Be Prepared Before You Go Wedding Dress Shopping

Wedding dress shopping

Is there anything you should know before you go wedding dress shopping? Yes... it is critical that you know there is a timeline you need to know about before you go into a bridal salon.

Going into a bridal shop unaware of this information can catch you off guard.

Brides not knowing the following information found it necessary to change their wedding dates  in order for their wedding dress to arrive in time and their plans to go smoothly.

So the information here is to help fast track you through the main things you need to know. Like most brides you are busy and need to get this done and behind you.

And you want to make sure you do it right and without later having regrets.

How Soon Should You Start Wedding Dress Shopping?

Pre-pandemic wedding planners suggested between nine to twelve months prior to the wedding as being the ideal time frame to start. Now with shipping delays becoming a new normal for receiving goods from overseas most suggest you start wedding planning no less than 12 months. Why so much time?

  • A twelve month time frame allows you plenty of time to complete the process without being stressed out.
  • Each wedding dress designer and/or manufacturer have their own delivery dates. These delivery time frames range from 2 to 6 months on average.
  • If you choose a dress, with a 6 month delivery time frame, you will need to order it at least 9 months in advance of your wedding date. This way it will get to you in time to allow at least 2 to 3 months for your alterations to be done.
  • Check before hand with the sewing professional you will use at the bridal salon or and independent sewing professional to see how far in advance you need to bring in your wedding gown.

If you are going to have a bridal portrait made before the wedding you need to factor in this time. Your photographer may need any where from 1 week to 2 months prior to your wedding to process and deliver your portrait.

Because things can go wrong with the order, like wrong size ordered, lost gowns, damaged gowns, wrong color and wrong dates written on order . . . you need to give yourself plenty of time.

Before going wedding dress shopping you should consider these first steps . . .

Wedding Dress Shopping
  1. Start with a budget for the cost of your wedding dress and wedding gown accessories.
  2. Also look at pictures of wedding dresses online.
  3. Your perfect bridal dress should be a style that will flatter your figure. It should also compliment your coloring, personality and wedding style.
  4. Learn as much as you can by researching the pages of this website on how to pick a dress to fit your wedding theme and that compliments your figure. Or you can book a wedding dress consultation to fast track your wedding dress search.

With this information, you now can envision the gown you want. Start to collect wedding dress pictures you think would be perfect for you.You can save these somewhere on your cell phone or start a pinterest board with all your wedding dress ideas.

Before you take these pictures of wedding dresses to the bridal shop, you might want to organize them. How?

  • If you are going to have a custom wedding dress designed for you, you should take to the seamstress a print out of the gown or gowns you want to combine into your unique design.
  • Learn how to turn wedding dress pictures into a collage or sketch, by going to the page about how to design your own wedding gown.

How do you pick a bridal shop?

  • Look up online reviews of any shops you plan to visit.
  • Ask friends and family who are married to give you a referral before going wedding dress shopping. They will be able to tell you which shops give great customer service.
  • Check with the Better Business Bureau to see if any of the bridal stores you plan to visit have any unresolved complaints.

There is one thing most brides dont think about...

"If you are having a religious ceremony... You may need to ask the minister performing the ceremony if there are any modesty restrictions."

What happens is that some brides find out after purchasing their dress that there was a dress code. How did I to know about this problem?

"I have had to help brides in this situation modify their wedding dress for modesty purposes." "Dont let this happen to you."

Be aware that some modifications made to the design can look like it was something added to the gown, which of course changes the design. 

So find out if there are restrictions before you begin your search. This information will determine the style of dress you will have to consider.

What if you have less than six months for wedding dress shopping . . .

Bride wedding dress shopping

If you happen to be a bride who has less than six months to plan a wedding... all is not lost.

But you have to be "very pro active" in the search for your gown. You must make it a priority. The closer it gets to your wedding date, more than likely you will have to settle for something that may not be the dream dress you wanted.

Remember . . . it takes 2 to 6 months for the delivery of most bridal dresses.

This is the case whether you order your wedding dress online or purchase from a bridal shop.

  • So you have to now look at only designers with short delivery dates.
  •  Find out who these designers are and only look at their wedding dress designs.

There are some bridal designers who have "quick delivery gowns"in their collections already to ship. But the selection is limited. And you are still talking 4 to 8 weeks.

A couple of online wedding dress sites that sell bridal gowns and can ship relatively fast , one is Azazie and the other is Lulus. They have beautiful designs and they have a wide range of sizes or you can have custom sizing.

Some designers offer rush deliveries. But these rush charges can be pricey. Even with a rush on your dress . . . think of the stress you will experience wondering if your dress will come too late for the alterations that may be need.

I cant say this enough . . . give yourself plenty of time to go wedding dress shopping for your perfect wedding dress.

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