When Should I Order My Wedding Dress?

when should you order your wedding dress

One of the best parts of getting married and planning a wedding is all the fashion! The dress, the shoes, the veil – it is all so beautiful! Oh the shopping and researching that brides get to do to prep for their wedding is so fun! But, it is a lot. It is a lot to think about and much of it you need to prepare and order in advance of your wedding. (For example, when it comes to my couture wedding garter heirlooms, it can take up to a month for me to hand make each one.) So, before you get too overwhelmed with the bridal fashion details, are you wondering when you should order your wedding dress? When should you start researching your wedding dress and how long does it take to come into the dress shop?

Wait, I have to order my wedding dress? I can't just go to the store, buy one and go home with it that day?

bride in lace wedding dress- when should you order wedding dress

Photo Credit: Renee Hollingshead Photography

Oh yes, there are so many things to think about in advance of your wedding! The fashion (and the cake tasting!) is definitely a really fun part of being a bride, but the to-do's and the overwhelm can pile up really quickly when you are planning a wedding. If you've never planned a wedding before, it can seem like a lot to-do and you don't know where to start. And, then you go on Pinterest or you pick up a bridal magazine and you are on inspiration over load because there are so many ideas and things to think about, and you start to feel like you are missing out. You just don't know where to start!

Does this feel familiar to you? Are you overwhelmed by all the wedding to-do's?

I'm here to help and that's why I wrote The Ultimate Bridal Fashion Timeline. It is a completely free timeline for what the bride needs to order and when so she doesn't miss anything when it comes to wedding day fashion. Th wedding dress is just one small part of the bride's fashion. In the timeline, I go into it all – the shoes, the bag, the rehearsal dinner outfit, the morning of the wedding attire – all of it!

But, just for today in this post, I'm going to give you the inside scoop on when to order your wedding dress. You'll have to get The Ultimate Bridal Fashion Timeline for all of the other bridal fashion details! 

Just Be You

There are many different styles and options for wedding dresses. You can wear anything you want on your wedding day. You don't have to wear the big, long white wedding dress if that isn't your personal style. I've seen some incredible brides in jumpsuits, bright red dresses and purple dresses. The most important thing for any bride is to stay true to who you are on your wedding day. Honor your personal style and be confident in who you are!

So Many Dresses

If you are short on time or the typical wedding dress isn't your style, you can pick out a wedding dress and take it home with you that day. This usually involves finding a dress at a department-type store or your favorite clothing store. Some of the most incredible wedding dresses I've seen are normal, everyday (i.e. not wedding dresses) dresses that just happen to be off white and they are amazing!

You can also go home that day with a wedding dress if you find it at a clearance sale or a sample sale at a bridal salon where they tell you in advance that you can take your dress home with you. In this case, you might find a great deal on a dress that was meant to be!

From a Bridal Dress Shop

If you are interested in a wedding dress from a bridal boutique or salon, you will have to order your dress in advance. Typically, around 9 months before your wedding. You'll go into the store (most likely with an appointment), try dresses on until you find "the one," and then you'll place the order for the dress you want. At that time, the shop will tell you how long it will take for your dress to arrive.

You should start your wedding dress research as early as possible to give yourself the most options. Research can be online, in magazines, or going into different boutiques to try on dresses. When you find a dress or a designer that you want to try on in a magazine, on a blog or on a wedding website, you'll have to research the boutiques in your area that carry that designer and that dress. Even if a shop carries a designer, you need to call ahead to make sure that they have the particular dress you want to try on. Not all shops carry all styles of every single designer.

Ordering Your Dress

Place your wedding dress order around 9 months before your wedding. This will give it plenty of time to have your dress made for you, which usually takes 3 months or so. Trust your bridal salon to give you the best guidance for when to order your dress. They will know best and how each wedding dress designer works.

Most wedding dresses from bridal salons are made-to-order, which means the dress designer doesn't carry a stock of dresses. They will make your dress just for you after you place your order. You will be measured before you order, and you'll give them a size, but your dress will still need alternations once it arrives in the shop. This ensures that your dress fits you like a glove!


Do you have more questions about your bridal fashion? Are you totally overwhelmed and don't know where to start? I got your back and I wrote The Ultimate Bridal Fashion Timeline  to help brides answer bridal fashion questions like when to order your wedding dress and so much more.

In this timeline, I go into detail about when to begin researching your bridal shoes and what you need to have with you at your first wedding dress fitting and what you'll need to wear the morning of your wedding and so much more!

The fashion part of being a bride is definitely one of the most fun parts, but there is a lot to remember. There are just so many things for the bride to think about, not to mention all of the other wedding planning to-do's that are most likely piling up.

Get yourself a free copy of The Ultimate Bridal Fashion Timeline so you know what to order when and don't miss out for your wedding.

Remember, you can shop my wedding garter collection anytime or get in touch with via email at info@thegartergirl.com about a bridal garter heirloom you'll love forever!

bride holding lace wedding garter - when to order wedding dress advice