Right, so now we have a venue and a registrar! Technically that's all you have to book to get married! But if your anything like me, that's no where near everything!
Now, like the venues, your best thinking beforehand about what it I'd you'd like. Do you want a big 'meringue', a simple straight dress, with or without straps, with embellishment or without... The list goes on.
What I did was have a look online for my local dress shops (haven't heard the best reports from big branded chains - no names mentioned). So I made an appointment at a shop that I'd heard good things about.
Before you go to the shop, make sure you set your budget. If not you could end up coming away with a dress that you need to remortgage your house for! Dresses range drastically in price, going from £100 up to thousands!!
If you really are on a tight budget, or would like to spend your money on other things than a dress, you can even find wedding dresses in high street chain stores such as Debenhams, Monsoon etc. I've seen a few in these shops and they are lovely at very low prices.
The chances of finding a dress on rail that is 100% perfect fit is slim. It may be too long, too short, bust too big etc so always put a bit of money aside for alterations. A good thing to have done to your dress (if it has a train on it) is to have a button placed under the dress - don't worry you will not see it. This means that once the ceremony is done and photos, you can tie up the train underneath so it's easier to move around, and it's very handy for your first dance (the groom can't stand on it and make you go flying into the guests - or the cake).
It's up to you when to go dress shopping. But depending on the dress you like, it can take 16 weeks to come in from ordering ad then you need fittings to make sure it's perfect for the big day. So I'd give it at least 6 months.
Hopefully there are a few tips here to help!