Wedding Dress Shopping Timeline

Finding a dress that fits your style and is going to be ready in time for the big day will require some planning. From budget to dress fitting, this wedding dress shopping timeline covers every little thing you need to do – and also when to do it.

Wedding Dress Shopping Timeline

12-14 months before the wedding

  • Budget. Determine a budget before you start the wedding dress shopping. You don’t want to fall in love with a dress that’s over your price limit.
  • Browse. Look at various wedding dress pictures – so you can see which dress style matches your taste. It’s important to try the dress to ensure it fits your body, but looking at a lot of dress pictures will help determine which fabrics, necklines and details you like.
  • Entourage. Don’t invite many people – just a couple of family members and close friends. Too many opinions will make the dress shopping stressful.
  • Start shopping. If needed, visit multiple salons. Try a couple of different dress styles. Don’t rush the decision.

9 months before the wedding

  • Purchase. Make the final decision on a wedding dress and put a deposit. It takes about 6 months for the wedding dress to be made and shipped to the salon. Put a deposit as soon as you are sure the dress is ‘the one’.

6 months before the wedding

  • Shoes. Pick the shoes you’ll wear on your wedding day. Shoes should complement the gown, so think about the style and color of the dress when choosing them.
  • Accessories. Decide on accessories you’ll wear – including hair accessories, jewelry and other adornments.
  • Undergarments. Chose the undergarments before the first dress fitting appointment. Test them with the dress to be sure everything fits perfectly.

3 months before the wedding

  • First fitting. Brides typically have 3 fittings to make sure their dress fits perfectly. Wedding dress isn’t made to your measures. When the dress arrives, it will take some time to tailor it to fit your form and shape. Alterations will take some time, so it’s important to have the first fitting 3 months before the wedding.

6 weeks before the wedding

  • Second fitting. If the dress doesn’t fit like you envisioned – be sure to say so.

3 weeks before the wedding

  • Third (final) fitting. Book the third (and final) fitting appointment about 3 weeks before the wedding. If needed, the seamstress will still have time for some minor alterations.
  • Take the dress home. After the third fitting, it’s time to take the wedding gown home. Put the dress in a opaque, breathable bag and hang it up in the secure spot – away from anything that can make it torn or dirty. Don’t forget to put it somewhere your future husband won’t see!

1 day before the wedding

  • Final touches. Have you wedding dress, accessories and shoes all in one place – they should be transported to the venue. Invest in a garment steamer, to be sure your gown will be wrinkle-free.

Wedding day

  • Get ready. It’s your big day! Steam the gown, get dressed, be beautiful, go celebrate!

What are your thoughts on wedding dress shopping timeline?

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