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Clear your diary… it’s time to go wedding dress shopping


Wedding dress shopping timeline

Not sure how long finding a wedding gown takes or when you should start looking? Our wedding dress shopping timeline reveals exactly what you need to do and when! That dream wedding dress will soon be yours!


2–18 months until your wedding day – Gathering dress inspiration
The dress, along with your venue, will probably be one of your first and most exciting projects as a newly-enrolled bride-to-be. Researching designers and dress styles on Instagram and Pinterest is a great place to start.  You will be calmer and more relaxed if you have shortlisted your favourite designers and know which boutiques stock them.

This is also the time to think about the B word. How much are you willing to spend on The Dress? If you fall in love with one that’s over budget, are you going to be able to make cuts elsewhere? And if your dress budget is limited, you may want to look at pre-loved, vintage or high-street options, but make sure you factor in the cost of alterations.



9–12 months until your wedding day – Trying on dresses and choosing your dress
With your wedding date set, you’ll be ready to start actually shopping – yay! But before you invite your whole wedding party, think about it carefully. Choose the people closest to you who will give you an honest opinion.   And when it comes to which dresses to try, keep an open mind. Experiment, but don’t over-experiment. Think of what shapes you usually wear that enhance your natural assets, and once you have a few different styles in mind, start trying. The shape that suits you will become apparent as you will feel instantly more confident.
Should you stick to boutiques or is it ok to buy your gown online? Stay away from the temptation, I have seen brides in tears when their wedding gown arrives in a padded envelope via the post! When it looks too good to be true, it most often is.



3–6 months until your wedding day – Choosing your bridal accessories and shoes
Once you’ve found your dress and paid the deposit, it’s a good idea to start shopping for your accessories. Shoes are essential at the first dress fitting to set the length and see your proportions in high or low heels.  Your underwear will also affect the fit of your dress, so grab a girlfriend and spend a day trying on bras, corsets, all-in-ones and support pants if necessary.



3 months until your wedding day – Going for fittings
It’s time to see your actual dress for the first time since you chose it all those months ago and have it tailored to your shape. There are usually three fittings in the run-up to the day – avoid crash diets from this point on, and make sure you take your shoes and lingerie to the first one. Jewellery and veils, however, can wait until your last fitting.
A first fitting is normally around 11 weeks prior to your wedding date.  Fittings tend to last an hour and a half and it’s a good idea to take a friend who understands the vision of how you want to look on your day.


3 weeks until your wedding day – Picking up your dress and storing it
Although final fittings vary between boutiques,  you can expect to have a final fitting and collect your gown around one week before the big day. We always recommend storing the gown in the provided garment bag until your wedding day.  Should your dress get creased, hang it in a steamy bathroom to help smooth out any crinkles. Before the day, try it on with all your accessories and practise walking around in it (just make sure your hands are clean!). Once the W-day arrives, allow plenty of time to get dressed so that you feel happy and confident as you step out the door.

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© 2016 Emma Bovington