When to Buy a Wedding Dress

Once you get engaged, wedding planning kicks into full gear. While planning consists of plenty of moving parts, small details, and careful attention, one of the biggest components is choosing your dress—so it’s important that you time buying your dress correctly so that you don’t have to worry about running out of time for the dress to come in before your wedding day! To get a better idea of when you should start searching, here’s our breakdown of the timeline for purchasing a wedding dress:

When You Get Engaged


After you get engaged and begin planning your wedding, you should start thinking about where you might want to shop for dresses. It seems early to start thinking about it, but trust us: you’ll want to start now! Once you have a date and a venue locked down, make your appointment as soon as possible. We recommend waiting to shop until you’ve settled on a venue, so that you have a better idea of what your wedding day will look like and what your dress will be surrounded by. 

12 Months Before


Generally, you’ll need at least 12 months between purchasing your dress and your wedding day to be sure you’ve got enough time for the dress to come in and get altered. 12 months may sound long, but consider this: when you order your dress, the designer has to create the gown just for you, including sourcing the materials, putting the embellishments together, and placing each detail perfectly. This process can take a long time, so it will be at least 8 months (if not longer!) before your dress comes in. To be sure you’ve got plenty of time, start looking the second you’ve got a venue. 

3 Months Before


Once your dress comes in, you’ll need to alter it. All dresses need some form of alteration, whether it’s as simple as tightening a strap, bringing up a hem, or taking in a small section. At Simply Stunning, we offer in-house alterations so that you know you’re working with women who understand how much you love your dress and are just as excited for the wedding as you are. After your first alterations appointment 3 months out, you’ll come back two more times for minor adjustments to ensure everything is fitting just right, so you get that perfect, custom-made fit. 

What if I don’t have that kind of time?


For brides on a shorter timeline, you can always shop ready-to-wear. These dresses come in sizes closest to your street size, so while you’ll still need 3 months for alterations, you don’t have to wait 6 for the gown itself to come in. The downside of this is that often, we have a more limited selection of ready-to-wear gowns, so while you’ll still find a gorgeous wedding dress to fall in love with, you’ll have a smaller selection to choose from. 

Realizing you need to make your appointment sooner than you thought? No worries! Book an appointment to come see us at Simply Stunning by Divas and we’ll help you find the perfect wedding dress.