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Many dresses take between 8-10 months to be recieved once the order has been placed and you also need to factor in time for alterations. Based on these two factors, I started looking at 13 months out so I had plenty of time to shop around and see all of my options. I'm particular though and can never make a purchase, especially such a big one, without feeling like I've exhausted the options and am certain of my choice. I guess there is always the possibility that you could purchase too early and change your mind but if you wait too long there the possibility of finding your dream dress and not having enough lead time to order.