Here’s the Only Wedding Dress Shopping Timeline You’ll Ever Need

Photo by Julia Solodovnikova

It can be tough to know when to purchase your wedding dress. After all, buying it too far in advance means your body and taste might both change leading up to the big day. However, waiting too long means you may not have enough time to find your perfect dress, and it could lead to feeling stressed and panicked. So, when is the perfect time to begin wedding dress shopping? We’ve got all the answers right here!

Months Before the Wedding

Ideally, you can have your dream dress picked out nine months before the wedding. Wedding dress designer and retailer, Sydney Dunbar, explains that having your dress picked out six to nine months before the big day “allows for a good amount of relaxation for the shopping experience.” Five months before the wedding is when you’ll probably want to start looking for accessories. Keep in mind the venue, time of year, and dress style when picking out the items that you’ll wear along with your wedding dress. At the three-month mark, your wedding dress should be finished at the salon. Dunbar points out, “If you’re having a destination wedding or doing bridal portraits, that effectively becomes your wedding date because you need your dress for that time. A lot of brides also prefer to have their dress completely done a month before their wedding just so the fit is perfect and there are no changes in the body.”

Weeks Before the Wedding

The ideal time to schedule your first fitting is six to eight weeks before the wedding. It’s advised to bring along some of the bridesmaids so they can see how to properly help you handle your dress. The second fitting should take place four weeks before the wedding. You can also finalize any last-minute accessories at this point as well. Make sure to bring your wedding-day undergarments to this fitting, just to make sure everything meets your expectations. If you need a third fitting, that should take place two weeks before the wedding. This is also when you should try on your entire wedding outfit, including shoes, accessories, and undergarments, in order to check that everything is perfect. If you’re traveling for your wedding, you should have the salon pack your dress accordingly one week before the big day.

The Wedding Day

On your wedding day, unpack your dress, hang it somewhere it can air out, and steam out any wrinkles. If you prefer to have a professional do this, many salons offer day-of services for an extra fee.

Photo by Daniel Moises Magulado

Either way, if you follow this guide, your dress will be ready in time in the least stressful way possible!