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A Guide to Wedding Dress Shopping: How Early is Too Early?

So you just got engaged and you’re super excited! You’re looking at venues, spending hours on Pinterest and dreaming of that time in the future when you’ll start looking for your wedding dress!

Many of you lovely brides-to-be will be straight in the boutique, trying different shapes and styles to get an idea of what works best for you – while others will be sitting back, comfortable that they have plenty of time until the wedding! Which may well be true, but you may be surprised at just how much time you may need!

As a general rule, you can never start looking too early.

Designer bridal gowns are made to order, meaning that the designers do not carry stock of their dresses in different sizes, colours etc. As I’m sure you can imagine, these dresses are often hand-beaded, with appliques added, sometimes with bespoke changes just for you! The hard work and dedication that goes into each wedding dress can take some time! Taking this into consideration, some gowns can take around 6 months or more to be made and shipped to the boutique.

It’s not to say that these dresses can’t arrive sooner – some take around 4 months and there are dresses that we can get in much earlier than that! But to enjoy the experience and find a beautiful dress without the stress (and without rush delivery fees) we’d recommend that you start looking for ‘the one’ as early as you can.


So, you’ve found your dress! What happens next?

Once your dress is made and we’ve checked that it’s absolutely perfect, we’ll steam it for you and get you back in to try it on! This is always a super exciting time as you will get to see the dress made exactly for you, in your size, colour choice and with any custom changes if applicable. We’ll take a look at the dress and the fit, making sure you’re happy with everything.

But it doesn’t stop there! The next stage is the final tweaks, often the length, any extra support you want to add and perhaps a couple of nips and tucks here and there!

We use a wonderful bridal alteration specialist who is based locally in Belper. Kay is an absolute expert, which means she is not only fabulous but also very busy! She works from home and is very flexible, although it’s important to leave plenty of time to ensure that your dress is exactly as you want it. After all, this is your special day and your wedding dress has to be perfect for you!

So to add it all up, you’re looking at around 6 months for your dress to arrive, plus a couple of weeks to come in for your collection appointment, and 3 months for alterations… which totals around 10 months!

10 months to comfortably order your dress means we’d recommend for you to start looking about a year in advance. This way you can take it at your own pace and truly enjoy your experience without the added stress or worry! Once you have found ‘the one’ you will have plenty of time to find shoes and accessories that work with it, leaving you free to get back on Pinterest and carry on planning!



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