I went to DB to get an idea of what I liked and what looked good on me. I went by myself with no intention of buying a dress (I hadn't even told my family I was getting married). I ended up buying one and was shocked how little time it took for me to decide. I found a dress I loved that fits now (I only want to loose 20 pounds, so I can have it taken in). The best part: it only cost $99.
I ended up breaking the news to my family with the dress because I had to see my sister and mom after and I had the dress with me.
Lucky for me, the part of me I don't like is my legs (I have severe edema, left over from my pregnancy 5.5 years ago, so even when I'm skinny I have "cankles") so all I had to do was get a long dress. However, shoes may be a problem. I am thinking perhaps ballet shoes so I can wear my compression hose. The goal is to be able to dance at the reception (without being in pain).
Good luck finding a dress you love!