When choosing a wedding gown, it is important to remember that the bride's clothing will determine how everyone else will dress. The wedding gown and veil will reflect how formal or casual the ceremony will be. Likewise, the groom's tuxedo will also be expected to complement the bridal gown in terms of formality. If you are wearing a gown that has been handed down to you, your only task may be to have the dress altered. However, if you are buying a gown, it is a good idea to start shopping many months in advance. When trying to decide on a design, it is often helpful to attend bridal showers or purchase magazines specializing in wedding attire. You may purchase your gown at a retail store or have one custom-made for you. Depending on your budget, you should be able to find a dress to suit your taste. Make sure that your dress will be ready at least a week before the wedding. This will allow you time for any last-minute alterations. In addition, make sure that the material of your dress corresponds to the season in which your wedding takes place. This is especially important if you are shopping in the winter for a summer gown. The time of day for which your wedding is scheduled may also affect the style of your dress. Longer gowns and veils are usually worn in evening ceremonies while shorter attire is generally reserved for the day. When deciding on a wedding gown, you should consider any traditions or customs important to your family or your religion; you should also rely on your own taste. These are simply guidelines, the ultimate choice is the bride's. For more information on bridal attire, consult a wedding planner or speak with a wedding gown retailer.