(NEWS10) — As wedding and prom season kicks into high gear, David’s Bridal, one of the country’s largest bridal retailers, announced it is filing for bankruptcy this week. Following the announcement, the Better Business Bureau of Upstate New York issued information about how to save and spend smart while dress shopping this spring.

First and foremost, shop early if you can, and do your homework.

“Experts recommend starting 6-9 months before your event so you have time for alterations and things like that,” said Katarina Schmieder, the communications director for the Better Business Bureau of Upstate New York.

For those of you shopping online for a deal, make sure you’re purchasing your dress from a credible source. Also, be realistic with your budget. According to the BBB, as much as you may want to find a $5,000 dress for $350, it will probably not happen. Many designers don’t allow their dresses to be discounted below a certain margin. An in-person sample sale, not online, maybe a bride’s best bet for finding a discounted gown.

“I know alot of people and younger people tend to shop online now so again it’s important to do your research, search the company, feel free to look them up BBB.org to see if there are any complaints or what other people are saying about their experience with them,” said Katarina.

When it finally comes time to swipe your card, you should not be pressured into paying the entire cost of a wedding dress upfront. You should also check the return policy before committing to a purchase.

“You should always try to split payment too and avoid paying upfront so either at beginning or end, just so you can make sure the process goes smoothly and if something does go wrong, which hopefully it doesn’t, you won’t have given all your money upfront,” she added.

If you’re a procrastinator, change your ways before the big day! The BBB suggests picking up your dress as soon as it ready. You can’t control what happens at the store where you found a prom dress or wedding dress, like it might even go out of business, so the safest place for your dress is at home with you.