The Wedding Gown Timeline
So, you’re newly engaged and ready to find the perfect dress to walk down the aisle. As tempting as it may be to dive right in to searching for your dream gown, there are a few tips to make your experience seamless – and know when you’ve found the one!
Photo | Phan Tien
Every girl’s favorite activity! These days, window shopping can be flipping through your favorite bridal magazine, stopping by a bridal boutique display or browsing the internet and Pinterest for ultimate inspiration. Window shopping is helpful to determine styles you like and don’t like, as well as learn about designers you might be interested in. Take note of price points and set a budget for yourself to keep yourself in check for when it’s time to go out and do the real shopping!
Photo | Instagram
About one month before you plan on shopping for your dream dress, schedule your appointments at various bridal shops. This allows enough time for any family or friends you’d like to be there with you to plan their schedules and be there as support. Most wedding planners and bridal experts recommend looking for your wedding dress no later than one year before your wedding to allow time for decision making, fittings and alterations. If you’re already past this mark, don’t fear! Most bridal boutiques offer weekday appointments that are more flexible. If you find yourself struggling to pick a dress, take a month or two to weigh your options before choosing the one.
Photo | Hello May
When to Buy
As wedding gowns are not one-size-fits-all, they tend to take about six months to arrive at the boutique for you to pick up. Also consider the one to two months it will take to complete alterations. Confirm the lead time of your wedding dress with your bridal consultant to ensure you will have it by your wedding day.
Photo | Style Me Pretty
When to Stop Looking
As soon as you purchase your wedding gown, it’s officially time to stop shopping. If you keep searching to top the dress you have, odds are, you’ll find yourself in a wedding dress hole that’s hard to get out of. Trust your instincts that you chose the perfect dress you’ll look fabulous in on your big day. To beat the shopping kick, go out and find shoes, a veil and jewelry to complete your bridal look.
Photo | Jordyn Schirripa
The Best Times to Shop
Bridal Fashion Week takes place in the spring (April) and fall (October) to unveil new designers and collections. Retailers attend the shows and place their orders for the coming season, so these gowns will be in stores in July/August and January/February. If you’re looking for the latest in bridal fashion, those are the best months to shop. For the penny pinchers, June and December are the months to find deals through sample sales and trunk shows.