The wedding dress is a crucial aspect of your wedding day.
However, deciding on it can be hectic.
Besides wanting to find the dress of your dreams, you don’t want to buy it too early or too late.
So when should you start looking for your wedding gown? Keep reading to find out.
So, Is 18 Months Too Early to Buy a Wedding Dress?
No, 18 months isn’t too early to go wedding dress shopping. Please don’t start shopping if you haven’t decided on the wedding date and booked your venue. These factors, along with the season and style of the wedding, will influence which dress you buy. If you shop for a dress before deciding on the venue and date, you risk purchasing a design that won’t suit the aesthetic of this day.
The Timeline for Your Wedding Dress Shopping
12+ Months Before the Wedding
1. Decide On The Budget
The wedding dress cost will be roughly 6% of the total budget.
But besides the cost of the wedding dress, also put money aside for the taxes, shipping/rush fees, and alterations.
You may not need to pay for these things, but it is still wise that you’re prepared.
On top of that, budget for accessories like the wedding veil, shoes, and jewelry.
2. Do Your Research
Research the different styles of wedding gowns. Don’t start shopping for a dress before you picture the kind you like.
We aren’t saying you become an expert at wedding dresses overnight, but have an idea of the fabrics, dress necklines, and dress silhouettes before time.
With this information, your stylist will know what to offer.
3. Wedding Venue
It’s also wise to consider your wedding venue when choosing the style of your wedding gown.
For instance, a fussy dress isn’t suitable for a beach wedding. Instead, opt for a comfortable, unfussy gown.
But if your wedding is in a hotel, opt for a formal ball gown.
Researching the different styles can help you have an idea of what you want.
But allow your bridal consultant to work with you on a garment that suits your body type, body, and personal style.
4. Book Your Dress Shopping Appointment
Now you have a clue about the various wedding styles available.
Next, look for a bridal salon that offers what you have in mind within a price range you can afford.
Read reviews of bridal salons within your location and check their websites and social media to know their styles.
After, book an appointment with various shops. For starters, don’t book more than two locations.
Otherwise, you may overwhelm yourself. Then, prepare to fit the dresses for the first time.
Decide who will be present when you are shopping. It is usually advisable to bring a small group of people close to you, like your mom, sister(s), or bridesmaids.
However, only carry a few people as too many varied opinions can make your shopping confusing.
Plus, some salons limit how many people you can take to the wedding shopping. Three or four people maximum is enough.
8-10 Months Before the Wedding
If you are remaining with 8-10 months before the wedding, now is the best time to:
Buy The Wedding Dress
You will know you have the right dress if you cannot take it off.
Once you purchase your dress, you will sign a contract and give a deposit, which is usually 50% of the total price of the wedding dress.
Before signing in your contract, ensure you ask all the questions you have to ascertain that you have the correct information.
Ask the salon when the wedding dress will likely arrive to plan your schedule.
It is usually 16-20 weeks from when you place the order. Also, ask them how they will communicate when the dress arrives and about other issues that may arise.
5-6 Months Before the Wedding
Now that you’ve already bought the dress, you can begin buying your inner garments, that is, bra, shapewear, and other essentials you plan on wearing.
Remember that wearing the right garment significantly influences your dress’s appearance and feelings at your wedding.
This is also the right time to buy the accessories you plan on wearing. You will also need your accessories, especially the shoes when doing your first fitting.
The sewist will need to know the room they have for adjusting the hem depending on your shoe’s height.
If you are wearing heels, they won’t need to change it too much. But if wearing flats/sneakers, they will have more room to adjust.
Note that a wedding veil is not a must-have for the wedding. Make sure you bring one to your first appointment.
3. Hair And Makeup
Your wedding dress should influence the hair and makeup.
For instance, for a gown that’s more detailed at the back, choose an updo hairstyle that allows you to showcase it.
3-4 Months Before the Wedding
By this time, your wedding dress has probably arrived. So, carry the remaining amount when you go to pick it up.
You should also contact a professional seamstress for future alterations.
Remember, you will probably need three alteration fittings.
Therefore, don’t do the alterations too early or too late.
The first appointment should be at least three months before the wedding.
The second can be 6-8 weeks prior, and the final 2-3 weeks.
18 months is not too early to shop for a wedding dress.
Note that many dresses take time to arrive.
Plus, you will need to do some alterations since wedding gowns are designed for the standard bride, which not many people fall into this category.
Therefore, the earlier you shop and buy your gown, the more prepared you will be.