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How Long Before The Wedding Should You Buy Your Dress

Have Your Second Fitting

When Should I Buy My Wedding Dress?

Your first fitting is where the heavy lifting happens: adding sleeves, switching up the neckline and so on. By the time you’re done, you’ll look more like a pincushion than a bride. The second fitting is your chance to make smaller tweaks to your wedding dress, like taking in the bodice a bit or perfecting the hem length. During this fitting, you’ll also want to make sure there’s no obvious wrinkling, bunching or pulling anywhere. Move around the salon in your gown and practice some dance moves in your shoes. This will help you test that the fit is right and comfortable so you can easily get around . You’ll be wearing your dress for 8 to 10 hours on your wedding day, so it has to feel good.

Choosing A Dress For Out Of Town Bridesmaids

Have a bridesmaid out of town that cant be with you to shop in person?

Bella Bridesmaids shops are located around the country, so send your out-of-state maid to her local Bella shop for a complimentary fitting.

If any of your bridesmaids dont live near a Bella, dont worry! They can have their measurements taken by a local tailor or dry cleaner, then you can connect them with your Bella stylist for a virtual fitting.

And if they cant get to a local tailor or dry cleaner, they can take their own measurements. Its a lot easier than it sounds just send them our How to Take Your Measurements video!

How Soon Should I Buy My Wedding Dress

Is it ever too soon to buy a wedding dress? If you’re wondering when to buy a wedding dress, Zolathe wedding experthas all the answers right here.

Putting together your wedding dress timeline can be quite intimidating, to say the least. There are seemingly endless options to choose from, a billion-and-one different wedding dress styles, and an infinite amount of fabrics to sort through. Who knew there were so many different types of white?

The most important question to determine is how soon do you have to find that perfect dress for your special day?

Read on for our go-to guide on when to buy your wedding dress and how to make the dress shopping process smoother.

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How Late Is Too Late To Start Wedding Dress Shopping

There are plenty of big-day details you might want to tackle before you start your search for the perfect wedding dresschoosing a venue and booking a photographer are among the most important. But believe it or not, if you wait too long to shop, you might not leave enough time to find your dream wedding dress. In fact, Valarie Falvey, owner and wedding planner at Kirkbrides Weddings in Cleveland, Ohio, says your dress search should ideally start 12 to 14 months before your big day. Here’s why: As Falvey points out, it leaves plenty of time for the dress to be ordered and shipped, as well as wiggle room for any necessary alterations to be made, but it’s not so far out that trends and styles would change.

This isn’t a hard and fast rule, though: “It’s never too late to find a beautiful dress to celebrate love,” says Falvey, but she warns that brides with a particular style or designer in mind can’t afford to wait too long to shop. The same goes for those who want to be organized in their dress search or simply want to have a plethora of styles and designers to choose from. For these brides, Falvey says, “shopping with only four to six months left in your wedding timeline may be too late.”

Bring The Proper Undergarments & Shoes

Sparkly mermaid wedding dress with long train/ glitter/ long sleeve ...

Our bridal experts suggest nude colored panties, and not to worry about the bra aka go braless. Fun fact, strapless or plunging gowns are much more supportive than regular clothing. So for example, a strapless wedding gown is going to be more supportive than a regular strapless dress.

Everyone needs alterations, so thats when you decide if you really want to wear a fancy bra underneath. Bring it with you to alterations to make sure it fits under the gown. Otherwise, its common to get cups sewn in during alterations.

Be sure to bring along heels at the height you think you will wear on your wedding day. Salons will have heels on hand, but they may not be your size, or the height you intend to wear.

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When To Order A Wedding Dress From A Bridal Store

A popular option for wedding dress shopping is to head into a bridal store and try on dresses to find the one that you love. This is a great way to get your mum or mother-in-law involved and can also be something that you do with your bridesmaids.

Bridal store attendants will be able to give you advice on what style of wedding dresses could suit you. They can even help with your budget, seasonality, what is in fashion, and the different shades that suit your colouring. This is definitely an experience that we advise most brides to go through during their planning to get an idea of how it all works.

Once youve found your dress there is usually a wait until it actually comes into the store. Wedding dresses can take up to 6 months to arrive in store once youve found the design you like and order it specially. You should allow between 8 and 12 months to buy your wedding dress if youre going to be ordering it in.

Wear A Touch More Makeup Than Usual

Buying a fancy gown isn’t an everyday occurrenceit’s going to be a tricky decision no matter whatnot to mention the potentially unflattering lighting typical of most fitting rooms. Do yourself a favor and wear a touch more makeup than your usual bare face and bun combo you typically sport to run errands. You’ll look more like you will on your wedding day, which will definitely make it easier to decide on a gown.

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Demanding The Wrong Size

Wedding gown sizes typically run one or two sizes smaller than street clothes, so try not to get hung up on the number. Do not fixate on the actual size but instead on how your measurements compare to the particular line on the specific designers size chart, said Gesinee of Gesinees Bridal in Concord, CA.

Planning on losing weight before the big day? If I had a nickel for every person I have measured who said they were going to lose weight, I would be rich! said Lash. Play it safe and order a size that fits your current body. Any dress can be taken in, typically up to four sizes without affecting the look of the dress, but most can only be let out one full sizeif that. You need to be realistic, in case you dont lose your targeted weight, says DeMarco.

What happens if your dress doesnt fit when it comes in? First, dont freak out and go on a crash diet. Theres always something you can do, said DeMarco. You can order fabric from the designer, add beading, or even put in a new back to accommodate the measurements needed.

Don’t Bring A Large Purse Or Bag


As women, we are used to having everything we need at our fingertips and in our purses. Pain medications, tampons, chapstick, sunglasses, and our wallets are just a few of the many things we’re constantly toting around. While this may be okay for the day to day, ensuring we have everything we need for a long day at the office or while on a trip, you can likely leave most of that stuff at home or in the car when attending a wedding.

“Opt for smaller handbags and clutches over large purses,” said Schweitzer. “It’s a good idea to be touch-up ready, but refrain from lugging around heavy and unnecessary items.”

For my best friend’s wedding a few weeks ago, I opted for a small clutch. I made sure I had my ID, some cash for tipping at the bar, chapstick, my phone, tissues, and a few other small “emergency” items that the bride may have needed as we ran around all morning.

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You May Not Cryand It’s Okay

Maybe emotion will overcome you. Maybe your mom will get choked up too. But it’s beautiful if no one cries. It doesn’t mean you picked the wrong gown. Every bride is different, so don’t put pressure on yourself to react a certain way. Also, your consultant may not pop a bottle of champagne as you see on TV. Take your shopping companions out for a celebratory drink insteadyou all deserve it.

What Should I Bring To The Fitting

You may not have the dress in hand yet, but there are a few items you should have to make the process a little easier.

“What we recommend is bringing any undergarments that you think you might wear on the day of your wedding to your fitting,” said Risatti. “And definitely bring your shoes. Do not go to a fitting without the shoes. Not just a similar shoe, but the actual one.”

Some bridal shops, like Risatti’s, can add custom cups to the dress, so ask your stylist if that’s a service that’s offered.

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If You Cry Hard Enough A Store Will Stay Open Late For A Consultation

This is the part where I return the strapless dress.

After I realized that the first dress I bought which was lost and delayed even though I’d paid to have it rushed would not fit the way the boutique I bought it from said it would, I found myself sobbing and wandering the streets aimlessly. Then, a friend told me to get to J. Crew. Staffers offered me Pellegrino and tissues and told me they were booked solid, but that if I came back at 8 p.m. , they would squeeze me in. And they did! Into a dress that arrived at my front door by noon the next day.

When To Order Bridesmaid Dresses

The Best Grecian Wedding Dresses » The My Wedding

Bella Philly / Stephania Campos

About six months before the wedding, youll need to make a final decision on the bridesmaid dress that you want your girls to wear. It usually takes between two and three months for dresses to arrive, so you need to leave enough time for alterations.

Whether theyre wearing the same dress or different styles in the same color palette, be sure to order all of your bridesmaid dresses at the same time. That way, youll know that all of the fabric for all of your dresses will be in the same dye lot. If you order your dresses at different times, you run the risk of colors not being a perfect match.

Shop our bridesmaid dress collection online:

About four to six weeks after ordering your dresses, make sure your bridesmaids order their shoes and undergarments as well. This is usually plenty of time to receive those items in advance of the first fitting.

Why is this so important?

Because theyll need their shoes, bra, and undies for their first fitting in order to get the bust measurements and hem length just right.

If youre having your bridesmaids wear strapless necklines, stress that they need to wear strapless bras. Those bras with clear straps just dont cut it for a wedding!

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Whats Your Venue Like

Its important to think about your venue before you go wedding dress shopping. If youre having a religious ceremony, you dont want to have too much skin on show, so you might need to shop for a bridal cover-up too.

If youre marrying in a rustic barn wedding venue, you probably want something a bit more boho to suit the surroundings, whereas a stately home wedding venue suits a more traditional ball gown.

Do Ask Lots Of Questions While Trying On Wedding Dresses

You should ask questions of the boutique owner and staffbut also of yourself. “You should always ask yourself a few questions to make sure the dress you love not only makes you feel spectacular but also works for the activities of the day,” says Nicole Brewer, David’s Bridal style council member and celebrity stylist. “Make sure you have the answers to these: Do I feel beautiful, confident and comfortable? Can I dance in it? Can I sit down? Am I self-conscious about any part of my body in my dress?” Although a gown may be gorgeous, if you can’t move in it all night and feel trapped, mummy-style, it’s not the right one for you.

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You Should Spend Time Getting To Know Your Local Bridal Salons To Determine Which Ones Are Right For You

Its so easy to make online appointments at bridal shops, but that doesnt mean you should go to ALL the shops. You would do yourself a major disservice by overwhelming yourself with options , or the discouragement that comes with visiting salons that arent right for your aesthetic. The surest way to have a pleasant, low-stress bridal shopping experience is by narrowing down your shopping to a few bridal shops that carry designers you admire. If you cant find a dress that is a serious contender at all three shops, you can certainly try more bridal salons. However, if you do find great options, stay loyal and see it through with your chosen bridal shop. They can even offer to show you more gowns from the designers they carry via trunk shows or calling in samples from the designer just for you. By partnering with a shop, not only will they bend over backward to find you a great dress, but youll build a nice relationship that will give you positive vibes during your wedding planning experience.

Do Make Sure Your Skirt Is At Least Finger

How to Dress for Your Pre Wedding | Pre Wedding Dresses Tips by Video Tailor | Pre Wedding Shoot

While not all weddings will take place in a church, Carillo told me “the best rule of thumb is, if you can wear it to church, you can probably wear it to a wedding.” While we agree you look hot in that mini dress you recently picked up, a wedding isn’t the place to show it off, so leave it at home and opt for something a little longer and more appropriate.

“Dresses and skirts should be finger tip length long as you will be doing a lot of sitting and it’s not fun having to constantly pull down your dress,” Carillo added.

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