Attire & Accessories Forum

How soon should you start shopping for your wedding dress?

I'm not having my wedding until May 2015 and I didn't want to start looking too early.  When do you think is a good time to start looking?  I already have ideas in mind.  Would you wait until you at least hold the date with the venue?

Re: How soon should you start shopping for your wedding dress?

  • Most brides tend to start the process about a year out. Some a little earlier if they know that they are looking for designer gowns. Depending on the salon you shop at, dresses can take anywhere from 6-18 weeks to come in, sometimes longer. Plus figuring time for alterations (about 6-8 weeks), and then the fact that it is unlikely you will find THE dress your first time out. So really anytime in the next couple of months that you feel comfortable will be perfect. Figure out a time for that works for you, and whomever you want to join you on your shopping trip, and make an appointment wherever you go! Good Luck!
  • JoanE2012JoanE2012 Exit 21 (Jersey!) member
    5000 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary 5 Answers
    The salon I ordered my dress said it could take up to 8 months to come in.  Factor in alterations and time to find a dress......I'd start looking at one year out.  I'd rather have a little extra time and not stress than be under to pressure to find something quickly.
  • natswildnatswild The F-f-f-rozen N-n-north (Northern Alberta) member
    Fourth Anniversary 250 Love Its 500 Comments Name Dropper
    I'm a May 2015 bride, and I have my dress, although I happened to luck out because I was able to buy off the rack, and it fit perfectly :).

  • AddieCakeAddieCake Beyond the Wall member
    10000 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary 25 Answers
    It depends. I started shopping early b/c I thought it would take me forever to find a dress. It didn't, and I had my dress a year early. 

    What did you think would happen if you walked up to a group of internet strangers and told them to get shoehorned by their lady doc?~StageManager14
  • I went to DB and the consultant said "Thank goodness you came in today! It can take up to 3 months to get it to come in once ordered!" I went beginning of January and my wedding is in mid-April. I was cutting it close but I didn't know how long dresses come in and I just got engaged the very end of November. But it'll all work out cause there's enough time (just enough!).
  • I'm a June 2015 bride and I will probably wait until this summer to start looking. I have an idea of what I want it's just a matter of finding it.
  • My wedding is in October 2014, I ordered my dress in November 2013 and it should be in mid February..3 months.

    A lot of designers can run 8 months behind to get dresses done so I'd start around 8-12 months out
  • I found my dress a little less than a year before. I was lucky and found one with a back that laces up. So, if I lose weight, as many brides try to do, the dress can be tightened.
  • edited January 2014

    My dress just came in today even when they originally told me it could take up to 3 months. I would say about 6 months out if you can definitely.

  • Dignity100Dignity100 Northeastern Ohio member
    2500 Comments 500 Love Its First Anniversary First Answer
    I'm looking at an Oct 2014 wedding and most of the shops said I probably have until Mid/late Feb to make up my mind.

  • PrettyGirlLostPrettyGirlLost A Land Filled with Unicorns and Cat Hair member
    5000 Comments Fifth Anniversary 500 Love Its First Answer
    I'm an October 2014 bride, I went dress shopping in April 2013 and found my dress within two trips, but I didn't order my dress until September of 2013.

    There's no harm in shopping early and putting a deposit down on a gown you like in order to hold the price, but don't actually order it too far out in case you gain/lose weight and it changes the size you will be ordering.

    In April I was between a size 8 and 10 and in September I was a true 10, doh! :/

    "Love is the one thing we're capable of perceiving that transcends time and space."

  • HeatherKatHeatherKat the Frozen Tundra member
    Ninth Anniversary 500 Love Its 100 Comments Name Dropper
    I'm a June 2015 bride, and I'm going first time dress shopping the Sunday. Though, admittedly, its more for fun and just to look than anything, I probably won't buy this far out. But so far wedding planning has just been stressful and I'm looking for some wedding fun!
    Amor vincet omnia.... par liones.
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  • I definitely wouldn't start dress shopping until you have a date and a venue and a time. A Saturday evening wedding in an urban location is going to call for a very different dress than a daytime wedding in a rustic garden setting, or a beach wedding, for example. 
  • I'd suggest about a year - most designers take about 6 months for the dress to be made and shipped to you.  

    There's nothing wrong with browsing early so you can find some ideas of what you like, but I wouldn't want to commit to a dress more than a year-ish in advance.  Also, if you start a year out, you do have a couple months to play with - you wouldn't necessarily have to pick and order it the first time you look.
  • Our wedding is in May and I found my dress this month :-)


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  • I'm getting married September 2014. I ordered my dress in March of 2013, it took until September of 2013 (6 months) to come in. I still need to get it altered. I ordered mine well in advance to make sure I had ample time for everything, plus it was the 3rd dress I tried on!
  • I'm an Oct.2015 bride. (I have a year & 8 months!) I went to a bridal show and they offered a $50 off coupon to book an appointment so I guess I'm trying on dresses for the first time next week. I'm not lettting myself buy anything this early..(I plan to lose weight) but I guess it can't hurt to look at some dresses for me and my BM's?
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  • I am a November 2015 bride and I got my dress last night.  The gown is going to take 6-8 months to even get to the shop and then 3 months for alterations for a total of about a year from start to finish.  I wanted to shop a bit early just in case the dress comes in damaged or if there are any other delays.  The owner of the shop said she has had about 30 2015 brides purchase their dresses so far.  I went with La Sposa Milenium and am in LOVE with it!
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