When Should You Order Your Wedding Dress?


Hey everyone! I hope you all had a wonderful holiday season and happy 2019! The holidays are my favourite time of year, I'm all for the time spent with family and over-indulgence of allllll that great food (way too much food)! This year we spent the holidays in Mexico, and for all the years I've been involved in the wedding industry, I didn't expect that what ended up happening would happen..I got engaged! I really had no clue that it was coming, and having helped so many people with their own wedding planning, suddenly I am in the position of needing to start planning for my own, and boy, it's weird. Like..really really weird. I'm just so used to helping others with their own wedding planning, so it's a big shift to suddenly be thinking of all these things for myself.

I recognize that having been in the industry, I have a pretty good advantage because I know a lot of the answers already as to how things tend to work, when specific things need to happen, etc. so I figure I can be of help to all you other new brides to be out there! One question I get asked a lot is "when should I order my wedding dress"? As I proceed with the planning of my own wedding (still sounds weird to say), I want to share the useful knowledge that I myself have learned throughout my time in the wedding industry thus far, and this question is a great place to start. After all, it's one of the first things we start thinking about after that new shiny ring is on our finger.

Okay, so you've maybe gotten engaged recently, or maybe you've been engaged for a while but you're now starting to plan and the excitement is REAL! It's not long before questions start popping into your head and sometimes this can be overwhelming, especially when it's to do with the dress.

So, when should you order your wedding dress?

Let's start with lead times. In an ideal world, it is wise to start your dress search 8-12 months prior to the big day. I know this sounds like a long ways away from your wedding, but some designers (especially in physical retail locations) can actually take 4-8 months to make your dress. No, they aren't making your dress for those entire 4-8 months, but essentially once you place an order, your name is then slotted into their production schedule. Typically it's more around the 4 month mark when you're shopping at an actual physical location, but I have seen the timelines run longer. By starting to try on dresses well in advance, you won't be in a rush to make a decision and you'll avoid unnecessary stress.

When you're shopping online from indie designers however, these time frames tend to be much shorter. For instance, many of the designers that sell on SWF actually have lead times more around 1-2 months and are much more accommodating. I'll just say right now as well, dresses shopped online tend to be much more affordable because the brick and mortar markups simply aren't there. Retail locations need to add a certain percentage of markup to the gowns they bring in from designers because they need to pay their shop rent/overheads, etc. At SWF, you can shop dozens of gowns many of which are under $1000. But anyways, back to the dress talk!

"I'm not getting married for over a year, but I love this dress. Should I wait to order it? I'm planning on losing weight." 

This is another question I get asked frequently, and the answer is no, you shouldn't wait. Even if your wedding is 18 months away, if you find the gown you love you should go for it. The biggest reason behind this, is that the designer may discontinue that dress design (or even increase the price of it) by the time you're finding yourself ready to order. One way that SWF can assist you with this dilemma (particularly if you're insisting on losing weight and afraid your measurements will be off), is to contact us with the details of the dress you love, and we can notify the designer of your wedding date/sizing goals and hold off on doing the measurements for a while. You can place the order so that the dress is secured, and wait on taking measurements for a few extra months. Remember that no matter where you order your dress from whether it's online or in a physical location, the vast majority of dresses will require even minor alterations, even when they're made to your measurements. I also would also just like to add in here, that you shouldn't have to feel like you need to lose weight. I simply mention this because it's an overwhelmingly common statement. I personally believe that you should find a dress style that makes you feel comfortable. You're beautiful and perfect the way you are.

I hope this information helps you with your dress search! If you're on a shorter timeframe, fear not. Many of our designers can accommodate rush orders! Remember, we're here to help! If you're confused at where to start in terms of choosing the right wedding dress shape, you can read our helpful blog post here.

Shop Wedding Dresses from She Wore Flowers

Dresses pictured from left to right: 1, 2, 3, 4

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