Your Wedding Dress Planning Guide

Your Wedding Dress Planning Guide

Your handy wedding dress planning guide

Buying a wedding dress can be one of the most exciting parts of planning your wedding, particularly if you’ve always dreamed about your gown and how you will look on the big day.

With so many wonderful and beautiful options available, it can take some time to narrow down the choices and make all of the necessary alterations. We’ve created a handy timeline to follow to make sure your wedding dress wishes come true.

Twelve Months or More to Go

– Consider your budget and how much will be allocated to your wedding dress.

– Start researching designers and stores in your area.

– Cut-out or save pictures from magazines and websites such as Pinterest, as well as Instagram, of styles that you particularly like.

 Eight to Eleven Months to Go

– Make appointments at the stores you have decided on (up to four ensures you’re seeing a broad range of offerings without being overwhelming).

– At the appointment, take notes about each dress you tried on, including the style number, designer etc. Take pictures if allowed and collect the contact information of the stylist who assisted you.

– Begin to think about what kind of veil, jewelry, accessories, and what shoes you want to wear.

Five to Seven Months to Go

– Review all of your notes and photos and make a decision on which dress is the one. Call to make an appointment to come back in and finalize plans.

– Visit the store, try on the dress one more time to confirm, place your order, and make a deposit.

– If the store offers it, consider purchasing dress insurance.

– Start shopping for lingerie that complements the dress you have chosen.

– Ask for a swatch of your dress’s fabric so that you can begin purchasing shoes and accessories.

Two to Three Months to Go

– Make an appointment for your fitting and alterations. This will depend on when your dress arrives from the manufacturer. If you purchased a dress off the rack or a sample dress, you might be able to complete this step earlier. You might plan on losing weight, but order the dress in the size you are that day as it is usually easier to take in a dress than to let it out.

– Wear the lingerie or undergarments you will wear on your wedding day to the fitting.

– Bring the accessories (especially the shoes) you picked to try on with your dress.

Three Weeks to Go

– Make arrangements to pick up your dress and make the final payment.

– Try your dress on with your chosen accessories and take a few test runs around the house sitting, dancing and walking (without your fiancé peeking!).

– Store in a safe place, in a garment bag.

Your Wedding Day

– Take the dress out of the bag to breathe and be steamed if needed.

– Put the dress on last after hair and makeup.

– Have an “emergency dress kit” on hand with extra buttons, needle and thread, stain remover, and fabric tape for any mishaps.

– Finally, wow your groom, family, and friends!

Throughout the process, your dress might not fit or look exactly as you’ve pictured it. Don’t worry! This is common, and the feeling will pass with each appointment and each time you try on your gown. The creation of your perfect dress takes time and will be worth it in the end. Trust your seamstress and your instincts!

Make sure to give yourself plenty of time in case you have any unexpected issues or delays. That way, you won’t feel rushed and can fully enjoy every aspect of the experience. Planning ahead also saves you from encountering rush fees that some stores charge for expediting services.

Of course, if you can’t wait to get your married life started, you may have an accelerated timeline. If you are on a tight schedule, you can still have the perfect dress. Recruit friends and family to help you with the process, and it can seem like you’ve had just as much time as any other bride.

Having a guideline can take some of the guesswork out of constructing a beautiful bridal look. With the “dress stress” eliminated, you can focus on other parts of planning and know that all you have to do on your wedding day is slip into your breathtaking gown and meet your mate at the end of the aisle.


Lisa is a special needs teacher and a hugger. She always makes time for everyone and lightens up everybody’s lives with her presence. When she is not chasing her students around the yard, she finds time to write about what she truly loves, and you guessed it, its people and relationships.