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If you’ve ever casually dipped into watching Say Yes to the Dress, blinked and then realized 16 hours later you’ve been in the same spot all day watching a 24-hour marathon, then you probably know everything we’re about to relay. But if by slight chance you’re a bit more productive, here’s everything we've learned about dress shopping from our favorite Kleinfeld consultants. 

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Do: Speak some bridal lingo
Repeat after us: A-line, empire, fit-and-flare, princess, mermaid, sheath, trumpet. Good job. The more clearly you can communicate with your consultant about what you like and what you don’t, the faster you can find the perfect gown. 

Don’t: Bring everyone and their mom
While we by no means are suggesting that anyone on the show should stop bringing the entire neighborhood block with them, since it adds to the #drama, you should keep your entourage to a minimum. Do you really need your second cousin’s boyfriend contemplating how much cleavage you should show? Yeah, no.


Do: Stick to your budget
Just because Randy brought you a dress $2,500 over your limit doesn’t mean “It’s meant to be.” Have you seen that Kleinfeld storage room? There are a bajillion wedding dresses in there. One is certain to fall perfectly into (or under) your price range and still make you feel like a princess. Or a goth queen. Or a biker chick. Whatever storyline Say Yes to the Dress is working with.

Don’t: Set your mind on one designer or style
We’ve all seen the bride who’s been pining over a bejeweled Pnina Tornai mermaid number since eighth grade, but when she finally tries it on, it doesn’t wow any of the 400 people sitting on that gray couch. Break up with whatever you imagined walking down the aisle in, because there’s a big change you might—gasp—wind up with a flared sheath by a designer you’ve never heard of because you look damn amazing in it.


Do: Say yes to the dress what you’re thinking
Randy might like it and your mom might even be tearing up, but if you don’t love what you’re wearing, then it’s probably not worth the price tag. Dress shopping isn’t just about saying “yes;” it’s also about narrowing down your options to find something you love and that makes you feel confident.

Don’t: Wait until the last minute
If you don’t want to hugely limit your options, get thee to the bridal shop early in your engagement to give yourself time to order, alter and fix (and don’t forget to actually sit down in your dress before you put down a deposit).


Do: Try on the veil (with caution)
Sneaky, sneaky, Randy. As soon as he makes his brides try on the veil, everyone in the room faints. So, use the veil trick wisely: If you love, love, love a dress, go for the veil. But if you’re still on the fence, avoid it until you’re totally sure.

RELATED: The First 5 Things Every New Bride-to-Be Should Do

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