For those of you getting engaged in December, and there are a lot of you, I thought it might be helpful to go over some of our timeline information for bridal gowns and bridesmaid dresses. It’s really important to keep timelines in mind when you are planning your wedding. You’ve probably never had to make so many decisions so far in advance of one particular day, so it’s good to know what you are up against.
In general, bridal gowns take anywhere from three to six months to arrive after they have been ordered. Sometimes they can come in much faster, but there is really no way to tell that in advance. This has to do with the way designers work and the particular schedules they use to manufacture each dress. It’s important to remember that unlike just about anything you have ever ordered, your bridal gown does not exist before you order it. It is not made specifically to your measurements like a custom gown, but it is still made for you. Because of the range that gowns can take to come in we usually recommend planning on the full six months just in case.
Does that mean you should wait until six months before the wedding to order your gown? Not if you can avoid it because you need to leave time to have the gown altered. We recommend starting your fittings six to eight weeks before your wedding, so if you’re keeping track, the cutoff to order your gown is eight months before your wedding. If you can make your decision sooner than that it can save you form stress in the end because having a little safety net of time is really nice.
Of course if you don’t have eight months to work with there’s no need to panic. There are always ways around these timelines and deadlines. If your wedding is close or if you are planning a short engagement then it can rally help to speak with a bridal consultant. She can point you towards certain gowns that may arrive faster or certain designer who ship faster. There is also usually the option of paying a rush fee in order to get a gown in in time.
Ok, so you’re pretty clear on your gown, but how about bridesmaid dresses? They can take between three to four months to arrive depending on the designer. They work much the same way that bridal gowns do and it’s important to remember again that each dress does not exist until your bridal party orders it. We’ve found that the ideal timeline for ordering bridesmaid dresses it right around six months before the wedding. You can wait a little longer, but not much. This is especially true if you have out-of-town bridesmaids. You have to factor in the time it takes to ship gowns from here to them, and the time it takes to have them altered in each place.
Again, if you are under six months there is no cause to panic. There are still options and rush fess available for your girls too, but it’s definitely easier to take care of things earlier.
Keep in mind that these are all guidelines and there are always exceptions, but as long as you understand the general time frame it will help make all your shopping and planning that much easier. It’s also easier to make decisions sooner rather than later. I know that can be hard for a lot of brides, but trust me, a little “decision making stress” is way better than “I hope everything arrives in time” stress.