When To Buy Your Wedding Dress

By Katie Stow
how far in advance buy wedding dress

Ideas & Inspiration

When To Buy Your Wedding Dress

AKA your wedding dress shopping timeline

how far in advance buy wedding dress

Wedding dress shopping is one of the most exciting elements of planning your big day, so we want to make sure you absolutely nail the process and savour every moment. To help you along the way, we’ve mapped out your wedding dress shopping timeline.

Before you even lay your eyes on a gown, you need to set your wedding date and book your wedding venue. Your wedding date will dictate your timeline and your venue may have an influence over your wedding dress style – as you’re not going to want a mahoosive ballgown for a tropical beach wedding. Trust us!

11 months before your wedding…

If you haven’t started already (because who doesn’t have a secret saved folder on Instagram of approximately four million wedding dresses?!), then get scrolling! Pin wedding gowns that tickle your fancy and try and isolate shapes and silhouettes that you think will flatter your figure. Need a little help with this? Be sure to check out this post on ‘How To Find The Perfect Wedding Dress For Your Body Type’.

10 months before your wedding…

Start researching bridal boutiques. By now you should have a healthy selection of pictures saved in your phone of wedding dresses and with that you would have come across bridal designer names. Google where those designers are stocked in your local area or read our post on ‘The Ultimate List Of The Best Wedding Dress Stores In Australia’ to find the wedding dress shops that stock your favourite designers.

Once you’ve got your bridal boutique shortlist, book in your appointment. You often can’t just stroll into wedding dress stores to start shopping, so make sure you secure an appointment so you have allocated time to shop with the in-house stylists.

Now’s also the time to select your wedding dress shopping group. If you’ve ever watched ‘Say Yes To The Dress’ then you’ll know that it’s probably best to keep the group as small as possible and to leave your rather outspoken aunt at home.

how far in advance buy wedding dress

9 months before your wedding…

It’s time to go dress shopping! By now you should have booked in your appointments so it’s time to hit the bridal boutiques and get some wedding dresses on you! Be sure to bring your favourite photos and give the stylist at the store as much information about your wedding as possible – including the venue, the time of year, the dress code, the colour theme etc. It’s also good to mention here if there’s anything you really don’t like. Can’t stand tulle? Would rather die than wear sleeves? Tell your stylist!

You need to leave at least nine months between buying your dress and your wedding day because this is standard turnaround time for a wedding dress. Why so long? Once you’ve ‘purchased’ the gown, the order will be placed with the designer who then custom builds the gown from scratch – matching it to fit the measurements taken at your time of purchase. The time period allows for this intricate work to be completed (as well as factoring in key things like fabric ordering and managing a whole heap of other wedding dresses also in production).

5 months before your wedding…

This is when you probably want to start looking for other elements of your wedding day look. Think shoes, bridal jewellery and your veil. Don’t know where to begin with all of those elements? Head to the Fashion section of the One Fine Day ‘Wedding Hub’, which is stuffed to the brim with all the recommendations you need.

3 months before the wedding…

This is often when your wedding dress will arrive in store. The bridal boutique you bought at will get in touch with you to let you know the dress has arrived and is being safely kept in the shop – to avoid it being snooped at by your husband-to-be at home.

how far in advance buy wedding dress

6-8 weeks before your wedding…

It’s time for your first fitting! Again, your bridal boutique will be in contact to arrange a fitting appointment for you. We recommend for your fitting appointment that you wear the underwear you’re planning on wearing on your wedding day, along with the shoes (or at least the heel height) and try to mimic your wedding day hair style as best you can too. We’re not proposing plonking a thousand bobby pins into your ‘do, but instead if you’re planning on wearing your hair up on your wedding day then wear it up to the appointment.

4 weeks before your wedding…

Second fitting time! This is where the adjustments and amendments from your first wedding dress fitting should have been actioned and you get to try the frock on again. We recommend a rinse and repeat of the process above for this venture.

how far in advance buy wedding dress

2 weeks before your wedding…

Final fitting time! Everything should be pretty much perfect now and this appointment should just be giving the gown the final nod of approval.

1 week before your wedding…

It’s time to pick up your wedding dress and take it home! Your bridal boutique should provide a suit bag for the gown so it won’t be damaged. But be sure to store it in a cool, dry place where no one can peep at it!


And that’s it. You’re all set to get married in the wedding dress of your dreams!

Want to see the One Fine Day Editor and Graphic Designer go wedding dress shopping at Vera Wang? Of course you do! Watch the video below…

By Katie Stow


Editor of One Fine Day

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