When is the best time to shop for a wedding dress?
Ever since you said ‘yes’ to the partner of your dreams, you can’t stop thinking about the dress. You may even have been dreaming about this ever since you were a little girl and have a very clear idea of what you want. Be careful though not to make the mistake of not giving yourself enough time, or even starting to look too early. We have put together a quick guide on the ‘dress timeline’ to help you:
12 months to go
This is the absolute earliest you should start looking for your dress. This is because you want to avoid starting too early and finding the perfect dress but not being in a position to spend the money on it yet. It’s also important to have figured out some of the wedding details first: what time of year are you planning to get married? Will be a UK wedding or are you having it overseas? Is it a beach, church, or registry wedding? Do you have a theme that you would like to stick to?
Start by doing some research around the style of dress that you like and the type of wedding that you are having to help you narrow down your choices. Set your budget. Know what you want to spend and keep that in mind when researching or trying on dresses.
6-12 months to go
Now is the time to go into a salon and start trying on dresses. Your research will have helped you narrow down your choices, but still keep an open mind as you may find that a particular style suits you better (or worse) than you thought; the salon consultant may also have a few tricks up her sleeve and find something you never expected, but which could suit you wonderfully.
Once you have chosen your dress there will inevitably be a few alterations that need to be made. You will have to sign a contract and put down a deposit in order to book in the designer’s time to make the necessary changes. From here you will typically have three fittings to get all the details right.
3 months to go
You’ll be called back for your first fitting. This is your chance to check all the details so you should bring the underwear that you plan to wear as well as your shoes (or ones that are of a similar height if you haven’t got around to buying your wedding shoes yet) to make sure the hem is at the right height. If you are having a veil, make sure to bring any hair accessories as well so that you have a good idea of what it will look like on the day.
2 months to go
Time for your second fitting. This is where you get to make all the tweaks and small changes that will make your dress look perfect on you. Make sure you walk around in it so that you are comfortable with how it moves; you may even want to practise a couple of dance moves!
1-2 weeks to go
Time for that last fitting to make sure everything is absolutely perfect. Any last minute alterations won’t take long and you will be able to pick up your dress within a few days, but if it’s ready you can take it away there and then. Just remember to have a safe spot to store it, away from curious eyes! Then all you have to do is enjoy your wedding day!