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During the course of planning a wedding you will get to enjoy a lot of little magical moments. These are the moments that you’ll want to treasure and celebrate long after the big day. While planning and shopping is stressful, these moments during all the chaos can truly make you pause and remember how truly amazing the whole experience is. Magic moments can range from picking out the perfect flowers for your day to seeing how beautiful the reception hall will look. One of the biggest magical moments is, of course, shopping and choosing your wedding dress. Dress shopping is magical but tricky. Some brides go in without knowing anything about their ideal dress and other brides have a list with every last detail listed. Going from point A to B can be overwhelming. If you’re looking for a truthful guide to help you navigate through the dress shopping ordeal, check out the list below. Getting to that magical moment may be difficult but once you’re there it will be amazing.

Some Salespeople Lie

This isn’t exactly a shocking fact. Like in any field, salespeople can often be seen as more of a lion than a lamb. At large dress retailers it can be tricky to find out whether or not your salesperson is actually in the market of helping you out or just looking at you with dollar signs in their eyes. The shark salesperson is all about praising you whether or not the dress actually fits your body style. If you find yourself standing in a dress that you secretly don’t find all that attractive and your salesperson exclaims that this is the dress for you, it might be a good sign that you’re dealing with someone just looking to make a sale. It can be hard to look over the flattery and praise you’re getting from your salesperson. Knowing what to look out for can save you a lot of time and money. If your salesperson is constantly pushing a higher-priced dress, that’s never good. If your salesperson tries getting your family or friends on their side during the shopping trip, it’s time to look elsewhere. Not every salesperson is out for your wallet though. Shops and boutiques such as Labella Bridal are focused on giving their brides exactly what they want without the sneaky lies.

Your Shape is Beautiful – Remember That

It’s easy to fall into a tailspin of dress envy. You see a girl in a magazine with a dress on that you absolutely love. She may look nothing like you yet…you want that dress. You pull out the magazine during your shopping trip and show your salesperson the perfect dress. A good salesperson will tell you whether or not the dress will flatter your frame. Knowing your frame and knowing which dresses will flatter your figure is extremely important when you’re looking for your perfect gown. The beautiful thing about brides is that they come in all shapes and sizes. The wedding industry has taken note of this and provides brides of all shapes and sizes with perfect gowns for their beautiful day. Picking out a gown that flatters your figure will make shopping a much easier task. A good dress shop will provide you with expert stylists able to help you discover which dresses are ideal for you and similar to the vision you had in mind.

Firm Budgets

Budgeting for a wedding can make an accountant out of anyone. A money-conscious bride is likely to have reviewed her budget over and over again – down to the last penny. She knows where the money is going and how much she’s able to spend. If you have discussed the budget with your soon-to-be spouse then you know exactly how much you can spend on your dress. A firm budget is where things can get tricky for some brides. Shopping with a budget in mind is a great idea but if you find the perfect dress for a thousand more than you expected, backing away slowly might be the answer. Blowing your entire budget on a wedding dress isn’t likely to go over well with your other half. Similar dresses are fairly easy to find in this day and age. Finding a dress that you like within your budget is a lot easier with the ability to browse online before going in. So if you are ever on the brink of blowing your entire wedding budget for a single dress – take a step back and remind yourself that a firm budget exists to keep you from making this kind of mistake.


If you have questions about wedding gowns or special occasion dresses, Labella Bridal is here to help. Call us at 703-494-2929 for more information.

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Organization is a simple concept. It’s the idea of putting everything in the right place. As a child it was the idea of putting up your toys and keeping your room cleaned. The adult version of organization is a bit more complicated. Certain events in life require a healthy amount of organization to get through them and come out on the other side in a positive light. Having a baby, for one, requires an extreme amount of planning. Making sure you have all the little odds and ends, clothing, food, and baby proofing are all piled up on your lap. The other major event in life where organization is key to survival is your wedding. Taking a step back to look at all the parts of planning your wedding can send even the most organized bride running for the hills. Brides unable to call organization one of their strongest traits are in need of major help in making sure their day goes moderately well. Here are some easy organization tips for brides with little to no organization knowhow.

There’s an App for That

That phrase is popular for a reason. There is literally an app for everything you could want. Looking for the nearest brunch location? There’s an app to lead you there. Want your cat to entertain themselves? There’s an app to keep your cat busy with a mouse-catching game. The categories of apps range from banal to baffling, but the great thing about this is that you’ll more than likely be able to find the app you need for whatever you need it for. Getting organized for your wedding could be as easy as downloading the right app to your phone. There are hundreds of apps for organization on both iPhone and Android services. Even better than this is the fact that both carry apps specifically for brides trying to get organized when it comes to planning your wedding. While notebooks can get tossed aside and scraps of paper aren’t exactly the most trustworthy things to keep track of, keeping track of your phone is natural these days and having all your details in one place is easy.

Step by Step

If you’re unorganized to begin with then there’s only so much you can focus on without making a major mistake. For those who consider themselves excellent at multi-tasking then handling a few extra items on their list probably won’t knock them for a loop in the grand scheme of things. If you’re prone to not being organized and jumping around from task to task then it is best to focus on one issue until you get it done. Take your flowers for instance. If you’re trying to plan the flowers you’ll need for the day or deciding how many you need then focus on that task alone. If you start switching between flowers and other items on your wedding list then you may end up with a mess on your hands. While it might be hard to focus on one thing at a time when you’re planning a wedding, unorganized brides and grooms  should try and do one thing at a time to prevent accidentally ordering 300 rose bouquets instead of 300 napkins.

Talk it Out

Being organized is a learned trait. You can learn to be organized over time…or at least semi-organized. Even brides with color coded planners and continuous phone reminders can find themselves failing to keep certain things organized. That’s where help comes in. Telling friends, family members, even your wedding planner certain things can help you remember them and help them remind you. If you have a group of family assisting you in all things wedding then telling them your plans and what you think should happen will give you a better memory. When you sit down at your computer to order items for the wedding you mind can go blank in an instance. But if you’ve told someone the amount and what you need, thinking back to that conversation can save you from ordering the wrong thing. Plus relaying the information to them will give you a backup in case you truly can’t remember.


If you have questions about wedding gowns or special occasion dresses, Labella Bridal is here to help. Call us at 703-494-2929 for more information.

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At Labella Bridal, we are constantly honored by our brides and grooms for making our gowns and tuxedos look amazing on their big day. It never hurts to have an amazing photographer to make everything look absolutely magical. We want to take a moment and give a big shout out to Katelyn James Photography for their amazing work highlighting our dresses and creating beautiful scenes for Brad and Katie to treasure for the rest of their lives together.

We’re delighted to show off these wonderful photos. Labella Bridal was lucky enough to have provided the wedding dress, all the bridesmaid dresses, the mother of the bride dress, and the tuxedos for the amazing day. Check out the images below courtesy of Katelyn James Photography. Be sure to check out their site for more pictures from Brad and Katie’s beautiful ceremony.

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There is one thing most people can agree on when it comes to planning a wedding. It’s the simple fact that planning a wedding is hard work. In theory it seems incredibly easy. Invite guests, get food, reserve a venue, and enjoy the big day. Unfortunately there are a few more steps than that. Planning a wedding locally is hard enough but what about planning a wedding from the opposite coast or even another country? Think for a moment just how difficult it would be if you aren’t able to visit a location in person or talk face-to-face with a wedding planner. It seems like an overwhelming aspect but thousands of couples plan their weddings long distance each year. While it can be harder than planning the traditional way there are plenty of good steps to take in order to help your wedding day go smoothly once you arrive. Check out the tips below in order to make your long distance planning a little easier.

Find the Perfect Planner

This is crucial to making the whole long distance planning idea work. Having a wedding planner you trust with each and every step will make planning while away seem like you’re right there with the planner. Finding the perfect planner for your big day is more important than ever when you aren’t physically there to help figure stuff out. There are planners with experience helping brides with their long distance needs and finding a planner like this is always a great way to make the experience a lot easier. An experienced planner will be able to communicate effectively and efficiently. This means more pictures need to be shared, more conversations, Skype meetings, and a lot of other small things which make this type of planning much easier. The perfect planner for you will know how to get around certain obstacles, connect with the right vendors, and make the entire planning stage perfectly smooth. Start your planner search soon after getting engaged and make sure your find a planner you can trust without fear.

Be Extra Organized

Being organized for your wedding is almost a given. There are entire books dedicated to helping you get and stay organized when planning your big day. If you aren’t a naturally organized person in your everyday life then getting that way is extra important when it comes to planning a wedding long distance. Buy a large binder when you begin your planning and start adding whatever you need. Include a page for all the business cards or websites you find. Making a spreadsheet with important names and numbers can also be a major help. Just print it out and include it at the front of your book. There are a ton of iPhone or Android Apps ready and waiting to help you stay organized with a few pushes of a button. Being organized might not be the easiest thing in the world but when planning from afar the need to be organized is at the top of the list. Keep pictures, websites, important names, and notes of every last detail in a big binder and the minute you have a question – your binder will be there to save the day.

Finalize Details Before Arriving

At the end of the day planning your wedding in person or from afar comes down to a single idea. You want it all to be right before you walk down the aisle. The truth of the matter is that, if you’re planning a wedding long distance, you will have to make at least one trip prior to the wedding in order to finalize last minute details. If possible, try and make a visit a few months before the big day. That way you won’t feel nearly as rushed and most of the planning should be finished at that point in time. Duties like cake tasting and color choices require you to be present in order to complete. If you’re unable to visit a few months before the big day then do you very best to arrive a week or so before the wedding. Bring your planner and all the final details you need to go over with your wedding planner, family members, or your future spouse. Finalizing most of your details before arrival will ensure that the only things you have to worry about are the tasks you absolutely have to be there to accomplish.


If you have questions about wedding gowns or special occasion dresses, Labella Bridal is here to help. Call us at 703-494-2929 for more information.

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Choosing your bridal party is one of the best parts of getting married. More than likely your bridesmaids are friends you have known and loved for years, or sisters that you want to share your special day with. If you already have your bridal party in place before you even get the ring on your finger then a lot of weight is taken from your shoulders and your bridal party probably already knows their roles. On the other hand, some brides have a hard time narrowing down the lineup. It’s difficult telling one friend no and some friends yes. Hurting the feelings of someone you care about can cause a wide ripple of repercussions. So what do you do? Below are some tips to help you choose the best bridesmaids for your big day.

Choose Quality over Quantity

It’s a common theme in fashion. You’re always supposed to choose quality over quantity. Instead of buying several cheap dresses which may not last until the next season, buy a couple dresses that will turn heads and always keep their shape and color. The same thing can be said for choosing your bridesmaids. Don’t pick your bridesmaids just because you don’t want to leave anyone out. It may end up costing you more money in the long run. Choose quality bridesmaids you want in your party. These bridesmaids will be the ones helping you through it all and you should trust them enough to hand over the steering wheel if things get tricky. Having a few close friends or family members as part of your bridal party will help you feel at ease and calm when the big day comes.

Choose People you Trust

Your big day has been planned, packaged, and perfected over the course of months or years. The checklist is ready and you have everything under control. Unfortunately a checklist doesn’t mean things will go according to plan. In fact, things may very well go the exact opposite of your polished checklist. That’s when you’ll be glad you have a gang of bridesmaids you can trust to get in the trenches and figure out how to fix any problem which may arise. Having a group of friends you can trust to help you get through your big day smoothly is extremely important. Being able to trust your bridesmaids to get any assigned task accomplished will save you a lot of stress on the day. At the end of the day it’s all about having your best friends at your right hand to both help you through the tough parts and celebrate the amazing parts with you.

 Choose a Steady Group

There are a lot of opinions about weddings but one thing should be true – your big day should be about you and your new husband or wife.  So why not choose a group of people you know will stick with that focus and help make sure the day is special for you? We’ve all heard horror stories about bridesmaids. They want to be the center of attention, they dislike another bridesmaid, the dress doesn’t fit right, and they should be the ones getting married! Having a bridesmaid like that can make or break your big day. Why not look ahead and choose the most cohesive group? Steady bridesmaids will make sure the day is all about you and help out when needed. Having zero drama with your bridal party is one of the best presents they can give you.

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Welcome to Labella Bridal Shop

There are some items that you automatically think of when it comes to weddings. Such items include beautiful dresses, suits, friends and family, and wedding rings. A wedding ring is one of the most important parts of the ceremony. It bonds two people together in matrimony and stands as a symbol of love and unity. Not to mention it can be an extremely expensive piece of jewelry. While diamonds are tough stones and wedding bands aren’t known to break when dropped, there are a few things you can do to make sure your wedding ring or band remains as shiny as the moment you received it. Below are some tips on caring for your ring and advice on the best treatment methods.

Professional Cleaning Works

There are times in life when we can get away with not going to a professional. Computers can be fixed at home, easy DIY projects can be handled via YouTube, and even basic car troubles can be remedied. Then there are tasks which need an absolutely professional to handle correctly. One of these tasks includes getting professional cleaning for your wedding ring. This task is a great way to make sure your stone is set correctly and also retains its sparkle. A professional will be able to use the best tools and products around to get that gunk and dirt off your ring. They will also be able to make sure your ring is in good shape and the setting is strong. A professional cleaning a few times each year can save you the worry and stress over whether or not you’re treating your ring properly.

Don’t Risk Your Ring

There might be some times where you might forget about your ring. It’s been through so much so having it on your finger is something you might forget about. Taking your ring off for certain activities is the right call. Consider just how dirty your ring might get if you’re outside gardening. All that dirt will work its way into the crevices of your ring and settle until the next cleaning. Stones in the soil might also end up scuffing or damaging your ring if enough force is applied. Another reason to slip your ring off and into a safe place is the risk of having it fall off outside or in the dirt. While your ring might be tight, with enough knocking and spinning it might end up being planted or dropped on the ground. Taking off your ring might seem like a pain but keeping it safe is worth it at the end of the day.

Get Your Ring Insured

This tip might not be at the top of your list when it comes to your ring. If anything should ever happen then having insurance will be a huge lifesaver. Sadly nothing can ever really replace your original ring but you will have the ability to get a replacement. Most insurance companies will cover the cost of the ring if it’s ever lost, stolen, or damaged. Always remember that if you do get insurance on your ring, have it appraised every few years to make sure you are fully covered. If the metals and stones in your ring increase in value and you haven’t increased the insurance to match, your ring won’t be fully covered if something happens. Don’t look at having insurance on your ring as a jinx. Consider it a safety net that will soften the blow if something were to ever happen to your ring. You and your partner will be thankful if that time ever comes.


If you have questions about wedding gowns or special occasion dresses, Labella Bridal is here to help. Call us at 703-494-2929 for more information.

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For some people delegating is an easy skill to handle and master. These people are able to assign tasks without so much as a blink of an eye and make dividing work look like second nature. Then there are people who view delegating as a completely foreign concept. When people ask if they can help, the answers they receive are usually variations of the same sentiment. “I can do it myself,” or “No, don’t worry about it,” and these phrases are usually similar. Delegating can be a hard skill to acquire and even harder to master. Brides are especially bad to view delegating as a disease they want no part of. A bride likely has a vision for her wedding and she wants is perfect. That is to be expected. But getting ready for your big day can try even the most organized bride. Delegating tasks for your wedding is a lot easier than you might think. For example – when it comes to your wedding dress, a stylist at Labella Bridal can help make the task much easier than going it alone. If you still have fears about handing off your wedding details to someone else, read below for some tips to help make the transition a little easier.

Learning Strengths

Your friends and family members all have strengths. It doesn’t matter if they are goofy most of the time and like to joke around. When it comes to your wedding, more than likely they will show up ready to help and a whole new side of them will come out. You may not know their best strengths and weaknesses until you begin working with them. Once the wedding planning begins it might be a good idea to sit down with your group and go over things. Find out what would be easiest for your friends to do. If one friend has amazing handwriting skills then leave RSVP’s and notes to them. Some friends might be business savvy and have a gift at negotiating. This sort of thing can come in extremely handy when you’re shopping for vendors and accessories. No matter what the strength is, you’re most likely to find a task which will fit your friends perfectly. Don’t look at them as your goofy friend. Instead, consider their strengths and see them as co-workers on this important task.

Letting Go

Let it go is a pretty popular phrase these days. Taking a page from the song might also help you learn to release a little control and delegate tasks to other members of your family or wedding party. In your life apart from the wedding you might be able to do it all. If you’re the type of person with endless energy and the drive to do everything yourself, that’s wonderful. It’s a gift and a skill to have that sort of drive. But realize that your wedding isn’t just another task you need to finish in your daily life. Your wedding is something which requires a huge amount of focus and detail to the little things. It’s a task which might not be suite to your skillset. That’s when you have to learn to let it go. Realize that just because you can’t get it all done, it doesn’t mean you have failed. Giving tasks to other people, be it family members or professionals, is a good thing. It will keep your stress level down and give you more time to keep the other parts of your life in check.

Be Bold

One odd thing about delegating tasks for your wedding might be the idea of having to actually assign tasks to people. Sometimes your friends or wedding group might not feel it’s their place to rush up and throw offers of assistance to you all at once. If you’re the type to do it all yourself, then friends and family might take a seat until their name is called. This is doubly difficult if you’re a Type A person. Actually setting your desire to do it all aside is the first step in all of this. If you’re embarrassed to do it in person, send a nice card to your chosen friend or family member and request their help with getting everything in order for your wedding day. Sometimes people simply need to be asked to help out. It doesn’t mean they aren’t willing and wanting to help you out. Sure, the idea of going out and having to recruit help might feel weird, but at the end of the day it isn’t such a bad thing. Your wedding helpers will feel like they were truly wanted on board and you will have hardworking help to make sure you get your wedding day just the way you want.

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Eva Harrison, one of our beautiful brides, has shared some of her wedding pictures with Labella Bridal! We loved helping Eva find the perfect dress for her big day. These shots are gorgeous! We would like to congratulate Eva and her new husband on their wedding, and wish them years of happiness ahead.

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Your wedding day is a finely tuned event. For months, probably even years you have been diligently trying to get every moment of the day perfect. There is a lot you can control on that day. You can make sure your guests are comfortable and happy. The color of your dress, decorations, and table linens has been perfected to your specifications. Your dress looks amazing and all your bridesmaids are perfect. So while all of those things you can be certain about, there is a whole mountain of issues that can arise on your wedding day. Guests can get lost, stains happen, sickness sets in, allergies flare up, and a lot of other random ‘what-if’ moments. To prepare for that cut shin or Scope on your wedding dress, all brides need an emergency kit packed with the essentials. Below are some tips on preparing your perfect emergency kit and being ready for all the randomness that goes down on your big day.

Stain and Rip Repair

Attending a wedding doesn’t automatically make accidents and mistakes stop. In fact, it usually invites them in for a drink and a dance. There is a lot that can happen fashion-wise. Have you heard the story of the bride getting wine on her gown? Or the one about the bridesmaid ripping her dress right before the show gets started? That’s because those things actually happen. One minute you’re laughing and drinking a little wine to calm your nerves. The next you’re dribbling wine down the side of your dress. You’ll immediately panic and then be forever grateful for your emergency wedding kit. In your kit you should always keep miniatures of items you will definitely need. A Tide pen is perfect for getting rid of stains. You’ll also want to keep a needle and some different colored thread on hand for when there’s a snag or a tear. If you aren’t too handy with a needle or thread, there will more than likely be someone in the crowd who knows how to sew decently enough to get your dress back to looking lovely.

Lotions and Potions

Your wedding day is a pretty nervous occasion. No matter how much you prepare or how confident you are in everything you’ve planned, there’s still a little side of you that’s nervous for the entire day to go off without a hitch. This can lead to that awkward occasion known as massive sweating. Yes, it’s something you don’t really want to think about on your wedding day. As a bride you are supposed to be the shining example of grace in your beautiful dress. Sweating has no part to play in your big day. Unfortunately your body doesn’t actually know it’s supposed to be on its best behavior so it sweats as per usual when you get nervous. To combat this issue, keep a mixture of lotions and your favorite scents. It will come in handy not only for you, but also for any bridesmaids or family members who may fall victim to the sweating curse. Deodorant, perfume, baby wipes, and lotion are always good to have in your emergency kit.

A Snack

This is one item in your emergency kit which you may never think about. Keeping a snack in your emergency makes a little more sense when you consider how stressed out some brides get on their big day. Sometimes in order to have a beautiful dress, you have to be a tiny bit uncomfortable in the process. Purchasing your gown from a specialty boutique like Labella Bridal will help you choose the right gown for your body type, but for some women a gown may still be uncomfortable. Discomfort can lead to nerves; nerves can lead to lower blood sugar and by the time you’re about to talk down the aisle you are feeling a little on the wrong side of faint. A quick snack will help alleviate any worries you might have about getting too hungry while preparing for your big walk. Try to include a snack you really love. It might be a little on the unhealthy side, but a little treat will help you calm down for a few minutes and also keep your blood sugar from dipping too low.

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All brides know the importance of keeping costs down when it comes to the big day. There are areas where you’ll need to stretch your dollar in order to stay on budget. Flowers, accessories, linens, and even catering can all be managed and shifted to fit your wallet in one way or another. On the flip side, there are also certain areas where skimping and penny-pinching might not be the best way to go. One such area is your actual wedding dress. Sometimes the lowest price doesn’t always mean the best bargain. Getting a hugely discounted dress could wind up ruining your day or even cost you more than if you actually just bought the dress without the bargain. There are several scenarios in which you might want to avoid making the purchase. Below are some of the highlights. Just remember – if it’s too good to be true, then it probably is.

Buying off Etsy Without Research

Etsy is crafting heaven. You can go on the site and find anything you want. Earrings made from stones mined near a volcano? The site has that. There is also a plethora of wedding-related items on the site to fit your needs and budget. One of the more unique sections on the site comes in the form of wedding dresses. You can find a huge number of dresses on the site. They range from handmade locally, to beautiful gowns all the way from Paris and Japan. Unfortunately this is where it gets a little dicey. What you see in the picture is more often than not a fake. It might look similar to the dress you get in the mail, but it won’t be the same. It will probably not fit you that well either. Like Pinterest, the photos aren’t exactly what you might end up with. The dresses from other countries are made in mass quantities and when it arrives, you might be a little shocked to find that it either chokes you or falls off of you. Sure, that dress may half the price as the one you found in the store, but shopping on Etsy for your wedding dress is a huge risk. Visiting a boutique, such as LaBella Bridal Boutique in Occoquan, Virginia, is a much better option.

Buying a Mistake

We’ve all been there. You see a clearance or damaged rack and it’s almost a knee-jerk reaction to dig around to find out if there are any good deals. A small stain can always be removed, and a tear in a shoe can be hidden by jeans. These are simple mistakes and shouldn’t hold you back from making a purchase. But what about making a large purchase? Buying a wedding dress with a large tear, bad sewing, or a stain could be a dangerous move. If you have someone in your family who works on dresses, or know how to repair, then it probably isn’t such a bad thing. Otherwise you might end up spending a lot of money to have the dress fixed. Dresses, unlike other items of clothing, need to be incredibly specific when it comes to the wearer. If a dress isn’t right to begin with, it may take a lot of time and money to get it to the perfect point. Removing stains from a dress may also be dangerous unless a professional is dealing with it. Buying a mistake might seem logical for your wallet, but consider who you have in your corner and how much time and money you can devote to the repair.

Buying From the Unknown

As mentioned, buying from a reputable dealer like LaBella Bridal Boutique in Occoquan, Virginia is advisable. While looking for the best deal, you can often find deals that are too good to be true. These are the sort of deals that you’ll need to avoid at all cost. Shady boutiques or stores can leave you with an ill-fitting dress and nothing else. There have been stories of brides purchasing expensive dresses and being unable to contact the maker, shop, or anyone else in order to have the dress sewn or return it due to it being a mistake. The key to finding the right dress for you and avoiding the so-called ‘snake oil shops’ is by doing the appropriate legwork. Research different shops in your area and read the reviews provided. If the reviews are mostly negative, it might be time to step back. Another powerful way to find the best shop to fit your needs is by asking around to friends and family members. They may have bought a dress from a great store or know someone who did. Either way, getting a solid review from someone you actually know is much better than taking a chance on a bad product.

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