Just like a bride dreams about what she will wear on her wedding day, virtually every teenage girl dreams about finding the perfect dress for her prom. And, just like the frustration that a lot of brides tend to go through when it comes to getting the dress that she both loves and can afford, the teenage girl (and her parents) oftentimes find themselves in a very similar dilemma.

That is what this article is for. If you have a prom date coming up and you’re looking for some tips on how to find the most unforgettable dress (without breaking your budget), we have five things that can help to make your dream a very possible reality:

Do lots of window shopping. Typically, window shopping is reserved for when you want something but you don’t have the money to get it. That’s not what we’re implying here. What we’re saying is that you should spend several weeks just going into stores and trying on dresses that you like so that you can get the one that is just right for you. In order to do that, speak with a store manager and ask if you can take a few pictures with your cell phone of you in a variety dresses and styles. Then go home and compare the shots. The best decisions are made with patience and processing.

Be classic more than trendy. Every year, there are fashion trends, but a part of the reason why they are referred to as “trends” is due to the fact that they are not intended to last for one than a couple of seasons. Plus, trends tend to be things that are not flattering for everybody (insert “skinny jeans” here). So, rather than going for what a magazine or fashion show says is “hot”, look instead for a dress the complements your figure in a color that also complements your skin tone.

Accentuate your best points. If you have a full bust but you don’t really have a lot of hips, consider wearing an off of the shoulder dress. If you’re naturally thin, a dress that pulls in at your waist and has an A-line skirt is a nice touch. If you are naturally fuller-figured, don’t overwhelm yourself with material in the effort to hide your body. Show off your legs! There are plenty of websites that will provide you with tips on how to dress for your body type. Simply go to your favorite search engine and put “dress for body type” in the search field for great recommendations.

Purchase during the “off season”. When it comes to prom dresses 2013, lots of girls will be looking for dresses during the early springtime season. For that reason, manufacturers tend to up the prices of their gowns. The way to get around that little obstacle is to buy your dress when no one else is really thinking about doing the same. If you’re worried that you won’t locally find much of a variety during those “off times”, no worries. That’s the benefit of going online. There’s a cyberspace full of prom dresses, year round, at your disposal!

Don’t forget to accessorize. The perfect dress doesn’t only consist of the dress itself but also all of the accessories that come with it including your jewelry, shoes and clutch. So, make sure that you spend just as much time and effort into what you will wear with your dress as you do on the gown itself. The right pair of shoes or earrings can take you from looking “pretty” to “totally stunning”.