The Wedding Dress Shopping Timeline, Tailored To You

There’s nothing more exciting than a wedding…

Dress, that is!

Whether your wall has become a collage of wedding dress magazine cutouts or your bookmark tabs are all pinned dress inspirations, it’s safe to assume the options are feeling a bit overwhelming. Figuring out what, where, and when to buy your dress is no easy task. But follow this guideline and it will certainly be easier.

Remember: one thing at a time!

The Wedding Dress Shopping Timeline, Tailored To You

First, take all that inspiration and make a list of anything and everything you like. Once you sit down at a bridal salon or with a consultant, they will let you know which of your wildest dreams are and are not possible. Then, you have the homework of making a decision – and making sure you do it in time.

Aside from the time it may take to find a wedding dress, you’ll also need time up to three fittings, custom alterations, and more if you’re planning on having them.

But are you? Maybe not.

The modern wedding industry is ever-evolving; wedding dress designers and retailers have found many ways around the standard shopping experience to accommodate different gowns and different needs.

There are many different avenues and speeds for getting a dress, so the first thing to do is figure out your priority. Is it the exact style and design of the dress that’s the most important to you? Is it how flattering the dress looks on you? Or will it be something you need to both be beautiful and fit into your budget after you make your wedding the most perfect day for everyone attending? Based on your priorities, you should find yourself with a different dress-shopping timeline.

wedding dress
The Wedding Dress Shopping Timeline, Tailored To You

Pro-Tip #1: Pick Your Venue First

The vibe, the temperature, and the COST of the venue can all be relevant to the dress you choose – so it’s recommended to get this sorted out first.

You’ll be able to relax more and enjoy the wedding dress selection process when more of the other important wedding details are all dealt with and not looming over your head like an ugly veil.

Pro-Tip #2: Get Your Shopping Team Assembled

Three is the perfect number in this case – they’ll give you the fewest possible opinions in a clear democracy. Opt for close, supportive friends or relatives whose opinions you value most.

Pro-Tip #3: Stay On Top Of Appointments

It’s important to book any appointments well in advance; bridal boutiques fill up at speeds you didn’t even know exist. Before booking, do a bit of research into each salon’s designer selection, prices, and sample sizes they provide to make sure you aren’t wasting your time.

wedding dress
The Wedding Dress Shopping Timeline, Tailored To You

The Tailor-Made Dress:
9 Months In Advance

If you want your wedding dress tailor-made especially for your visual and physical preferences, this is when you’ll need to make the order. This allows for a dress being produced to your measurements, which can require certain elements that you like to be shipped in from all around the world – laces from France, beads from Asia, and more. First, make your final dress decision at your chosen bridal salon, declare any desired customizations, and pay your deposit of 50 to 60 percent. You’ll need to wait 5-6 months before the dress is made, and then sit through 3 fitting sessions until the final (and perfect!) tailoring which will have the dress in your hands in time for not only the wedding but also photoshoots, wedding travel, etc.

The Custom-Tailored Dress:
5 Months In Advance

If your priority is the fit, you may not need your wedding dress custom-made – but you do want it custom-tailored. Pick your dress out at this time, take measurements, and get your plans in order for a few fittings that will keep up with any changes necessary before the big day.

The Post-Wedding-Budget, Post-Wedding-Diet:
6-8 Weeks In Advance

Not difficult to understand: a bride-to-be who doesn’t want to pull out the credit card or try on a dress until everything else has been taken care of, and what’s left doesn’t leave any room for risk. If this is your approach, don’t forget to get all the details in at the same time: veil, gloves, undergarments, and shoes.

The Time-Crunch Dress:
As Little As 1-2 Weeks In Advance

There are other alternatives to doing the traditional experience; the online route offers a widely diverse selection of retailers with collections of high-quality, trending, ready-to-wear gowns available for immediate purchase.

Don’t forget, your fiancee thinks you’re beautiful every day of the year – and that’s why they proposed.

wedding dress
The Wedding Dress Shopping Timeline, Tailored To You