Everyone offered some really great advice, and just some more thoughts to add.
1. If possible, bring people with you who you feel supported by, and get your style and personality. When I went shopping, the 2nd place had us pick out dresses that I like, from which I guess they picked out style based on theme? (It was a bit of a strange store, and this may not be the case for you). I found this to be overwhelming, and luckily my two friends took over the job for me. But also, it was helpful having people know my style, because they were able to give me feedback on whether the dress really did suit me.
2. More of a heads up thing–I hadn’t thought about it, but the consultant is in the dressing room with you while you are partially unclothed. Granted they see how many people a day, so it’s not a big deal, though I appreciated finding this out in advance (I tend to be modest, so having this heads up allowed me to prepare myself).
3. Kind of building on what others say, don’t limit yourself to a style. But also maybe have SOME sense of what you like. I brought in a bunch of magazine photos, and from there the consultant at the first place was able to get a sense of the style I wanted. And, I guess also building on that, (or maybe just repeating myself), try things you may have not considered. I was thinking I couldn’t do strapless, though it was what looked the best.
And as far as it being “the one”–I didn’t feel that like omg this is it moment. I did stand there for a few minutes, and then was like yeah this feels right. Sort of a slow acceptance after realizing it had almost all the qualities I was looking for, fit well, and the thing didn’t like could be easily changed. (I feel like everything so far has just kind of been like, oh yeah this is good okay–no halleujah moments though). And I definitely agree–sneak a picture if possible. The dress that I’m going to buy, I didn’t get any pics of. And I keep asking my friends to remind me that it is worth being the one. 🙂
And yes, definitely have fun! As much as possible have fun. 🙂 And ultimately, it is an important dress, and it is JUST a dress. And if you feel beautiful in it, then that’s all that matters. 🙂