There is no wedding without a wedding dress. It is a massive part of the planning. Whether you decide to go all out and invite all your closest friends, mother, and mother-in-law to your dress try-on or whether you do it a little smaller and intimate with just yourself. Choosing your wedding dress and getting it delivered is one of the most exciting parts of planning a wedding. But, what are the typical timelines for it? Here is everything you are going to want to know and consider.
So, how long does it take to get a wedding dress? Your typical wedding dress will take anywhere from 4 – 6 months to be delivered after ordering, on average. However, there are a few things that can influence this timeline. Such as where you buy it from, the kind of dress you choose, and the number of alterations you need.
Keep reading to find out how long it takes to get a wedding dress, what things can influence this time, and even when you should purchase your dress.
Factors That Can Influence How Long It Takes To Get A Wedding Dress
Although the average time you can expect to wait for your wedding dress to be delivered is around four to six months, many things can shorten this time or make it that much longer.
Where You Order It From
Where you order your dress from is one of the biggest factors when it comes to delivery times.
In-demand designers will be insanely busy, and their popularity could lengthen your wait time dramatically.
There are only so many dresses they can produce per month, and you may have to wait an extra month or two to finally get your hand on your dream gown.
If you are getting an independent seamstress to create the gown of your dreams, it could take as many as eight months for it to be finished.
However, by working closely with a wedding dress seamstress, you know you are going to get a one-of-a-kind piece that fits you like a glove.
The other option for brides stuck in a time pinch is high-street wedding dresses.
More and more clothing stores are releasing wedding or special occasion wear.
Not only is this option cheaper, but you could have your gown within weeks instead of months.
Time Of Year
The time of year you order your wedding dress can greatly influence how quickly you receive your gown.
The wedding season is between late spring and early fall.
If you order your dress anywhere from late fall to late winter, you are vying for a designer’s attention with everyone else who is looking to get married during the wedding season.
Now, I will say that wedding season is not as traditional as it used to be.
More and more couples are getting married outside of this time to save on costs, so this won’t affect your wedding dress wait times too much, but it is something to keep in mind.
If you are choosing a gorgeously ornate gown with multiple skirts, embellishments, and varied fabrics, your wedding dress is going to take more time to craft than a simple sheath gown.
If you are planning to get the Cinderella dress of your dreams, you will need to factor in a wait of 6 to 8 months to receive your wedding gown.
The more alterations your wedding gown needs to be just what you are looking for, the longer it will take to receive the final dress.
However, usually, you will receive your gown before alterations and need to have another try-on in your chosen boutique to see what alterations are needed.
The store will have their dressmaker or seamstress around for your first fit-on after you have purchased your gown to make sure all the alterations needed have been noted down properly.
It can take another month or two for the seamstress to complete all these alterations.
How Long Before The Wedding Should You Buy Your Dress?
I recommend buying your wedding dress at least 8 months before the big day. This gives you plenty of time to factor in alterations and any changes that you may need to make from changing bodies or even an unexpected pregnancy.
However, if you can purchase your dress at least a year in advance, that is even better.
It seems so far in advance, so much so that you probably haven’t got much wedding excitement going yet, but if you want to find the perfect dress and feel like a star on your big day, you’ll want to give yourself as much time as possible to find the dress of your dress, purchase it, and get any alterations or embellishments you may desire.
But there is such a thing as too much time.
If you purchase your dress two or three years in advance, you run the risk of it falling out of fashion, you falling out of love with it, or it suddenly not fitting anymore and there not being enough fabric for the perfect alteration.
Designers tend to bring out new wedding gown designs every 6 months.
So by purchasing your dress too soon, you will lose out on being able to choose from the latest designs.
If being fashionable is important to you, then sticking to 8 months before your big day is a good place to start.
Other Considerations When Ordering A Wedding Dress
If you are at the very beginning of your dress-purchasing journey, there are a few things you may want to keep in mind when choosing the wedding gown you have always dreamed of.
Time For Alterations
Planning a year ahead isn’t always possible.
Perhaps you want to get married sooner, you may have an unwell family member and want them to be there for your big moment, or you have found a deal you can’t refuse.
However much time you have to plan your wedding dress, always make sure you have plenty of time for alterations.
If you are really short on time, you will either want to pick up a dress from a sample sale that is ready to go or adjust your expectations for how big and detailed your gown can be.
What Is In Fashion
Fashions will always dictate what is popular and what takes a little longer to craft.
After Princess Catherine got married to Prince William, simple lace-bodied gowns were flying off the shelves.
Everyone wanted a little piece of that Alexander McQueen beauty.
However, when everyone is looking for the same thing, sourcing those materials can be a little tricker, which can add extra wait time.
In the same breath, I’ll also say that popular styles may mean that gown style is abundant.
Meaning it’ll be easier to find a version that fits you perfectly, needs no alterations, and saves you a lot of time waiting for your dress to arrive.
Where It Is Coming From
If your dress is being made in your own country or even your own state, it’s common knowledge that wait times will be a little less.
There’s no waiting for the international post to do its thing or even the dreaded customs, which can see some dresses stuck there for weeks.
If you are tight on time but want a dress that’s custom, stick to designers that live as close to home as possible.
It also means you may have the opportunity to visit in person and get more accurate alterations than if you were working with someone abroad.
Although your budget isn’t a massive factor in how long it takes to get a wedding dress, some boutiques offer expedited service at an extra fee.
If you are short on time and your designer offers this service, it’s definitely a good option to add it to your wedding budget.
However, if your budget can’t stretch that far, you may just have to wait or adjust your wedding dress needs.
Many bridal boutiques have a ‘by appointment only’ system, and many of these appointments fill up months in advance.
If you have a very specific boutique in mind, you’ll want to make sure you can get an appointment well within your wedding dress timeline, or you could really be stuck for time.
Not only that, but you’ll want to make sure that everyone you want to be there is actually free on your chosen date.
Yes, this can be tricky to organize, but if you give yourself plenty of time, you won’t be left feeling stressed out.
It’s Time To Buy Your Wedding Dress
Whether you are in the early stages of wedding planning or you’ve already had your head down for a good three months, your wedding dress should be one of the first things you plan, purchase, and wait for.
The average wait time of four to six months can really mess with your planning if you weren’t expecting it to take that long.
But with a little planning and a lot of patience, you will have the perfect gown for your big day.
Is 6 months enough time to get a wedding dress?
6 months may be enough time to get a wedding dress, but it does depend on the style of dress you order from, where you order it from and if you require alterations. 8 months is generally recommended to give you some additional time and leeway.
Is it possible to get a wedding dress in 6 weeks?
It is possible to get a wedding dress in 6 weeks, but it is not typical or likely.
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Hey, I’m Allison – a recent bride, an expectant mother and the chief editor here at Everlasting Occasion. Here I document all the knowledge and experience I accumulated while researching and planning my dream wedding and ahead of our new baby. Here, I try to answer those many questions couples have when planning their dream wedding, while equally, helping expectant parents ahead of their new arrival!