When Should I Order My Wedding Dress?

When should I order my wedding dress?

A bride’s guide to timing the purchase of her bridal gown

Author: Elderberry Brides

Discover the best time to buy your wedding dress and why

Now this may sound a little bit simplistic, but the straight answer as to when a bride should order her wedding dress is ideally neither too early nor too late.

Let’s look at it another way. At Elderberry Brides, we recommend that brides order their gown between six and nine months before their big day. However, this is only a guide because every bride’s circumstances are different and since none of us can be sure what lies around the corner, things can (and often do) change.

So whether you’re contemplating taking the plunge early with lots of time to spare or whether you’re conscious that the clock’s ticking and time’s definitely not on your side, there are a number of considerations that a bride needs to take into account when searching for her dream dress.

So what are some of the reasons why timing the purchase of your gown is important? Let’s look at each scenario in turn and examine some of the implications of the timing of your order.

Ordering your gown too early

Life changes

It’s possible a bride may experience changes to her body shape which can directly affect an order she placed for her gown. Consider what the implications would be if you were to either lose or gain a bit more weight than you’d anticipated between ordering and receiving your gown? Also consider what the impact would be on your wedding gown if you were to become pregnant?

Fortunately, your gown can usually be altered in a number of ways and in most cases up to two dress sizes either way. But there are limits to alterations and these will vary from dress to dress depending on how they’re structured.

While weight loss, weight gain and pregnancy might all be reasons for celebration, each can have an impact when it comes to fitting into your gown some months or even longer down the road. So maintaining a consistent body shape is much easier if less time occurs between ordering your gown and your first fitting.

Finally, never be afraid to ask your bridal consultant how easy or otherwise it would be to alter certain aspects of your gown.

Seasonal styles

It’s perfectly natural for a bride to be incredibly excited about her special day and want to get her dress right away. However, if you intend to buy your dress more than a year or more before your wedding, just bear in mind that bridal styles and trends can change throughout that time so you need to be sure that you won’t be tempted to change your mind about your chosen dress as time slips by.


Another consideration for a bride who’s ordered early is where to keep her gown for what may be quite a long time. You need to take into account that the way your gown is stored is very important to its shape so it needs to be kept in a suitable place to avoid creasing or anything that may be harmful such as extremes of temperature or humidity.

Also, most brides are very keen to avoid prying eyes so finding a secret hideaway for your gown might not be the easiest thing in the world over the long term and especially if storage space is at a premium. This may present a challenge as not all bridal shops will be able to keep your dress for you for much the same reason.

Ordering your gown too late

It’s never too late!

In theory, you can’t order your gown too late as it should be pointed out to you by your bridal retailer that there won’t be enough time for your order to be fulfilled. It’s for this reason that one of the first questions any good bridal shop will ask you is the date of your wedding, it’s not because they’re just being nosey!

The delivery time for a wedding dress differs depending on the designer and can vary from between three to six months although a four to five month delivery is easily the most common.


If you plan to delay buying your gown until closer to your wedding day, you could find that the dress you’ve set your heart on is no longer available. OMG! If only I’d known?

Very few gown styles stay around forever and even the most beautiful and desirable dresses will eventually stop being produced at some point. So it’s always a very good idea if you plan to leave ordering your gown for a while to always check with your bridal retailer whether the gown has been selected for discontinuation by the designer.


If you’re wedding day is approaching fast and you still haven’t decided on your gown, the one thing you should try to avoid at all costs is hitting the panic button. Almost all bridal retailers will have sample stock dresses or even a sale room from which they’ll be happy to sell gowns directly off the rail.

It’s likely that there’ll be a surprising number of gowns available for you to choose from so ask around your local bridal shops and with a little luck, you’ll be the proud owner of a gorgeous gown in no time.


Few brides realise that having a wedding dress custom made can often be quite a long process and involve a number of fittings which can stretch the timing way beyond a standard order. Unless you can get a cast iron guarantee on delivery, this may not be the best option if you’re short on time.

In a nutshell

To help maximise the possibility of you getting the dress of your dreams, we’ve created an infographic (below) which offers advice on the ideal timeline for getting your gown - from the point at which you should consider starting dress shopping right up until your big day.

Infographic: When Should I Order My Wedding Dress?

Need more info?

If you’d like any help or advice on the best time to begin the search for your dream dress, please get in touch now or telephone us on 01256 474004.

Please note that an answering machine is in operation when the shop is closed

Need some help or advice?

Get in touch with us now or call us on 01256 474004 and we’ll do our best to help.

Back To Top