1 Discuss alteration charges with the bridal shop, once you choose your dress. This can make a significant difference on the overall cost of the wedding dress. 2 Cut out pictures from bridal and fashion magazines, browse online for ideas and look at old family photos to zero in on your preferred style. Do you prefer a simple design or perhaps an extravagant style? 3 Ask your friends and family for references on dressmakers and designers if you are having the dress made. If you are buying from a bridal shop, then ask around for referrals of reputable bridal shops in your area. 4 Bring shoes with the same size heel you expect to wear at your wedding. Bringing the bra and undergarments you plan to wear on your wedding day helps as it this can alter the way the dress fits. Look through gowns on the rack and attend trunk shows/bridal shows. This could end up saving you a lot of money. 5 Bring a friend whose opinion you trust to shop with you at bridal stores. Include your mother, if appropriate.