When To Start Shopping For My Wedding Dress | Neue Bride Guide
Recently engaged? Have no idea where or when to start with dress shopping? Most brides have no idea what the timeline of shopping for a made-to-order wedding dress is, but it is a super important part of wedding planning you will want to get out of the way in the beginning stages. A made-to-order gown can take 6-8 months for a designer to create and you'll need to leave time for alterations as well so that your gown is well-tailored and fits perfectly. We are here to give you the low-down and answer all your questions about when to start shopping for wedding dress, so keep reading!
12 months before your wedding –
Pick your venue, set a budget, do some research and start shopping! It's probably safe to say you have had a secret Pinterest board and have been saving dress inspo to for a while now. You will probably want to dive a little deeper in your research before you start to make appointments at dress shops. Start by figuring out which designers and dress styles you are attracted to. Get some inspiration from viewing real brides weddings to see how a dress might fit into a particular venue or theme. We also advise that you only go dress shopping after you have picked your venue as you won't be able to envision yourself in a particular dress if you don't know where you will be saying "I Do." Once you have an idea of what you might like, find one or two bridal salons in your area that might carry your favorite designers and fit your style and make appointments to try on dresses! Only start shopping once you are confident and ready to make a decision on a dress, as trying on too many dresses at different places will get very confusing and overwhelming. We also suggest trying to limit your shopping enterouge to a few trusted family members or friends. We like say "when it comes to opinions on your wedding dress, less is always more!"
9 months before your wedding –
Purchase your dress! Once you have tried on a selection of dresses and taken the time you need to think about your final dress choice, you'll be ready to make an order for your dress! When you place your order, you'll have to sign a contract with your bridal salon and put down a deposit. This is required because your one-of-a-kind dress is being created just for you! Allow 6-8 months for your dress to arrive after placing the order. Although this timeline is standard, there are other options if you’re working within a shorter timeframe. We can accommodate doing a rush for a fee or selling you an off-the-rack sample to take home same day for those gals who like to live on the edge 🤗
If you are loving everything you try on and having a hard time making a decision on a dress, ask yourself some of these questions –
- Start with your favorite silhouette shape and think about which details and elements of the dress you love most.
- Which gown would you be devastated to find out was no longer available to order?
- Which gown would you be most excited to put on on your wedding day
- Which gown deep down do you feel most authentically like yourself
- Don’t ask for anyone else’s opinions, trust yourself!
6 months before your wedding –
Complete your look! While you wait for your gown to be made and arrive, check some things off your list such as making an appointment with your seamstress for alterations. You also might want to make a second appointment with your bridal salon to retry your dress and match it with a veil and accessories, and any necessary undergarments. You can read our post on How To Choose Your Wedding Veil here. Complete your vision with shoes that compliment your overall vision and any additional finishing touches. You'll want to bring your shoes for any fittings to figure out your necessary hem length.
3 months before your wedding –
Yay! Your dress is here! Your dress has arrived and now you get to pick it up and start the alterations process. Depending on what kind of customizations you are doing to the dress, you'll most likely have a couple of fittings for alterations and you'll want to finish those up about a month before your wedding so you aren't stressed about your dress as you are finishing up other details. You will look stunning on your wedding day and be so happy with your perfect dress! After the wedding you can decide if you want to hold on to your gown for sentimental reasons or you can opt to consign or sell your dress to make someone else’s dress dreams come true!
FAQ of dress shopping with Neue Bride
Do I have to be a boho bride to shop with Neue? No way! We do carry a selection of boho gowns, but we also offer modern and minimalist dresses. If you have your heart set on a super traditional silhouette, note that we do NOT carry a lot of ballgown or mermaid shapes. We recommend coming to see us for our accessories and veil offerings instead!
What price range of gowns does Neue carry? Neue Bride carries a range of gowns starting from around $1500 - $4000, with most of our inventory falling around the $2000 range.
Do I need to book an appointment? Yes! If you would like to try on a dress from our selection, an appointment will be required. We are focused on an intimate atmosphere, therefore we can only accommodate a small amount of people in our studio at one time. Our appointments may last up to 90 minutes and are reserved for the serious bride ready to purchase a made-to-order gown. We realize that plans may change, but please take your appointment time seriously and please let us know 48 hours in advance if something comes up!
What size dresses are available to try on? Our dress samples currently range from size 6-12. Dresses are available to purchase in most sizes depending on the designer. During your fitting, we will take your measurements and order the best standard size gown for you. Please be patient with us as we expand our collection to carry a broader spectrum of sizes in order to accommodate fitting more brides.
Who should I bring to my appointment? Less is more when it comes to opinions on your wedding dress! For the initial appointment, we recommend limiting your enterouge to 2-3 trusted friends or family members. If you choose to bring more than that, please note that our studio cannot accommodate a very large group without advance notice.
Can I get my alterations done at Neue Bride? We do not offer alterations in-house, but will refer you to a trusted seamstress in the area. After you purchase your gown, we will produce it for you in a standard size based on measurements we take during your appointment. Even with the correct sizing, your gown may need to be altered (hem length, strap length, etc.) to achieve the desired fit.
What exactly is a trunk show? Trunk shows are an opportunity for us to showcase more of a designers collection or special pieces that we don’t permanently carry in the shop. If you have fallen in love with a specific designer, a trunk show is an incredible time to be able to try on many pieces from their collections. It is possible that we can offer special pricing for that trunk show weekend as well.
Photography Credit: @brandyjacksonphoto