Many of us have daydreamed about it since we were old enough to understand the word 'wedding', whilst others of us have an innate fear of channelling too much of the dreaded meringue, either way, choosing a wedding dress can be one of the most daunting aspects of planning the big day.
For those of you that have imagined your dress since your Disney watching days, this might be the time to let go of your fairy tale imaginings, and start your search with a completely fresh pair of eyes. Many brides-to-be find their lifelong dream dress might, in reality, not be as show-stopping as they had hoped, so it's worth keeping an open mind when it comes to trying on different shapes and styles.
Browsing the bridal shelves of wedding boutiques can be a daunting prospect, so it often helps to leave the research to a professional, such as London's The State of Grace bridal styling service (www.thestateofgrace.com). Offering bespoke bridal design, a service such as this can alleviate the stresses of wedding dress shopping and reinstate some of the joys many of us find when trying on gowns and dressing up.
Stylist or no stylist, one of the most fundamental first steps to choosing a dress is to find a silhouette that works for you. From figure hugging sheath dresses that show off the finest of figures, to ball gowns that hide a thousand sins from the waist down, there is the ideal shape to suit brides of every shape and size.
As well as spanning a medley of cuts and shape, wedding dresses also vary across their style. From vintage inspired beaded frocks, to classically plain gowns, every dress aims to showcase the personality of the woman who is wearing it.
This is where many brides find the fun in wedding dress shopping. Whether you go for traditional elegance as we saw in Catherine, the Duchess of Cambridge's McQueen creation, or you opt for a splash of sexy like Kate Moss and her 1920's inspired beaded Galliano gown, this is the moment to showcase your personality, and make your mark in the wedding dress hall of fame. Modern wedding dresses leave plenty of room for creativity, even if you have a drop of eccentricity to showcase much like Gwen Stefani in her pink dipped Dior creation.
That said, brides that fall prey to the season's most wanted, may look back at their dress in years to come and wince. The best wedding dresses offer a timeless, more refined version of yourself that you won't be afraid of looking at in ten years time.