Follow this complete wedding dress timeline to ensure that when you walk down the aisle, there isn’t a hair out of place and you can focus on enjoying the big day. Finding a dress that suits the event and your personality is a challenge, and it is even harder when you are stressed for time. With these easy steps, finding, fitting and refitting your perfect dress will be a carefree task.
12 Months: Planning and Vision
This should be done a year in advance. Sounds like a lot? This is because, at the beginning of the entire wedding planning process, you are organising budgets, locations, guests, and need to know how the expenditure of a dress fits into that. Now is the time to set your expectations and plan a budget that is reasonable for your needs.
Decide what sort of theme you will be aiming for. It doesn’t need to be exact, but your dress should tie into the location of the vow ceremony and the reception. Thinking of a coastal wedding? Then a choice of beach wedding dresses might be perfect to catch a sea breeze. Getting married in a more traditional setting? Then a dress with a train and long sleeves might be more appropriate.
Don’t count on handouts either, although family members and friends will sometimes offer to contribute for the big day, it is better to start smaller and be surprised later. It is always easier to expand a budget, but it’s tough to squeeze one.
12-8 Months: Purchase Your Dress
Purchasing a dress involves finding appropriate shops, conventions and boutiques to visit, as well as checking out online stores. Here are some tips on how to buy a wedding dress online.
Parents can get invested in this process and it is not unusual for the bride to go with some family members or some of the bridal party when trying on a dress. Organising days out with multiple people should be done sooner rather than later and advise viewers that you won’t cancel if they can’t make it.
On a side note, this is also a good time to start looking for and booking a photographer. Some venues have good photographers they book frequently, or you might prefer to find your own photographer. Whoever it is, you will want someone who can make your new dress shine. Here are some tips on what to look for when hiring a wedding photographer.
8-5 Months: Find Accessories and Undergarments
Now that you have made the main purchase, the hard work is done! This a great stage of the wedding planning where the vision of your wedding is really coming together. With the main purchase out of the way, you can assess how much more or less funds you have towards other pieces you need for the day. This includes shoes, stockings, underwear, garters, a veil and jewellery.
This is also the time to slowly alter any lifestyle behaviours you want to change to look your best for the big day. You might have a target weight goal or body image. Consider, instead of a more expensive accessory, hiring a personal trainer who can work with your body to set and achieve healthy image goals.
3-1 Months: First, Second and Third Fittings
Fitting a dress to your body is an iterative process, and you may need to schedule time for up to three fittings. When trying on your garment for the first time, think about how long you want the skirt to be, whether your shoes work with the length and which accessories work and which you need to change.
This can be a thrilling and sensitive time for many brides to be as this is the first time they will have seen a garment made to fit their body. It is an emotional moment to see your dress on and realise that you will be devoting your life to another person. Bring someone with you who you feel comfortable around in case there are a few tears!
So good luck! Buying a dress is a wonderful process and should be fun from start to finish. With a little bit of preparation, you can sidestep the stress associated with wedding shopping and breeze through the buying process.