I bought my dress just under a year before my wedding. I knew I wanted to go to Minneapolis to go shopping for it, my sister and best friend live there and my mom was only a 4 hour drive away. We made appointments at stores recommended by various friends in the area and I scoured websites looking for dresses that I liked and that were in my budget (read: not expensive). I had several things I knew I wanted, NOT STRAPLESS, lace, no big pouffy skirt.
The first store we went to I pulled maybe 4-5 dresses to try on. The first dress was one I had seen online, I loved it! Nothing else compared, but I couldn’t choose that one yet, I hadn’t gone anywhere else. The second store had a few nice dresses and one that I really liked, but it was $600 more than the one at the other store and just not as nice. We hit up a few other stores that day, one only had one dress for me to try on that met my criteria (I think there are a lot more options out there now, based on what I have seen in bridal magazines, but when I went looking my choices really were limited). I decided then that I wanted the first dress I tried on. We went back to the store and ordered it! Just like that, my wedding dress shopping was over in 1 day.