1) Go try out different style of dress, and the ones that are close to your dream dress. Just to get a general idea, because unless u are a size 0, 6 ft tall girl...u won't look the same as the model pic.
2) Please consider the level of difficulty of ur dress, if your dress is a $10K designer dress with tons of silk organza and satin, don't expect to get it for $100. If it is a underwear slip or grecian grannie robe (like some that I saw on this thread, don't wanna be mean..but seriously...some choices were ...meh!), probably you will be very happy with it.
3) If you find a dress on the rack on sale, and it is within your budget, please..BUY IT, it is a deal!
4) Respect your body type (again, don't wanna sound super mean, but seriously me and my FI laughed so much on this forum's show your dress thread), you don't wanna look like a beached whale (an obese mermaid dress) or a grannie with poopied diaper or kidney bags on the sides on your day (a dress with puffy stuff dangling/ruchings at the back or on the sides).
Again, I don't think our men are so picky about the dress, so..just relax and take your time to pick a nice and affordable dress.