Wedding guru Randy Fenoli has been helping brides find their perfect dress for over 23 years. The fashion designer and American TV star of TLC’s Say Yes To The Dress spoke exclusively to Wedding Ideas to give our brides his expert opinion on how to find a dress that will make you feel beautiful and shine from the inside, out!

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1. To start with you need to have a realistic dress budget in mind. However, if you find a gown that you love, which is above your budget, then take a little money from the flowers, DJ, guest list or cake. Move funds around to make sure you spend your money on what’s most important to you.

2. Always tell the bridal salon what your dress budget is before you start looking at gowns. That way they won’t bring out dresses that are thousands of pounds over your limit. Stay realistic.

3. You need to have a rough idea of what type of bridal look you want. Before you start dress shopping choose your venue – that way you can find a dress that will fit the location perfectly.

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4. Know what month you are getting married in so you can figure out the elements. If you’re having a Summer wedding on the beach there’s no point trying on hot, heavy, satin gowns. If you’re having a spring garden wedding, you might want to start looking at something more boho with lace.

5. Have a rough idea of what time of the day you’d like to get married. This could also have a bearing on which dress you choose. If it’s a formal, evening wedding you might want to try on something more glitzy and glamorous.

6. Decide how you want to look on your wedding day. Do you want to be sexy? Traditional? Bohemian? Understated? Ethereal? Gothic? There are so many dresses out there today, there is definitely the perfect dress for you. Have an idea in your head how the wedding is going to play out and pick a dress that suits.

7. Don’t listen too much to outside opinions. When choosing a wedding dress always choose one that makes you feel the most beautiful. When you feel beautiful, you wear the dress differently. You stand differently, you pose differently and your smile gets wider. You want people to say “what a gorgeous bride!” – it’s not just about the dress. How you wear it comes from a feeling inside.

8. Today everything seems to be on-trend – trouser suits, short dresses, long, traditional gowns, sexy and blingy or subtle and understated. There are so many wedding looks to choose from. Try not to follow a trend, follow your own unique style.

9. Coloured and pastel dresses are always going to be available. Back in 1993 I designed a lot of rum pink dresses in my collections. It really depends on your skin tone and what your colour theme is. Pastel dresses don’t suit everyone.

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10. I don’t think you should ever pick a deep-coloured wedding dress, because it will look like an evening gown. A soft colour is acceptable, but I do not sign off on coloured or black wedding dresses. They are a big wedding fashion no-go for me.

If you’re Randy Fenoli’s biggest fan, check out our exclusive interview with him!

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