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 I know this may sound a bit simplistic, but the straightforward answer as to when you should order your wedding gown is this; neither too early nor too late.

OK. Let’s look at it another way. We recommend that brides ideally 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 as well as sometimes subject to change.

So whether you’re contemplating taking the plunge early with tons 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 need to be taken into account.

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 over time 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 a big impact when it comes to fitting into your gown a few months 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, don’t 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 before your wedding, you should bear in mind that bridal styles and trends can change throughout that time so you need to be certain 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 to plan on 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 unnecessary creasing or folding.

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 if storage space is at a premium, that too may present a challenge when storing your gown as not all bridal shops will be able to keep your dress for you for much the same reason.

Ordering your gown too late

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

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!

Don’t delay

Another consideration if you’ve delayed placing your order for too long is that you could find that the dress you’ve set your heart on is no longer available. OMG! If only I’d known? Why didn’t anyone tell me this might happen?

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 good idea if you plan to leave ordering your gown for a while to check with your bridal retailer whether the gown has been selected (or is likely to be selected) for discontinuation by the designer.


If you’re wedding day is approaching faster than a speeding bullet and you still haven’t decided on your gown, the one thing you should try to avoid is pressing 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 tickety-boo in no time.


Many brides don’t realise that having a dress custom made can actually be quite a long process and involves 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.

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.

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