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How long before a wedding should you buy a dress?

When it comes to planning a wedding, picking out the perfect wedding dress is one of the most exciting parts. It’s an opportunity to bring your vision to life and show off your personal style. However, with so many options available, it can be challenging to decide when to start the hunt for the perfect gown. In this blog post, we’ll discuss how long before your wedding you should buy your dress, so you feel confident and prepared for your big day.

Factors to Consider When Buying a Wedding Dress

Before we dive into when you should buy your wedding dress, let’s discuss a few factors that can impact your decision.

Wedding Date: One of the biggest factors to consider when purchasing a wedding dress is the date of your wedding. If your wedding is less than six months away, then you may need to consider purchasing off the rack since the dress will not be in stock yet. However, if your wedding is more than six months away, then you have plenty of time to order your dream dress and even have alterations made.

Budget: Your budget will also play a significant role in the timing of your dress purchase. If you are trying to stay within a certain price range, then purchasing your dress earlier may allow you to find a better deal. If you have a higher budget, you may be able to wait longer to make your purchase.

Custom Dress: If you have your heart set on a custom-made dress, you should plan to start the process eight to ten months before your wedding. It takes longer to make a dress from scratch since the materials will need to be ordered, and the dress will need to be designed and sewn.

When to Buy Your Wedding Dress

Now that we’ve covered the factors to consider let’s discuss how long before your wedding you should buy your dress.

12 Months Before Your Wedding: If possible, begin dress shopping one year before your wedding. This will give you plenty of time to research styles, designers, and boutiques. You can also take your time trying on dresses without feeling rushed or stressed.

10-11 Months Before Your Wedding: Once you’ve found the dress you want to wear, it’s time to purchase it! Buying your dress 10-11 months before your wedding gives you and your dress shop enough time to ensure your dress is delivered to the store in time for alterations.

8-9 Months Before Your Wedding: If you didn’t purchase your dress between 10-11 months before your wedding, purchasing your dress 8-9 months before your wedding is the next best option. This is the cutoff for purchasing a made-to-order dress, so be sure to check with your dress shop to confirm they can get the dress in time for alterations.

6-7 Months Before Your Wedding: If you haven’t found your dress or purchased it yet and your wedding is 6-7 months away, you may need to start looking at off-the-rack options. Be sure to call ahead to your dress shop to confirm their stock and try on a few options.

5 Months Before Your Wedding: At this point, you’ll want to narrow down your options and make a final decision. Schedule your final fittings, so your dress is hemmed and altered to perfection.


In summary, choosing the perfect wedding dress can be an exciting yet overwhelming experience. It’s critical to consider many factors like your wedding date, budget, and the type of dress you want before making a purchase. We recommend starting the search for your dream dress one year before your wedding to allow enough time for alterations and delivery. Don’t hesitate to schedule appointments with dress shops earlier than this; the more time you have to shop, the better.


Is 4 months too late to buy a wedding dress?

When it comes to buying a wedding dress, it is generally recommended to start the process as early as possible – ideally around nine months before your wedding date. This is because most wedding gowns are made-to-order, meaning they are not kept in stock and instead need to be produced specifically for each bride. Ordering your dress with plenty of time in advance ensures that there is enough time for any customizations and alterations that may need to be made before the big day.

However, if you find yourself with only four months left until your wedding and you haven’t yet purchased a wedding dress, don’t panic just yet. While four months is definitely on the later side of the spectrum, it is not necessarily too late to find the perfect dress.

The key to successfully buying a wedding dress on a shorter timeline is to be flexible in your choices. If you have a specific dress or designer in mind, it may be more difficult to find one that can be produced and delivered in only four months. But by expanding your options and looking at dresses that are already in stock or available for immediate delivery, you may have more luck.

Another option to consider is purchasing a pre-owned dress. Many brides sell their wedding dresses after their big day, and with a little bit of luck, you may be able to find a dress that fits your style and budget and can be delivered in time for your wedding.

When it comes to alterations, it’s important to find a reputable seamstress who is experienced in working with wedding gowns and who can fit you in for appointments quickly. Be aware that alterations may cost more if they need to be rushed, so it’s important to budget accordingly.

While purchasing a wedding dress four months before your wedding date is not ideal, it is still possible to find a beautiful dress that you’ll love and feel confident wearing on your big day, as long as you are willing to be flexible and work within your timeline.

How many months in advance should I buy my wedding dress?

Choosing a wedding dress is an exciting moment for many brides-to-be. However, with so many options available, it can be a daunting task. One important question that often comes up is how many months in advance should you buy your wedding dress?

Typically, wedding experts suggest starting your search anywhere between 9-12 months before the wedding date. This initial timeline gives ample time for you to shop around, try on dresses, and make a final decision. Once you have decided on the perfect dress, it can take anywhere from 4-6 months to order and receive your dress, which is why it’s important to start the process early.

Some brides may feel like starting the process a year in advance is too early, but there are many advantages to doing so. When you give yourself enough time, you can shop around to find the perfect dress, compare prices and styles, and even find discounts and promotions. Additionally, having your dress in hand several months in advance will help with alterations and give you enough time to make any last-minute changes or fix any issues with the dress.

However, not everyone has this kind of time, and some brides may find themselves preparing for a wedding with a shorter timeline. In this case, some bridal stores and designers offer rush shipping options for brides who need a dress quickly. These options may come with a higher price tag, but they can make the process less stressful.

Deciding when to start shopping for your wedding dress ultimately depends on your timeline, budget, and personal preference. However, to avoid any last-minute stress and to ensure that you have enough time for alterations and any necessary changes, it’s recommended to start the process 9-12 months before the wedding date. This will allow you to find the perfect dress and ensure that it arrives on time and is exactly what you envisioned for your big day.