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It’s possible that you’ve been pinning wedding dresses almost since the day you met your BAU. But now that the wedding is becoming, like, a real thing, here are some little known truths. First, you don’t have to wear white. Colored gowns may account for only 4 to 5% of sales today, according to David’s Bridal, but check out these 50 awesome gowns that are not white.

Here are some facts about wedding dresses — and wedding dress shopping — that are good to know before you go:

The Bride Wore Red

Historically brides did not wear white. They were more likely to wear red than white. Weddings were a contract, in which two families formed an alliance, and wedding dresses represented the bride’s family’s wealth and social status. Queen Victoria is credited with starting the white wedding trend because she wanted to wear lace. Can you imagine if Kate Middleton had worn red? That was the impact of Queen Victoria wearing white.

Wedding Sizes Are Different

You know how we’re always hearing that Marilyn Monroe wore a size 12, even though to us she looked more like a size 8? The sizes of street clothes have changed over the years, but wedding gown sizes harken back to the old days. No need to run to the nearest Bridal Boot Camp after your first fitting. Choose the size that fits best and don’t think about the number on the label.

Wear Your Best Underwear

People are going to see you naked — well, half-naked. You will be trying on dozens of dresses. The consultant will be standing by to assist you in and out of them — and you will be thankful for the assistance, as formal gowns can be very difficult to fasten on your own. So, word: Wear undergarments that you don’t mind being seen in. If you will be trying on strapless styles, wear a strapless bra.

Strut Your Stuff

You will not be standing still at your wedding, right? You’ll be standing, sitting, walking and dancing. Give your dresses the true trial run by walking, sitting and even dancing around the dressing room.

Pay Now, Pay Later

Good news: You found the dress! Bad news: You need to sign a contract and put down 50% as a deposit. You will also need to confirm details, including the size you want delivered, plus any extra tailoring that will be needed, such as removing sleeves or taking in the waist (if you plan to lose weight). Get all the details about alteration costs up front. Should you need additional tailoring later, the costs can really add up.

What surprised you most about wedding dress shopping? Tweet us your experience at @BritandCo!

(Image via Getty)