When to choose a dress for your wedding

When to choose your wedding dress is up to you, but the sooner the better

When to choose your wedding dress is up to you, but the sooner the better

You are engaged and just set the wedding date. Panic sets in. You need a bridal gown. When to choose a dress for your wedding? Some bridal experts suggest doing this nine months in advance of the day.

For example, if you are getting married in August, pick out your gown the previous November. However, if on the spur of the moment you have decided to get hitched you obviously do not have this luxury.

For those gals in the relatively long engagement camp, ideally, the gown should be picked nine months prior to the event. Some brides make the decision a full year in advance.

Possible Drawback

If you have ever watched the TV show “Say Yes to the Dress” you are aware brides come in for their final fitting, not having seen their gown in six or eight months, nervous as a cat on a hot tin roof. They can’t remember what the gown looks like — always take a picture of yourself in the gown the day you decide to buy it so you can reference it –– or they did take a picture and don’t think they like the gown any longer. The anxious bride experiences one of those “What was I thinking?” awful moments. A lot can change in eight months.

This is a dilemma because the bride doesn’t have the time or money to re-order another gown if she decides, after putting it on, she really doesn’t like her purchase after all.

For some brides-to-be, it might be better not to select the gown so far in advance. However, when you put off the decision you may be limiting your choices and excluding the chance for a custom-made dress.

The reason brides-to-be are urged to select their gown in advance is because custom gowns take time to create and alter. When a bride wants her gown customized to the nth degree this takes time: Put a belt here, add some tulle, create a shrug, attach some bling and make it tea length. This type of bridal accessorizing doesn’t happen over night.

It is possible to order a custom gown when the wedding is only a few months away but you may be pressing your luck.


Avoid getting married in the popular (June, July) wedding months. If you are going to be a June bride and shop for your dress nine months in advance (September), you are going to be competing with the other June brides and it’s going to be chaotic and competitive.

Avoid shopping on weekends, which is the busiest time in a bridal shop.

When shopping for the gown, keep in mind the season you are getting married. If the date is set for February and you are shopping at the last minute in January, most of the winter gowns will be gone. You will be looking at spring and summer fashions. Shop for your February nuptials during the previous spring or summer.

Know that bridal stores often showcase new fashions in December and January.
Of course, there are those brides who buy off the rack and look splendid. If you are one of these gals you don’t have to shop in advance. However, even if you are going the off-the-rack route, do not procrastinate until the last minute. Buying your gown the day before is just plain risky!

Some brides have a formal wedding picture taken a few weeks prior to the wedding day. If that is your plan, the gown must be ready to go on that date, so be sure to plan that final fitting well before that photo shoot.