1 Set a budget.
First things first - set your wedding dress budget. Try not to look at dresses that are out of your price range, unless you plan on going over budget. If you don't, then use top of the range gowns as inspiration for a less expensive design, so you won't have to spend a fortune.
2 Choose a style.
Flick through magazines to get an idea of the style of dress you're looking for - it could be classic or contemporary, slinky or strapless. Consider your venue and the time of year, as well as what you like.
3 Book Appointments.
Most bridal shops prefer you to make an appointment so that you can get the individual attention you require.
4 Pick a Partner.
Pick someone that knows you and can give you an honest opinion, a helpful friend or your mum. Too many people can be confusing.
5 Be Open minded.
Try on various styles of dresses. You will learn from your experience, you may find that a style you think won't suit you actually looks fabulous!
Cathryn thought she was going to pick a short dress to keep her wedding as informal as possible. However after working through her thoughts she realised she wanted the effect of being a more romantic, traditional, modest bride with the personal touch. I love this photo of Cathryn so natural in the garden of her family home.
6 Don't rush.
Don't be rushed into any decisions. If you think you've found 'the one', you can always go away and think about it before making your mind up.If someone is pushing you stop and ask why.
7 Think things through.
Consider practicalities and accessories. If you want to a wear a veil, for example, try one on with the dress. Equally, put your hair up if you think that's how you'd like to wear it on the day. Make sure all your accessories match they can make or break an outfit.
8 Trust your choice.
When you've found the perfect dress, a nights sleep and you will know. Ask when you will have your first fitting. You can start looking at shoes as your feet will not change size. Hold off on getting underwear as you can change size, but start thinking about what underwear would be suitable for you to wear under your dress. Sometimes it is more functional than glamorous!! You can keep the nice underwear for your honeymoon.
9 What next.
While you don't have to show your bridesmaids your dress before their own dresses are chosen, make sure their gowns tie in with the theme and colours of your wedding as a whole.
10 Make sure.
Check on alterations, who will be doing them and if they cost extra.It's also worth asking the designer or retailer for advice on how you can clean the fabric of your gown in case you have any small spillages on the day! That way you can rest easy in the knowledge that whatever happens, you'll still look cool, calm and amazing.