Wondering when to start wedding dress shopping? Here is the standard wedding dress timeline from a bridal consultant:
The rule of thumb that’s recommended by most bridal shops, is to have your dress ordered 9 months before your wedding date. 9 months?! Yup. Let me explain why…
Most bridal shops have a variety of dresses in the store for brides to try them on as “samples.” This means that they are not ready to be bought and taken home. These sample dresses are exactly so that customers could sample some different styles on their body before they make the big decision of picking “the one.” Once you find “the one” it is time to place an order in the correct size and color so that the designer could begin manufacturing that new dress for you. The manufacturing of a dress takes about 5 months, which is when the dress is then shipped from overseas to your bridal shop which could take up to a month! That leaves us 3 months to conduct an inspection appointment, and get started on your fittings.
Since the designer doesn’t start to manufacture a dress until an order is placed, at the time of the order, your consultant will discuss with you some customization options. These customizations include the following if you place your order 9 months before your wedding:
– Dress Size: Your measurements will be taken on the day of your order and compared to your designer’s sizing chart so that we could order the dress in a comfortable size for you!
– Dress Color: There are a variety of dress color options nowadays. Designers have implemented colors such as; Blush, Champagne, Rum, Honey, Ivory, White, and many more in their designs. Many dresses that you try on in a bridal shop, will be available in a color that’s different from the sample you have on. When you order on time, you have the choice of getting a different color.
– Petite Length: The standard bridal dress is manufactured in a length comfortable for the height of 5’9 (including heels). If you are more petite than average height, or are average height and don’t plan on wearing heels on your wedding day, ordering a dress in petite length may be the way to go! Ordering a dress in petite length comes manufactured in a variety of shorter sizes. The exact length depends on the designer.
– Extra Length: If you have the opposite body type, and happen to be taller than 5’9 naturally, or plan on wearing heels that will make you taller than 5’9 your wedding day, extra length is a customization recommended for you! The dress will be ordered at a longer length that will be most comfortable for you.
The longer you wait to place your order, the fewer customizations you have available to you.
If you were to place your order 6-8 months before your wedding date you only have the following customizations available to you:
– Dress Sizing
– Dress Color
If you were to wait 5 months before your wedding, there is a bit of luck involved in picking customizations. Your consultant would have to check designer sites to see if there are any dresses in stock in the style that you like but there is a chance that it won’t be in stock in the color and size you desire.
If you were to wait less than 4 months before your wedding, we would lose customization options and would have to go with a sample dress. Samples are still a great option and are highly discounted, but it would just be more limited in the sense that you would have to pick from our sample collection of dresses that are available to be taken home the same day. When ordering a sample, you must go with a size that fits you comfortably and open-minded to other color options because not all of them are available in white/ivory.
So there you have it, ladies! The real reason why you have to start your wedding dress shopping early! So if you just recently got engaged, don’t think it’s too early to start lookin’ girl! It’s time to get your shopping on.