When to start wedding dress shopping

Bride wears white wedding dress Q – When should I start looking for a wedding dress, and do you have any advice on how to go about my search?

"This is a frequently asked question, and the answer will depend on how far in advance you have booked your wedding. Nowadays to buy a stock wedding dress off-the-peg won’t be mission impossible for brides living in big cities. However, we would still suggest allowing three months to do any last-minute bridal shopping, in case any alterations are needed, and to leave you some time to shop for bridal shoes and hair accessories.

"For a bride who has planned far ahead, with one to two years before the wedding, we would suggest you visit a bridal boutique sooner rather than later. In our experience, starting dress shopping six to 12 months before the big day will give you enough time to find your dream dress and get it well fitted. Thanks to the well- established global bridal supply chain, manufacturing lead times are shorter than years ago. However, to get a decent gown, haute couture dress or a bespoke design, it still takes lots of time to make. The earlier you sort out your dress, the less stressed you will be closer to the wedding date.

"There are many different ways to search for the perfect gown. Start by looking for bridal styles online and in magazines to get an idea of how you want your dream dress to look. Then search for local companies online, check their reviews and find the most trustworthy shops to start your fittings. Meanwhile, chat with your married friends and see if they can refer you to any stores.

"All in all, visiting a quality bridal boutique will work better than visiting too many shops. Quality bridal shops with a wide range and flexible services will always give you more useful options, as well as save you time and make sure you enjoy your shopping experience."

Mandy Lee
Wedding dress expert

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