9 Tips with a Wedding Dress Shopping Timeline for 2015 Brides

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Wedding dress shopping could be as fun as you’ve seen from “Say Yes to The Dress” TV program, or it could also be in reality frustrating and confusing due to the time and money pressure to find your perfect wedding dress. Brides who are getting married in 2015, have you already set the right wedding dress shopping timeline in your agenda?

It’s now towards the end of October 2014, 6 months to May 2015, 8 months to July 2015, and 10 months to September 2015. If you haven’t started the wedding dress shopping yet, it’s time to give it a higher priority NOW.

12 months to your wedding day: set the budget right

I’ve seen many brides coming to a wedding dress fitting without a price in mind. Having no budget does not mean that you are willing to pay whatever price it takes to have your perfect wedding dress made.

There are various price categories available in the market. An off-the-rack wedding dress may cost from €1500, and a couture wedding dress would have a price from €3000. Luxury designer wedding dresses will cost over €5000. Budget dresses below €1000 can be found in outlet stores.

In principle, any perfect wedding dress could be made to reality, given enough money and time. It’s truly down to what price category your budget falls into, then you can shortlist the bridal stores to visit.

Tip 1: Don’t forget to include bridal accessories into your budget. A veil, bridal lingerie, wedding shoes, hair pieces and honeymoon lingerie etc would cost easily €500 and more.

Tip 2: Ask if dress alteration costs extra. Many bridal stores charge €150 for wedding dress alteration. Is there a limit number of fitting appointments? What if you lose more weight toward your wedding day? Include these details into your calculation.

10 months to your wedding day: go wedding dress shopping

Pick your trustworthy family members and friends to join your wedding dress shopping adventure. Shortlist the bridal shops you want to visit, based on your first impressions, prices, service reviews and locations etc.

Before the first appointment, research online about wedding dress styles you like. Think practically about the time, location and wedding styles. It could be lots of different details. Don’t worry and bring all photos along. That will facilitate the communication with the professional stylists about your ideas or style. It’s the stylist’s job to help you clear your mind and figure out what you are truly looking for.

Tip 3: Limit to two shopping mates to your wedding dress appointments. Make sure they would think on behalf you and put you as the centre of attention. The worst companion would tell you what she likes and what she would wear for her wedding. Too many opinions may also bring unnecessary confusion and frustration.

Tip 4: Make sure you get professional assistances. During the dress fitting appointment, an experienced bridal stylist would analyze your body shape, listen to your preferences, and help you figure out the wedding dress details including preferred fabrics, flattering silhouette, neckline and personalized details etc. Some can even provide sketches or fabric samples as further illustration. That would give you a clear idea about your perfect wedding dress.

8 months to your wedding day: confirm the dress

Order the dress from your favorite bridal salon. That would include signing a contract and paying a deposit of 50%-60% the dress value. Make sure all the information in the contract is correct. Generally it takes 3 – 6 months to make a wedding dress. Ask specifically when you can expect the first fitting. Make sure they have your contact details correct so that they can reach you once the dress is ready.

Tip 5: Pay attention to details. How long do you want the wedding dress train? What quality of lining do you want inside the dress? Is the back closure a lace-up design or an invisible zipper? What would be the length of the matching veil? Make sure you have these details confirmed in the contract.

9 Tips with Wedding Dress Shopping Timeline Clip Image

6 months to your wedding day: bridal accessories shopping

You need to have the bridal  lingerie and shoes ready for the first dress fitting. That’s why it’s good to start early and leave enough time for exchange in case the size is not right. Depending on your wedding style, you can order classic bridal accessories from bridal stores, or purchase fashion-forward designs online.

Tip 6: A complete list of bridal accessories you may consider.

  • Bridal corset or torsolette (see our previous tips about “What to wear under a wedding dress“)
  • Matching string or panty
  • Bridal stockings or pantyhose
  • Garters
  • Veil (if not included in your wedding dress order)
  • Bridal hair piece
  • Jewelry
  • Wedding shoes
  • Bridal robe (for hair & makeup getting-ready moment of the wedding day)
  • Bridal gloves
  • Bridal shawl (in case it gets cooler outdoor or in the evening)
  • Honeymoon lingerie

3 months to your wedding day: first dress fitting

It’s ideal to start your first dress fitting early and leave enough time for alteration. Depending on how many adjustments are required, the number of fitting appointments should be scheduled well through towards the wedding day. Bring your accessories along and get the complete look. The dress length will be adjusted based on your heel height. You can also check whether the color and size of jewelry match the dress style.

Tip 7: The perfect dress front length is 1cm above the floor. You shall have a peek of the front of your wedding shoes while walking.

2 months to your wedding day: second dress fitting

The major adjustments of your wedding dress should be completed, though there could be small details to be finished.

Tip 8: Ask for a proper train-attachment solution for the dance party. We hate seeing brides carrying the train whole night, worrying getting dirty or guests stepping on it. Do ask for a proper solution if the dress has a long train. It could be pin-up or a string attachment inside. Then you can free your hand and enjoy yourself at the dance floor.

1 month to your wedding day: final dress fitting & pick up

All adjustments are completed and you should have the perfect fit of the dress, in the right length, with the perfect details. You may pick up the dress or leave it at the bridal store until the last week before your wedding. This would allow you to cross wedding dress off your list and give you peace in mind to focus on other details in terms of wedding planning.

Tip 9: Make sure your wedding dress is properly steamed and hanging in enough space. The last thing you want to see is a wrinkled dress on your wedding day.

1 day to your wedding day: get everything ready 

You don’t want to forget anything you’ve prepared, so get everything ready in advance and put them together at ONE place.

On your wedding day: relax and enjoy

Happy Wedding Day! Enjoy every moment of it and have fun.

9 Tips with Wedding Dress Shopping Timeline Clip Image 2

Photo Credit: Anouschka Rokebrand
Wedding Dress: Unielle Couture
Hair Piece: SIBO Designs
Flowers: Don Florito
Hair & Makeup: Liesbeth Dubelaar
Model: Neomi van Rossum

Founder & Editor of Expat Wedding Amsterdam, Creative Director of Unielle Couture, passionate about food and travel, coffee and high-heel addict.

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