Your wedding dress is one of the most important details of your big day—so naturally it follows that it can also be a big source of stress. Will you find the right one? What style will fit you best? Who should you bring with you to shop? These are all questions we will be tackling in future posts, but today, we are focusing on one of the most asked questions from our brides: when do you start shopping for your dream dress?
The simplest answer to this question is that you should start shopping for your wedding gown ten months prior to your wedding. Aim to make your final decision and place the order for your dress with at least eight months lead time.
Although these are typical time frames you will encounter, below we outline a few details brides should consider when ordering a custom gown, that may alter this timeline:
#1 CONSULT WITH YOUR DESIGNER
Every designer has a slightly different schedule for the final delivery of a custom gown. Make sure to personally check with the designer—or designers—you are considering having make your dress and ask them for specifics about their turn around time.
#2 CONSIDER YOUR WEDDING DATE
Depending on the month you plan to get married, the season may affect the length of time it takes to make your dress. During the more popular months, designers tend to be busier and often have longer completion times.
#3 CALCULATE FOR CUSTOMIZATIONS
The beauty of having a custom wedding dress made is that you get a say in all the specifics! For some brides, simplicity is key; but for others, it is all about the intricate details. If you decide to incorporate design elements into your gown that will take the designer additional time to finish, make sure to account for this when placing your order. Also, if you plan to incorporate unique fabrics or materials that require extra time for the designer to source, plan for that as well.
#4 ACCOUNT FOR FITTINGS OR TRAVEL TIME
One benefit of choosing a custom gown is that every inch of the dress is tailored just for you; this also means that designers are paying much closer attention during every step of the design process to how a dress matches your body shape and features. Depending on the style, fabrics, detailing, or accessories you choose, it may be that your dress requires an extra fitting to make sure it is just right. One last thing, do not forget to consider travel time for fittings especially if your designer is not in your location.
#5 LEAVE TIME FOR SHIPPING AND DELIVERY
With the growth in technology, and ability to connect with people from afar, it is very possible to order a wedding gown from a designer who do not live nearby. (See our post 5 Questions to Consider When Choosing a Designer for more.) If you are ordering your dress from an outside location, do not forget to account for the time it will take to ship and deliver your dress. We recommend giving yourself at least two- or three-weeks buffer between your wedding date and the expected arrival of your dress. This will also give you time to try everything on one final time!
There is some misconception that having a custom wedding gown designed takes much longer than ordering from a store or boutique; however, that is not the case! As we have discussed, there are a few details that may cause your timeline to be extended, but often the process follows a typical time frame.
Shop early, do your research, and do not be afraid to reach out to designers to get a more specific look into their process! For more on our process specifically see our post The PMN Design Process. And as always, please reach out with any questions you might have.