How Long Before Your Wedding Should You Get Your Dress

How long before your wedding should you get your dress? Choosing the perfect wedding dress is a crucial part of planning your big day.

From finding the right style and fit to scheduling fittings and alterations, there are many factors to consider when it comes to getting your dress on time. In this article, we will discuss the importance of ensuring your wedding dress arrives on time and provide tips and information on the process of finding, ordering, and receiving your dream gown.

The search for the perfect wedding dress can be both exciting and overwhelming. With so many options available, it’s important to start the process early to allow enough time for finding the right style and fit that complements your body shape and personal style. This section will provide valuable tips for brides-to-be on choosing the perfect dress that makes them feel beautiful and confident on their special day.

Once you’ve found the perfect dress, understanding the timeline for ordering is essential. From the initial order to delivery, there are factors that can impact how long it takes for a wedding dress to arrive. We will delve into the details of the dress ordering process – whether from a bridal boutique or online retailer – and provide insight into how long it typically takes for a gown to be ready for fittings.

Finding the Perfect Dress

When it comes to finding the perfect wedding dress, there are several factors to consider. From the style and fit to the overall look and feel, choosing the right dress is essential for any bride. Here are some tips to help you find the perfect wedding dress:

1. Determine Your Style: Before starting your search for a wedding dress, take some time to think about the style you want. Do you prefer a classic ballgown, a sleek sheath dress, or a bohemian-inspired gown? Consider your personal style and the overall theme of your wedding when deciding on the silhouette that best suits you.

2. Focus on Fit: Finding a wedding dress that fits you perfectly is crucial. While it’s important to consider current trends and styles, don’t forget about finding a dress that flatters your body shape. Whether you’re looking for a dress that accentuates your curves or one that provides more coverage, focus on finding a gown that makes you feel comfortable and confident.

3. Set a Budget: Wedding dresses come in all price ranges, so it’s essential to set a budget before you start shopping. Consider all expenses related to your gown, including alterations and accessories. Keep in mind that additional costs such as veils, shoes, and undergarments should also be factored into your budget.

Once you’ve found the perfect dress that checks off all these boxes, it’s important to consider how long before your wedding should you get your dress ordered and delivered? This timeline will vary depending on whether you’re purchasing off-the-rack or custom-ordering your gown. Custom orders can take anywhere from 6-8 months for delivery, so be sure to plan accordingly.

The Dress Ordering Process

When it comes to ordering a wedding dress, timing is crucial. You want to ensure that your dream dress arrives in time for your special day without any last-minute stress. The process of ordering a wedding dress can vary depending on several factors, so it’s important to understand the timeline involved.

To give you an idea of how long it takes to order a wedding dress, here is a general timeline to consider:

  • Research and shopping: Before you place your order, you’ll need to spend some time researching different styles, visiting bridal boutiques, and trying on various dresses. This process can take anywhere from a few weeks to several months, depending on how decisive you are and how readily you find the perfect dress.
  • Ordering lead time: Once you’ve found “the one,” the actual order process typically takes around 6-8 months for most bridal designers. Some designers may offer rush options for an additional fee if your wedding date is closer than their standard production time.
  • Delivery and final fittings: After placing your order, you will also need to account for the shipping time from the designer to the bridal boutique or directly to you. This can take anywhere from a few days to a couple of weeks. Additionally, set aside at least 2-3 months before your wedding date for any necessary alterations and final fittings.

Keep in mind that these timelines are general estimates and can vary based on the designer, boutique, or online retailer. It’s always best to consult with the professionals involved in your dress order for more specific timing based on your unique situation. By understanding these timelines and planning ahead, you can ensure that your wedding dress arrives right on schedule for your special day.

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Scheduling Fittings

Once you’ve found the perfect wedding dress, the next step is to schedule the necessary fittings to ensure that it fits you like a glove on your big day. The number of fittings required can vary depending on several factors such as the type of dress, the alterations needed, and personal preferences. Typically, brides will need anywhere from two to four fittings before their wedding day.

The first fitting usually takes place about six to eight weeks before the wedding. During this initial fitting, the seamstress will take measurements and determine what alterations need to be made. The second fitting typically occurs around three to four weeks before the wedding date and allows for any final adjustments to be made. If necessary, a third and even fourth fitting may be scheduled closer to the wedding day for additional alterations or final tweaks.

It’s important to remember that each bride is unique and may require a different number of fittings based on their specific needs and preferences. Some brides may find that they only need two fittings while others might require more time for customizations or complex alterations. Ultimately, it’s crucial to work with an experienced seamstress or tailor who can guide you through the entire process and ensure that your dress fits perfectly for your special day.

FittingTiming Before Wedding
First Fitting6-8 weeks before
Second Fitting3-4 weeks before
Possible Third/Fourth FittingCloser to wedding date

Alterations and Customizations

When it comes to your wedding dress, alterations and customizations play a crucial role in ensuring that the dress fits you perfectly on your big day. From adjusting the hemline to taking in the waist, these alterations are essential for creating the ideal look that complements your body shape. Understanding the timeline for dress alterations is important as it can impact how far in advance you need to get your dress.

Timeline for Alterations

The timeline for dress alterations can vary depending on the complexity of the changes needed and the workload of the seamstress or tailor. Typically, brides should schedule their first fitting appointment around 2-3 months before their wedding. This allows enough time for any necessary alterations to be made without feeling rushed or stressed.

Customizations and Embellishments

If you plan to customize or embellish your wedding dress with additional beading, appliques, or embroidery, it’s important to factor in extra time for these details. Discuss your customization ideas with the boutique or designer when placing your order to ensure that they are able to accommodate your requests within the timeframe.

Final Fittings and Quality Check

As you approach your wedding date, you will likely have final fittings scheduled to make sure that all alterations and customizations have been completed accurately. It’s also advisable to do a quality check during this time to ensure that everything is perfect before taking your dress home.

By understanding the timeline for dress alterations and customizations, brides can effectively plan how long before their wedding they should get their dress. This allows ample time for any adjustments while minimizing stress and last-minute surprises, ensuring that the dress arrives perfectly on time for their special day.

Shipping and Delivery

When ordering your wedding dress online, there are several factors to consider when it comes to shipping and delivery. It’s important to factor in the time it will take for the dress to be made, shipped, and delivered to ensure it arrives in plenty of time for your big day.

One key consideration when ordering online is to check the estimated shipping times provided by the retailer. Be sure to factor in additional time for any unexpected delays that may occur during the shipping process.

Another important factor to consider when ordering your wedding dress online is the location of the retailer. If you are ordering from a retailer located overseas, you will need to account for longer shipping times and potential customs delays. It’s also important to consider any potential import taxes or duties that may apply when ordering from an international retailer. Be sure to research these costs before making your purchase to avoid any surprises.

Additionally, it’s crucial to plan for potential alterations once your dress has arrived. Even if you order a standard size, alterations may still be necessary to ensure the perfect fit. Factor in time for these alterations when planning the timeline for ordering your dress. By considering these factors and planning ahead, you can minimize the risk of any issues with shipping and delivery that could impact the arrival of your wedding dress before your big day.

What to Wear to a Wedding Woman
Estimated Shipping TimesCheck retailer’s estimated shipping times; Factor in additional time for unexpected delays.
Retailer LocationConsider longer shipping times for overseas retailers; Research potential import taxes or duties.
AlterationsPlan time for potential alterations; Even standard sizes may require adjustments.

Dealing With Delays

Communicate With the Boutique or Designer

If you’ve ordered your wedding dress and the expected delivery date is fast approaching, it’s important to stay in close communication with the boutique or designer. Check in regularly to get updates on the progress of your dress.

Ask about any potential delays and what measures are being taken to ensure that your gown will arrive on time. Keeping open lines of communication will help you stay informed and give you a chance to address any red flags before it’s too late.

Consider Alternative Options

In the unfortunate event that your wedding dress doesn’t arrive on time, it’s crucial to have a backup plan. Start exploring alternative options such as borrowing a dress from a friend or family member, checking out off-the-rack options at bridal boutiques, or even considering rental options. While it may not be ideal, having a backup plan will help alleviate some of the stress and anxiety caused by potential delays.

Stay Calm and Stay Flexible

Finally, if your wedding dress ends up being delayed despite all efforts to prevent it, try to stay calm and keep an open mind. It’s important to be flexible and remember that the most important thing is marrying the love of your life, not the specific details of your dress. Take a deep breath, focus on what truly matters, and know that everything will work out in the end.

And who knows? You might end up with an even more perfect dress than you originally planned for.


In conclusion, finding the perfect wedding dress is a crucial part of the wedding planning process. From choosing the right style and fit to ordering, scheduling fittings, alterations, and dealing with potential delays, there are several factors to consider to ensure that your dress arrives on time for the big day.

One of the most commonly asked questions by brides-to-be is “how long before your wedding should you get your dress?” The answer to this question depends on various factors such as whether you are purchasing a ready-made dress or having one custom-made, and if any alterations or customizations are needed.

Typically, it is recommended to start shopping for your wedding dress at least 6-9 months before the wedding date. This allows ample time for selecting the perfect gown, placing the order, scheduling fittings, and making any necessary alterations.

It’s important to remember that every detail matters when it comes to planning a wedding. By following these tips and understanding the timeline for getting your wedding dress, you can minimize stress and ensure that your dream dress arrives perfectly on time for your special day.

Whether you choose to order online or visit a bridal boutique, staying organized and allowing plenty of time for the process will ultimately make the experience more enjoyable and less stressful. After all, when your wedding day arrives, you want to be able to focus on celebrating with loved ones rather than worrying about whether your dress will arrive in time.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Early Should You Buy Your Wedding Dress?

The ideal time to buy your wedding dress is typically around 6-9 months before your wedding date. This will give you enough time to find the perfect dress, allow for any necessary alterations, and reduce stress as the big day approaches.

Is 9 Months Too Late to Get a Wedding Dress?

While 9 months may be considered a bit late in the wedding dress shopping timeline, it is still possible to find a dress within this time frame, especially if you are flexible with your options. Many bridal shops offer rush orders or have off-the-rack options available for those with shorter timelines.

Is 4 Months Enough Time for a Wedding Dress?

Four months can be enough time to find a wedding dress if you are focused and organized in your search. It’s important to select a dress that requires minimal alterations, or to work closely with a seamstress who can accommodate a shorter timeframe.

Keep in mind that some designers may have longer lead times for ordering dresses, so it’s best to start shopping as soon as possible within that 4-month window.

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