How soon should you start looking for a wedding dress?

Answered by Phillip Nicastro

When it comes to finding the perfect wedding dress, timing is key. It is recommended to start researching, shopping, and planning appointments approximately 10 months out from your wedding date. This may seem like a long time, but trust me, it goes by quickly! By starting early, you give yourself ample time to explore different styles, visit various bridal boutiques, and make the necessary alterations to ensure your dress fits like a dream on your big day.

Ordering a wedding gown typically takes around six to eight months, depending on the designer and any customization you may require. It’s important to keep in mind that many bridal boutiques do not carry every dress in stock, especially if you have a specific designer or style in mind. Therefore, it may take some time for your gown to be specially ordered and delivered to the boutique.

Now, you might be wondering why you need such a long lead time for ordering a dress. Firstly, you want to allow enough time for any alterations that may be necessary once your dress arrives. Alterations can take several weeks, especially if there are intricate details or significant modifications required. It’s always better to have more time than less, as rushing alterations can lead to unnecessary stress and potential last-minute issues.

Additionally, starting early allows you to explore different bridal boutiques and find the perfect dress within your budget. Wedding dress shopping can be an exciting but overwhelming experience, and it’s important to give yourself enough time to visit multiple stores, try on different styles, and compare prices. It’s also worth mentioning that some designers may have a longer lead time for ordering their gowns, so starting early ensures you don’t miss out on your dream dress.

Research is key when it comes to finding your dream wedding dress. Take the time to browse through bridal magazines, websites, and social media platforms to gather inspiration and get a sense of the styles and designers you’re drawn to. This will help you narrow down your options and make your shopping experience more efficient and enjoyable.

During your research, consider factors such as your wedding theme, venue, and personal style. Do you envision yourself in a traditional ball gown, a sleek and modern sheath dress, or a romantic bohemian-inspired gown? Knowing your preferences will help guide your search and make the decision-making process easier.

Once you’ve done your research and have a clear idea of what you’re looking for, it’s time to start scheduling appointments at bridal boutiques. Keep in mind that weekends and evenings are typically the busiest times, so book in advance to secure your preferred time slots. It’s also a good idea to limit the number of appointments you have in a day or weekend to avoid feeling overwhelmed and exhausted.

When you go for your appointments, bring along a trusted friend or family member whose opinion you value. They can offer a fresh perspective and provide feedback on different styles. However, be cautious about bringing too many people along, as too many opinions can sometimes lead to confusion and indecision.

During your appointments, try on a variety of styles, even ones you may not initially be drawn to. Wedding dresses often look different on the hanger than they do on your body, so it’s important to give different styles a chance. Bridal consultants are there to help you find the perfect dress, so don’t be afraid to ask for their expertise and guidance.

Once you’ve found “the one,” it’s time to place your order. Most bridal boutiques require a deposit when ordering your dress, and the remaining balance is typically due when the dress arrives. Be sure to review the boutique’s policies regarding alterations, delivery, and any other important details.

It’s never too early to start looking for your wedding dress. By starting your search about 10 months before your wedding and ordering your gown no later than six to eight months prior, you give yourself ample time to find the perfect dress, make any necessary alterations, and alleviate unnecessary stress. Remember, this is your special day, and finding the right dress should be an exciting and enjoyable experience!