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You know you want a completely unique wedding dress, and have decided that vintage is the way to go. Here are 5 tips to make the process easier.

Understand it will take time and research.  You don't have the advantage of the sheer inventory that regular bridal salons carry. You are probably looking for a fairly specific dress and it has to be in your size. This is going to take some time, so look at it as the most fun scavenger hunt ever,

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Do not focus on the size of the dress, focus on the measurements.  Sizing has changed dramatically over the years. What is a size 8 now is nothing like what it used to be. So rather that look at a specific size, come armed with your measurements. Most online vintage shops will use those to help you gauge the size of the dress.

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While your dress may be cheaper, you need to budget for alterations.  Even if you bought a brand-new dress, you would probably have to have a few things altered. But with a vintage dress, there will most likely be a couple of stylistic elements you want to change, as well as wear and tear that will need to be fixed. Expect to find minor stains and a ripped seam. So long as the fabric is natural and not a synthetic blend, most of the time they can be good as new again.

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But don't expect miracles.  Some damage is just too far gone. Don't get sucked into the "perfect" dress that is absolutely covered in imperfections. From torn fabric to the dreaded sweat stains, know when to walk away.

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Bring a friend for any final decisions.  Of course, most brides will bring gal pals along for a fitting. But when you are shopping vintage, an extra set of eyes is a great asset for finding flaws you can't see on the back of your dress, or letting you know if you have crossed too far into "costumey."

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Credits:  Ruffles in Blush//Lacy Cap Sleeves//Tea Length//Long 1930s//Liquid Silk//1950s Tulle//Peach Bow//White and Gold Sheath//Lace and Velvet Bow