You've never bought a dress like this before! Here are the top four things you should consider when searching for the dress of your dreams.

Arguably the most important—and exciting!—part of wedding planning is purchasing your dream dress. Unfortunately, between the seemingly endless selection of dress styles, shapes, and fabrics, it can be a lot more daunting than enjoyable. Which is exactly why Catalina Maddox-Wagers, fashion director at David's Bridal (and all-around wedding gown guru), advises brides to start searching for "the one" the second he pops the question.

"My advice to brides as soon as they get engaged: Start shopping," Maddox-Wagers says. "There are some boutiques that take 6 months or more for custom-made gowns, and alterations can take three months on top of that."

Maddox also explains that, while some women can find the dress of their dreams on the first try, others go through a lot of trial-and-error. "It's truly a different experience for each bride," Maddox-Wagers says. "That's why you should start shopping as soon as possible."

So what are you waiting for? Read the top four things you should consider before shopping, and get to a salon ASAP!

Photo: Esther Sun Photography

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