends, and your family will offer plenty of opinions, but ultimately, the dress you wear should fit your own taste and style.

Go back to Part 1

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