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Newly engaged! Questions about starting dress shopping!

Hello! I am newly engagd and have just start planning my wedding. Some of the magazines and internet stuff I have looked at says you should start looking for a dress up to a year in advance! We are getting married next summer and I was just wondering, when did you all start looking at dresses? Like most brides, I plan on losing weight before the wedding but, when is too early to start?

Thanks!
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Re: Newly engaged! Questions about starting dress shopping!

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    If you didn't yet book a ceremony and reception site, those are the things to do first. That will set your date (saying, "We plan to marry next summer" doesn't set the date) and it will set the formality and tone of the wedding. You don't want to buy a big puffy ballgown now, and then decide that you want a small, casual beach wedding. Set the date and location(s) first.

    You should buy the dress maybe 8 months out, which will give it time to be delivered and altered. I would give yourself at least a month to go shopping. You can start looking around now, but I wouldn't buy just yet. Get the more important things taken care of first, if you haven't already. Then go ahead and buy something.
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    I had a little freakout when I hadn't even started looking at 7 months, and every new checklist or magazine I saw was telling me I had to have the dress at 8 months, 12 months, etc. 

    I ended up going to DB and it only took 4 weeks for my dress to come in.  If you order from a small boutique you'll need a larger window.  Since you're about 12 months out, start looking now if you get the urge, but don't be in a big hurry and definitely don't buy anything yet.  If you find dresses you like talk to the salespeople to find out how long it will take for the dress to come in.
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    murrayed
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    I don't think it's ever to early to start looking. Just know that you should keep looking for a while before you pick "the dress". I just went dress shopping for the first time a couple of days ago. I found so many that I liked, but I am nowhere near making a decision. I just wanted to see roughly what styles I liked the best. You have plenty of time, but go ahead and start looking to see what you like. Once you make your decision, don't keep looking or you'll begin to second guess yourself. You will always find a "better" dress, so that's why I wouldn't make a decision any time soon.

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    I agree with a pp that you should focus on selecting your date & venues first if you haven't already.  I got engaged in March and our wedding date is 7/16/11.  When we were researching venues, we found out that a lot of dates were already taken for the summer of 2011.  So definitely figure that out soon!

    As for the dress, I actually just found mine a couple of weekends ago.  It was just supposed to be a see what I like trip (since I have a horrible time visualizing myself in any dress), but "the dress" ended up being the second dress that I tried on.  I tried on dresses all weekend, but kept coming back to my dress, so I just had to purchase it!  I'm so glad that this item is checked off my to do list.  I could have tried on more dresses, but I feel like I would just get stressed out and overwhelmed if I tried on too many dresses.  I'd rather get the dress slightly earlier than to worry or feel crunched for time. 

    Also, something else to think about - my dress is so different than what I thought I would want.  It was picked out for me by the salesperson that I worked with.  She said it's very common for a bride to come in with one idea and leave with a completely different dress.  So keep an open mind when shopping and have fun!  Congratulations on your engagement!
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    Like a PP said pick a date and place first to give you an idea of the wedding style you will have.  I wouldn't start until about 9 months.  I went with less than 6 months because we moved up the date and was perfectly fine.  But it also depends on the type of person you are.  If you plan on trying on every single dress you can get your hands on then definitely start by 9 months.  But if you're anything like me, where I walked into the first bridal shop knowing I wasn't leaving without ordering a dress, and ordered the 2nd one I tried on, then you don't need as much time.  I just hear alot about people who bought their dress early and then changed their mind and found a different one they love even more.  My best advice I can give you as far as that is once you find your dress, stop looking at others, and definitely don't try anymore on.

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    I got my dress at about a year out.  I went to 4 different places within about 2 weeks time but I kept going back to my dress, which was at the first place we went.  I went back and tried it on 2 more times to be sure and then I bought it.  They said it will take 6 months to come in, then I have a 1 month window to do my first fitting and then alterations can take up to 3 months, so I am glad I got it when I did.  We had our date and venue set before I went out though, and I do agree that those things should be first on your to do list!
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    In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_attire-accessories_newly-engaged-questions-starting-dress-shopping?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding BoardsForum:15Discussion:bdfeff13-3241-475d-a61d-91e6f0f79a96Post:caadd88b-fd1c-496e-a573-004278cedd7c">Re: Newly engaged! Questions about starting dress shopping!</a>:
    [QUOTE]I got my dress at about a year out.  I went to 4 different places within about 2 weeks time but I kept going back to my dress, which was at the first place we went.  I went back and tried it on 2 more times to be sure and then I bought it.  They said it will take 6 months to come in, then I have a 1 month window to do my first fitting and then alterations can take up to 3 months, so I am glad I got it when I did.  We had our date and venue set before I went out though, and I do agree that those things should be first on your to do list!
    Posted by jlbarbone[/QUOTE]

    Wow, up to 3 months for alterations?  That's crazy!  Mine is only 2 weeks, but they are also pretty expensive.  So reading that though brings up a good point of finding out from the shop you are going to how long you need for alterations and things. 
    imageBabyFruit Ticker
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    Some other dress shopping advice . . . don't go on a Saturday afternoon, go at an off time.  You will have a much more relaxed and fun experience with less pressure and drama. 

    I had the first appointment on a Friday and there was no one else in the store.  I got to try on as many dresses as I wanted, no pressure, just fun.  I read the "no pictures" sign right as my mom and aunt were whipping out their cameras, but they let us take pictures of everything because we were the only ones in the store and we had already built a really good relationship with the salesperson helping us (I couldn't imagine NOT buying a dress from her, she was so awesome).  When I went back on Saturday afternoon to try on my dress again and buy it, the store was packed!  The salesgirl that I worked with was still awesome, but it was definitely a different feeling in the store.  When I came out in my dress my mom started taking pictures again and another MOB started complaining about why we got to take pictures and they didn't (they explained it was okay because I was buying the dress).  Another MOB wanted to take the dress from me for her daughter to try on. 

    My Friday morning appointment was the best possible experience for me.  Even though I know that I would have still loved working with the same salesgirl on Saturday, it would have been a much less relaxed atmosphere and I probably wouldn't have been able to try on what I did, the way that I did on Friday. 
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    Thanks guys! We actually just set our date today, so NOW I focus on the important things, like what I'm gonna wear!
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    prncszprncsz member
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    edited July 2010

    We got engaged in Feb on Valentine's day this year. We set the date first and then I went browsing like 2 weeks like in March. I'm glad I did because I had no idea what I wanted. Originally I wanted a ballgown. I tried on a few at DB but kept looking.

    About two to three weeks later I went to another bridal shop tried on some more ball gowns but also let the consultant put me in other dresses that I had never thought about trying on and discovered with my small/short frame that the fit-n-flare look is best for me.
     
    I went to a bridal expo the first week in June and saw some dresses in a fashion show went to the boutique and tried on and found my dress it ended up being a Spring 2011 dress. I paid my deposit and I think it was ordered like June 10th. But it won't come in for probably another 3 to 4 months. (before I placed deposit on dress we already had our ceremony and reception site booked.)

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    I went shopping/bought the dress in April, and I am getting married in January. 
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