when is a good time to start dress shopping?

posted 3 years ago in Dress
Post # 3
Member
6279 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: October 2013

start looking now by browsing websites to get a feel for what you want.

i wouldn’t look too early because styles changes and your tastes change. 

i had an 8 month engagement and started looking at dresses once we booked our venue.

i went a few places, some said 8 months to order, others said 3 months.  the place i bought my dress was 5 months. 

i didn’t have the luxary of time, but girls i met in the stores were shopping for dresses 2 years in the future.

 

Post # 4
Member
2657 posts
Sugar bee

There’s really no right time to start shopping.  I bought mine last month with 13 months to go and I felt it was a little early.  If you are in love with certain designers, you may want to see how long it takes for their dresses to be made, because it varies by designer.  I know someone whose dress took 11 months from the time she ordered until it arrived for the first fitting, and that was apparently normal for that designer.  But other designers will take much less; my Sophia Tolli dress is supposed to take about 5 months, for comparison.  But if you’re unsure of designer or style, you can be more flexible and can get away with waiting a bit longer to buy.

Post # 5
Member
641 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: April 2015

Whenever you’re ready, just make sure you leave at least 8 months before the wedding for the dress to be ordered and made. My wedding is a couple of weeks before yours and I’ve already ordered my dress. I was worried that maybe I was jumping the gun a bit, maybe I’d fall in love with something else but I know on my heart this is the dress I want to meet my Love down the isle with… and a bonus, I have all this time to pay it off otherwise I wouldn’t have spent so much on it.

Post # 6
Member
433 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: April 2015

@casey219:  I started browsing in April, found many styles that I liked, and had trouble locating a lot of them in stores near me. I’ve just started looking in stores and my wedding is a few days after yours. I’ve found that some of the ones I thought I loved didn’t look good on me and some of the styles I thought I’d hate did look good. I know it’s going to take a while for me to actually make a decision so I’m glad I started looking early in order to avoid the stress later. I want to have one picked out by April at the very latest, but hopefully even before that so I can pay it off earlier like PP suggested.

Post # 7
Member
300 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: August 2014

@casey219:  I would suggest shopping around a year before the wedding – that gives you lots of time to find something (most stores will say you need to order about 8 months before the big day).  But it isn’t so far in advance that you will have a wandering eye and possibly change your mind! 

Post # 8
Member
563 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: September 2013 - Pavilion at Rocky Neck State Park

I would say start to get a feel for what you like in a dress, but I wouldn’t start actually shopping for the dress till 8-9 months before the wedding. You never know what dresses may come out in the next year or so

Post # 9
Member
7997 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: December 2013

According to Say Yes to the Dress, the closest to the wedding you should buy a dress is 8 months or so, because it takes time to order them in.

I would make sure you have a venue first so that you have an idea of how formal you want the wedding to be. Like you’d get a different style of dress if you had your wedding on a beach vs. in a cathedral followed by ballroom dancing or whatever.

If you don’t want to order your dress in, you can look even closer to the wedding, and buy something off the rack. I would give yourself *some* breathing room, though.. like if you need any kind of alterations. Like don’t leave it to the last week before (not that you would).

Post # 10
Member
1243 posts
Bumble bee

@casey219:  Personally, I think a year in advance is fine IF you are the type who does not hold these romantic notions that it’s not the right dress unless you are a blubbering mess of tears when you see yourself in it. (For mosto f us, that does not happen, and if we waited until it did, we’d still be looking).

I bought mine in September of last year.  It took 3 months to come in (some can take longer, but generally not more than 6).  Most salons will not store them for you, so if you have it too early, you best be prepared to have somewhere to keep it.  I never had dress regret, but I think if I had bought it 2 years in advance, I would have been much more likely to second guess it, simply because every wedding magazine and wedding forum is full of pictures of dresses.

Post # 11
Member
637 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: May 2014

@casey219:  My wedding is May 3 next year and I started looking for/bought my dress mid-May of this year. I’d say start gathering ideas of what you like (fabrics, silhouettes, designers, etc.) and go and try some on, to see what looks good on you. You have a ton of time to casually browse and that’s a great thing!

Post # 12
Member
2209 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: May 2014

I started looking 11 months out and bought 8 month out.  🙂  Depending on the dress and the designer, you could go as little as 6 months out and still be OK.  i.e. the tag on my dress said it takes 3-4 months to make + 2 months for alterations = 5-6 months out.

Post # 13
Member
351 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: November 2013

I would say go around the year mark to be safe. It could take a few weeks, it could be fast for you to find your dress but you want to give yourself time for the process. More importantly, some designers take 11-12 months, some are more like 3-4. But if you want to be open to all options, then I would start looking around that point. 

My dress took about 7.5 months but I have a friend and hers took 11 months. 

Post # 14
Member
1060 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: October 2012

@casey219:  I purchased mine a year in advance. It took 7 months to come in. When it arrived there was a defect with the dress and it had to be sent back to be remade which took another 2 months. So when it came in the second time I had 3 months to get alterations (a decent amount of time to allow them to do their other clients as well).

 

So basically, I think you should start now. A year isn’t too early because sometimes dresses take a long time to make/arrive in store.

Post # 15
Member
384 posts
Helper bee

I ordered mine in Jan/Feb- 13/14 months out. I didnt come in until this summer at the end of July. I tried it on and already had them sew cups in. First fitting is in Nov. I would say a year is a good time to start looking.

Post # 16
Member
3618 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: October 2013

@casey219:  I got my dress a year in advance. Keep in mind that I got a floor sample and had no need to wait on it being made. I check on it three times a month to remind myself what it looks like and what I love about it. Two months out I took it to alterations and am currently still waiting on it. Just give yourself plenty of time to alter and size the dress

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