• A Timing Guideline to Wedding Dress Shopping

The Six-Month Stitch


When couples take the next step from committed relationship to engaged, a very exciting time arises. The time when you, as a bride, start envisioning a beautiful wedding and the to-do list starts to formulate. It is said and proven that every bride has her own style. Whether the imagination takes your bridal mind to planning an intimate affair with a short guest list or embarking upon a grand venue with hundreds to invite, there are commonalities that all brides across the board share. Some of these include picking a date, choosing wedding bands and deciding on a color scheme. But the most common detail that all brides can expect to tend to is finding the dress.

Since each couple’s engagement period ranges, there’s no right or wrong answer when it comes to timing the planning of the big day. Some ladies put together a wedding in a month and others stretch out their journey over a year and or more. A lot of questions will need answers throughout that time. So when it comes to finding the wedding gown to fit your unique vision, there are a few guidelines when it comes to shopping. Here’s a friendly breakdown of the when and where to saying yes to a dress.

1. Typically, a wedding dress requires a lot of detailed work like hand stitched beading and delicately placed lace applications to altering length, bust and overall fit. Sound likes a lot of time might be necessary to construct such a piece of artwork, right? Right! Therefore, the answer to the question of when to start looking is… now! The average time it takes to get a gown into perfect shape for the big day is about six to eight months.

2. Bridal salons and boutiques work with vendors and designers that take special orders with attention to sizing and color. This means, it takes time to first find the gown, order it, and of course stitch it. Generally, an engagement period averages one year, leaving plenty of time to make your dream gown possible. However, if you’re having a short engagement, don’t panic! There are options for the quick and simple bride too.

For the time crunching bride: Often times a bridal store has a sample sale department. These dresses sell off the rack, as is, ready to wear. What you see is what you get—but you take it home with you that day. Sometimes these gowns need a little extra TLC including dry or spot cleaning, sewing a few missing rhinestones or repairing a zipper. That is why they are offered at a fantastic discount. In the event that your upcoming wedding doesn’t fit the six-month stitch time frame, sample sale is now a great option.

3. If you’re lucky enough to live in a city that has a longer list of bridal stores, finding the place to buy isn’t necessarily a problem. However, if you have to take a longer journey, timing is more of the essence. This brings up the next considerable option of buying online. The answer is, don’t do it! Hundreds of companies have sprung up online offering gowns at ridiculously low prices with unbelievably fast delivery and the promise of label perfection. More often than not, these companies are selling scams. For that, an easy rule of thumb: if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

Do your research before buying online!

Overall the best thing to do when you set out to buy a wedding gown is to have fun, don't stress and be excited because you're shopping for your wedding dress! Six months is a helpful guideline to go by. An additional two months allotted for alterations is another. Buying a dress off the rack is a great last minute solution. And when taking the risk of buying online, research reviews and the company’s history before you spend hundreds of your hard earned wedding fund on a disaster dress. Wedding gown shopping should be exciting and celebratory! So gather up your moms and girlfriends, get out there and say yes to that dress!


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© 2015 Megan Lloyd