When Should I Shop For My Wedding Dress?


Feb 15, 2018

As soon as the “I’m engaged!!!” picture becomes Facebook official, the questions start rolling in.

“When’s the big day?” Followed very quickly by…

“Have you found your dress?”

Umm…I’ve been engaged for 2 weeks. Do I need to have my dress picked out already? I thought I had tons of time!

No worries! Today’s blog post is for you. I spent a lovely morning getting some expert advice from our friend Morgan at White Dresses Boutique to fill you in on the details!

White Dresses Huntsville is located in Providence Village here in Huntsville, Alabama. It also happens to be right down the street from Edgar’s Bakery – so a little detour on the way home is a given.

I asked Morgan a few questions about the timeline, what to expect, and her best recommendations. Keep reading to get the inside scoop on what you can expect with your wedding dress timeline!

When should I start stopping for my dress?

Morgan recommends scheduling your consultation 8-12 months before your wedding day. You’ll have enough time to order your dress, complete alterations, and choose your accessories.

Purchasing your dress more than a year isn’t necessarily ideal, since your preferences, options, and other factors may change during that time.

Definitely select your dress before the 5 month mark.

Even at 5 months, your selection of styles will be more limited. Some designers require more time to finish your dress, so ordering just a few months before your wedding make those styles not possible.

What timeline should I plan on for alterations or the final fitting?

Each designer, style, and dress has a slightly different timeline. When your dress will arrive depends on many factors like those.

Morgan recommends that you start alterations at 6 weeks before the wedding. Don’t start your alterations too soon. You’ll want to be sure your dress is a perfect fit for the wedding day! Although it varies by dress shop (and you’ll want to check specifically with yours), alterations typically take 2-3 weeks.

Once the alterations have been completed, try on your dress for one last fitting. You’ll have another 3-4 weeks for any final tweaks that may need to be made – but most of the time, you’ll be all set!

When do I need to choose my accessories?

You can schedule a second appointment to pick out your wedding day accessories or make your decision while you’re looking for a dress. Morgan gave us a bonus tip: you can also wait for an accessory trunk show. You can score accessories at a discount!

Have you heard the term “trunk show”, but aren’t sure what it means? You can read more about it on White Dresses blog here!

Let’s sum it up!


8-12 months: purchase dress

5 months: if you haven’t yet, find your dress now!

6-8 weeks: begin alterations

3-4 weeks: final fitting

When to purchase your wedding dress

The dress shopping experience 

We’ll talk more in a few weeks about tips on finding the perfect dress and what to expect at a wedding dress consultation. Until then, check out some advice on how to handle a dress shopping experience when everybody has a different opinion on what you should wear!
{A huge thank you to Morgan for taking the time to share her insight! You can check out White Dresses Boutique on Facebook, Instagram, or their website!}
  1. Crystal says:

    Such great advice!

  2. Meghan says:

    Great information for a newly engaged bride and pretty photos with it!

  3. I love how you included a subject matter expert. Way to collaborate!

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