Wedding Dress Timeline: Start to Finish

You just got engaged! Congratulations! You’ve got so much to do now regarding your wedding. The most exciting part would have to be buying your wedding dress. You must have thought about this moment for a long time and in order to make sure everything goes smoothly, you should start planning and shopping early. Before you can take a dress home, you have find, order, and alter your dress. We’ve created a wedding dress timeline to help you get the dress of your dreams in time for your wedding. We’ve planned it out about 12 months before the wedding day. 

12 Months

Set a Budget

You can’t start wedding dress shopping without determining how much you want to budget. It can be heartbreaking to have your sights on a wedding dress that’s out of your price range. Choosing a budget will help your bridal consultant guide you to the right dresses. Your dress budget shouldn’t just include the dress, but consider the cost of alterations, tax, shipping (if applicable), shoes, veil, and accessories

Do Your Research

In order to make the most out your time, figure out what you like and don’t like. You don’t need to figure what exact silhouette or style you want. You just need a sense of which dress styles best match your personal style and the fabrics, necklines, silhouettes, and details your interested in. Save photos or make a Pinterest board of whatever resonates with you. The type of venue you want can be helpful in narrowing down a look or considering which silhouettes fit your body shape. Any research you do will help you narrow down your options, but keep an open mind! Your bridal consultant, friends, and family will be there to help you find the perfect dress. You might even end up with a dress that surprises you. Make your first bridal appointment!

9 Months

Buy Your Dress

Now is the time to say “yes” to the dress. You should make your final decision and put down a deposit! This may seem a little early but, most wedding dresses are custom-ordered, meaning they need to be created and then shipped to your salon. This process can take up to 12 to 20 weeks. Your salon will let you know as soon as it’s ready.

6 Months

Choose Your Wedding Shoes

Wearing these to your fittings will make it easier to get proper measurements for any needed alterations, such as hemming. When choosing the height of your shoes, consider how long you’ll be on your feet. You have a plethora of options when it comes to deciding on your wedding shoe from a daring heel to an ankle-strap sandal to a comfy sneaker.

Get Your Undergarments

Before you make that fitting appointment, you need to purchase any undergarments that you’ll be wearing. Undergarments can include your bra, body shapers, and slips. Consider your dress’s neckline, bodice, and back when searching for the right pieces. You might want to add some fluff and bounce in your skirt with a petticoat.

Decide On Your Accessories

It’s all in the details! It’s best to know exactly what you want in advance, especially since you’ve already chosen your dress. Before alterations, decide on if you want to add a sash or any other adornments onto your dress. At this point you can also choose which hair accessories and jewelry that you’ll be wearing on the day of your wedding. Are you going to go for a veil or any embellished hair pieces?

3 Months

Have Your First Fitting

Your dress is here and you’ll be putting it on for the first time! Don’t forget to bring your shoes, undergarments and any accessories you’d like to try on with your dress to the first fitting. You can also let your tailor know about any additions or substitutions you want to make to the dress such as, adding sleeves or changing the closure.

You’ll most likely make multiple fitting appointments. It’s important to get the timing of each alterations appointment right. Scheduling your fittings too early may result with a dress that doesn’t fit properly—your body may fluctuate in weight. If you bring your gown in too late, there won’t be enough time for alterations. At each fitting, pay attention to how your dress feels and let your tailor know about your concerns.

6 to 8 Weeks

Have Your Second Fitting

All the hard work was done during your first fitting. The second fitting is when you get to see your changes come together and see if any minor revisions that need to be made. Make sure you walk around the salon to guarantee you’re happy with the length, fit and any other alterations made.

2 to 3 Weeks

Have Your Final Fitting

Your dress is in it’s final form and you might want to bring some tissues! You’re going to see yourself so close to what you’ll see on your wedding day! Bring someone special to bask in this moment with you! At this point you can bring your dress home and stare at it. Just make sure you store it away from your significant other and store it safely in a breathable bag.

1 Day

Make Sure You Have Everything

Your wedding is 24 hours away! Keep all your pieces together to ensure you don’t forget anything on your big day. It also allows you to transport everything to your venue easier. An optional tool to have on hand is a steamer to get those wrinkles out.

Wedding Day

Be Beautiful!

It’s your big day! With your steamer on hand, make sure your dress is wrinkle-free! It would be wise to have your hair and makeup done before you get dressed. You’ll need about 30 minutes to get dressed and don’t worry you don’t have to do it alone—your bridesmaids are there! After that you can relax and get married! Congratulations! 

Contributor: Ann Dinh

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