First of all: congratulations on your engagement! After you say yes, the frenzy of planning begins: with everything from venue to catering to entertainment to transportation to coordinate, you’ll have your hands full over the next few months planning your dream wedding. With everything you need to do, it’s tough to know when you should start shopping for your dream wedding dress. Luckily, we’re here to help. As experts on everything bridal-gown-related, we’ll give you a breakdown of the timeline you should expect.
When Should I Book?
Our best advice? As soon as you have a date and a venue, book your appointment to start shopping. You’d rather have too much time than not enough—and you’ll be surprised at how much time you actually need! The biggest key is to know your date and venue before booking. Having a date will give you an idea of the weather, and having a venue will give you an idea of what your wedding day will look like. It’s much easier to choose a dress when you can picture yourself on your wedding day at your venue and have an idea of the kind of decor you might want.
8-10 Months Out
It sounds like a long time, but trust us, you’ll want at least 8 months (if not longer!) to shop for your wedding dress. Buying a wedding dress is not like the normal retail experience you’re used to: you try on sample gowns then order a dress made just for you from the designer, so you’ll need to wait for the gown to be created before it arrives. This doesn’t happen overnight—the designer needs to source the materials, sew each piece, construct your dress, and add any embellished details to create a gorgeous, high-quality garment. This process usually takes at least 6 months, and you’ll need to factor in time for alterations.
2 Months Out
Once your dress arrives, you’ll get alterations—whether it’s hemming the gown, tightening a strap, or other minor adjustments, you’ll have small alterations that need to be done so that your dress fits perfectly on your wedding day. You’ll come in once two months out, then again 4 weeks out, and again 2 weeks out to ensure everything is fitting exactly as it should. After that, the only thing left to do is glow on your wedding day!