04/17/2013 12:57 pm ET Updated Jun 17, 2013

Saying 'Yes' to the Dress: What Does the Dress Say Back to You?

The search for your wedding gown can be a daunting process -- some girls love the idea while others can sincerely do without it. As it is, brides have a million things to think about when planning their "perfect day" so of course their dress has to be just as perfect. A few tips for you overwhelmed brides: Before you start the planning, you'll want to first choose your venue. Once you've paid that deposit on the venue, that's when you'll want to run to the bridal stores. (Note that the location and dress you choose set the tone of your wedding -- you won't want to confuse your guests.) You'll definitely want your dress to match the venue and theme of your affair. No one will understand a bride wearing a lei when there isn't a hula dancer in sight and you're nowhere near Hawaii, get my drift?

Luckily the sales women at the dress stores are trained professionals so they will always ask the question, "what did you have in mind?" Some girls will have no clue and others will be extremely specific -- either response is ok! However, you will definitely want to "have a vision." Remember, the idea is that you'll only be wedding dress shopping once in your life so feel free to play dress up and get a feel for exactly what you want.

Let's face it, sometimes those sales women can be pushy -- don't let them force you into buying a gown because they think it looks good on you. You need to make sure you feel comfortable and look exactly how you want to in that dress. Do you want to look like Cinderella or be the sultry feminine bride? Sometimes you'll still have no clue -- even when you've tried on the ball gowns, the A-lines, the fit and flare AND the mermaid dresses. (Yes we know, there's endless options... but that can be fun too!)

Here's one way that will help you figure it out (it's rather simple really): Pay attention to the images in your mind when you try each dress on: the dress should mentally speak to you. I was lucky enough to know exactly what I was looking for when it came time to dress shop. I probably tried on a total of eight dresses. (I should note that I was having a hotel ballroom wedding so I was looking for a grand, elegant affair-type dress.) I'm still an indecisive Libra though, and I narrowed it down to two Lazaro dresses. I tried both dresses twice and listened to my inner voice. The winning Lazaro took the reign because as I was standing there, in the bridal store with my mom, friend and all the sales ladies looking at me with their "oohs" and "aahs." I imagined that I was in a forest with a horse standing next to me, ready to take me away to rescue my future husband. (That's right, I'm a modern woman -- we do the rescuing and take them away from their boring pre-marital lives! But let's stay on point...)

When I stopped to actually listen to what the dress was telling me, it screamed "Mediterranean Romance" which ultimately cultivated into the theme of our January wedding. At that point, all the visions I needed to see were coming to mind: walking down the aisle, seeing my future husband's face smiling back at me, feeling the love in the ballroom from all the guests that attended. Somehow the dress said all of that to me. So, to sum it up -- first choose your venue and then say yes to your dress. Or better yet -- let the dress say yes to you.