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Try bringing along pictures of wedding gowns you like to show the bridal consultants and then ask their advice. Your bridesmaids can go with you on various exploratory trips to the bridal stores and to watch you try on the dresses. Ask your mother or maid of honor to take notes on everything you try on. You may also want to bring along a digital camera to take pictures of you in the dresses so that you can go back over the photos and your notes later.
I like the idea of bringing a digital camera with to try on gowns, but a lot of places won't let you take pictures of the gown until after you have chosen one and put money down on it.
Ask permission to take pictures first!