Whether you’ve set a date or you’re waiting to, you’re probably wondering about the “right” wedding dress planning timeline for brides! While this timeline is absolutely negotiable, here’s our list of timeline suggestions. Read on and discover the Wedding Shoppe’s expert wedding dress planning tips!
12 (Or More) Months Before Your Wedding
The first thing to know about wedding dress shopping (and wedding planning as a whole) is that the earlier you can do something, the better! There are a lot of boxes to check off before your special day, and getting things done a little early can go a long way to relieving stress.
At this stage, one of the most important things to decide is your wedding dress budget. You can only do this once you have an idea of your total wedding budget, so make that first if you haven’t already. The average wedding cost breakdown has wedding attire accounting for about 5-7% of your total budget. Remember, you’ll want to budget for more than the dress! Save room for accessories, alterations, and shipping costs, if needed.
Even though you probably have style ideas in mind already, it’s never a bad idea to research current trends. That way, you’ll see some dresses you love and some you want to avoid—every bit of information will help your stylist find you the dress of your dreams.
Finally, it’s around the 12-month mark that you should decide on your dress-shopping entourage and appointment date!
10-12 Months Before Your Wedding
Now that you’re 10 to 12 months away from your wedding, it’s time to actually put down a deposit on your wedding gown. First of all, congratulations! However, you might be wondering why it’s important to buy the dress so far in advance—it’s because wedding dresses can take up to 6 months to arrive at your salon (although the average time is closer to 20 weeks).
6 Months Before Your Wedding
At 6 months out, get ready to accessorize! You should pick out your shoes, undergarments, and decide what jewelry, adornments, and hair accessories you want to incorporate into your final look. It’s good to have all these things planned out so you can bring them to your first fitting and make sure everything works together.
3 Months Before Your Wedding
At around the 3-month mark, your wedding dress will arrive at your salon! You should plan to have around three fittings before your wedding, and this is your first. The initial alterations fitting is the biggest one, so be prepared to spend a little while in the shop tweaking things like the sleeves, neckline, and hem.
6-8 Weeks Before Your Wedding
Fitting number two, here you come! Around two months before your wedding, you’ll try on your dress for a second time and make sure all the alterations from round one are to your liking. That way, there’s plenty of time to make small changes so everything is perfect.
2 Weeks Before Your Wedding
Two or three weeks before your wedding, go in for a final fitting and ensure your dress is to your liking. You may need one final tweak or two, and then you’ll take your dress home (or store it somewhere with a bit of space).
One of our favorite wedding dress planning tips is to spend a little time walking around in your wedding shoes—this helps you avoid slips and trips on your big day.
Your Wedding Day
Put on your dress and have a magical day!
Now that you have this wedding dress planning timeline for brides, enjoy this time! There are a lot of moving parts to keep track of, but make sure you stop every once in a while and breathe it all in. Enjoy this coming year, reserve your bridal suite, and, once again, congratulations!