I got an email from a friend today. She’s planning on getting married at the end of March and is still searching for the perfect wedding dress. She just got engaged last month so she never had a lot of time to look.
A brides should purchase her dress about six months before the big day, especially if they want something with a lot of beadwork or embroidery. The more embellished the dress the more time it will take to make it. Some bridal salons may even recommend buying a dress nine months in advance if the design of the dress is really involved or if it's made overseas.
Remember that your dress will be ready for alterations to begin about three months before the wedding and you may need to go for two, three or more fittings. My dress – a sample sale purchase in size 8 – had to be brought in to fit my size two frame and I think I went for six or eight fittings.
It’s important to follow these timelines – buy your dress six to nine months before the big day – so you don’t incur any rush fees. Rush fees could be anywhere from $100 to several hundred dollars depending on the timeframe, where the dress is shipping from and how much detail is involved with the dress’ design.