If you want that one-in-a-million wedding dress, leaf through lots of magazines to get an idea of what is available and what strikes your fancy, suggests New York fashion designer Caroline Simonelli.
Narrow down the type of dress based on the type of wedding planned -- a ball gown is inappropriate for an informal wedding, for example.
Try on many dresses to see how you look in different styles. The process of trying the dresses on also helps accustom a young woman used to casual clothes to moving about in a formal wedding dress. A large bridal shop with a big selection is a good place to start. Choose a dress that emphasizes your best features such as a small waist, long neck or nice shoulders and that disguises those parts of your figure that do not please you. If you have a small waist and large hips, a dress with a waistline and bouffant skirt emphasizes the first and hides the second.