Most brides take the first opportunity to go to the dress store and forget the basics. When planning such an important event there are a few things you need to look at before ever stepping in a dress store.
First think of the kind of wedding the two of you want. Is it local, destination, large, small etc. (you don’t need to determine colors or theme but a general idea of your wedding).
Second set your priorities for the wedding – is it the budget, venue, dress, photos, food, number of guests?
The third thing you need to sit down and look at before hiring anyone or even looking at those dresses, is BUDGET. The first two steps coincide with the budget. Unfortunately you cannot have a princess wedding, with 300 guests on a $10,000 budget. You also need to discuss upfront with the parents or anyone else involved if they will be contributing.
Once the budget, priorities, and vision have been discussed you can go dress, venue, photographer, etc. shopping. If you don’t do these steps first you will only cause yourself frustration, and possibly hurt your budget.