When To Start Dress Shopping

You're engaged, yay! But when do you actually start shopping for your dress?

The answer depends on these things:

  • Have you set a date?

  • How far away is the wedding?

  • Do you intend on losing weight? (although I strongly advise against this - love who your are)

  • Do you have the budget right now?

  • Does dress shopping make you anxious?

So let's go through these one by one.

Have you set a date?

If you haven't set your date yet you don't really need to start shopping unless you know for sure your date will be within the next 12 months.

How far away is the wedding?

If you've decided to have a long engagement, you have time to wait. It can be so very tempting to start but if your wedding isn't for 2 or more years, you're better off waiting a while. Especially if you're a little indecisive like I am, that's a long time to not come across another dress you think you may like even more. Then you've spent a fortune on multiple dresses and are as confused as ever!

Do you plan on losing weight?

Despite my belief that dieting whilst planning a wedding is too much pressure, I do understand that every bride wants to look and feel their best. If you do plan on losing a stone or more it's definitely best to wait until you have or you're close to it. Your body shape will change, you may find the style you liked at the time is no long right for you.

Do you have the budget right now?

This one is simple - if you don't, wait until you do. You don't want to fall in love with a dress that is out of reach at that time.

Does dress shopping make you anxious?

If it does, it's best to do it sooner rather than later otherwise you could end up putting it off for so long it'll make your anxiety worse. Once you have it all of that anxiety will disappear and the rest of your wedding planning will be a breeze!

With all of that being said, really it's up to you when you shop. If you go to a boutique that stocks particular designers be aware they can take up to 6 - 12 months for your dress to arrive, then you need to factor alterations into that timeline too. Be sure to ask the boutique the lead time on your dress. Or if you go to a boutique like mine that stocks off the rail dresses there's no waiting whatsoever so in theory you could buy a dress and get married shortly after!

Hope this helps!