A wedding dress shopping timeline can be something brides neglect. You're better off knowing exactly what you need and when you need it, early on.

12 Months to Go

Set Your Budget

Once you’ve settled on an overall number, decide how much you’re willing to dish out for your gúna. Remember to budget for alterations and accessories too.

Do Your Research

Before you go near a bridal boutique, start researching styles you like and the shapes that suit your figure – our guide on page 60 will help.

Choose Your Entourage

Decide who’s on your wedding dress dream team and find out what dates they’re free for shopping. Two or three people is plenty at any given appointment. Any more than this and things will just get messy.

Image by Tessa Tadlock

10 Months To Go

Book Your Appointments

You’ve done your research, so it’s time to get going. Nine months out is the ideal time to start shopping, but it might take a couple of weeks to get an appointment, so make them now.

9 Months to Go

Shop for Undies

Get your under-the-dress essentials before your first fitting. A great strapless bra or some smart shapewear can completely change your opinion of a dress.

Start Shopping

Don’t overwhelm yourself with too much choice. We love the wedding ‘rule of three’ – visit three venues, see three bands and book three dress appointments. If you haven’t found the one at that point, book three more.

6 Months to Go

Choose Your Accessories

Now that you’ve chosen your dress, decide if you want a headpiece or veil, or both. When it comes to shoes, you'll be on your feet for most of the day, so we advise buying two pairs as, when it comes to sore feet, a change is often as good as a rest.

3 Months to Go

Your First Fitting

You’ll have an average of three fittings to make sure your dress fits like a glove. Your first fitting is where the major alterations happen - like adding sleeves or changes to the neckline.

6 to 8 Weeks to Go

Your Second Fitting

The second fitting is your chance to make smaller tweaks, like taking in the bodice or perfecting the hem length. If you’re on a pre-wedding health and fitness buzz, having the sizing of your dress altered any earlier than this probably isn’t advisable.

2 to 3 Weeks to Go

Break in Your Shoes

Try our ‘two socks trick’ when wearing your shoes around the house – put a pair of socks on underneath the shoes and pop another pair on over them – you’ll loosen the fit and also protect them from scuffing. (Yes, you’ll look silly, but it’ll be worth it.)

Have Your Final Fitting

Arguably the most exciting part of the entire dress buying process, where you’ll get to see the finished product. Tissues at the ready!

Collect Your Dress

If there are any final tweaks, you may need to pop back once last time. Inspect your dress carefully to make sure you’re completely happy and, once home, keep it in a breathable, opaque garment bag away from prying eyes!

Day Of

Time to enjoy!

Give us a twirl - you’re getting married!

Related to 'Wedding Dress Shopping Timeline': What Now? Your 12-Month Wedding Planning Timeline

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