When to Buy Your Wedding Dress

Congrats! You’re recently engaged and beginning your search for the wedding dress of your
dreams. While one of the more fun parts of wedding planning, the entire process of finding a
dress, waiting on the gown to come in, and altering it properly can take anywhere from 7 to 9
months. Don’t worry—for brides on a tighter timeline, this can be shortened depending on your
dress. A lot of brides are shocked by the time it actually takes for this entire journey, so we’re
giving you a breakdown of what to expect when shopping from the day you get engaged to your actual wedding day.

After You Get Your Ring

First off: Congratulations! When newly engaged, you probably haven’t started planning too
much yet. While you’re discussing potential wedding dates, start getting an idea of what kinds of
dresses you like. We know some brides have been saving dress ideas on their Pinterest boards
for years, but if you’re the type of bride who’s never considered her dress, go find a few
magazines and start thinking about dresses you may like. By no means do you need to come
into your appointment absolutely sure of what dress you want—plenty of women come in and
fall in love with something completely unexpected—but it helps make your appointment easier if you have a few general ideas.

Book an Appointment

Once you’ve chosen a date and a venue, book your appointment to find the dress! It’s always
safer to start earlier (again we recommend a MINIMUM of 7-9 months before the wedding date)
than you think you may need to. We also recommend waiting until you’ve selected your venue
so that you have a better idea of what your wedding is going to look like: you don’t want to come
into the store and fall in love with a long-sleeved ball gown and then decide you’re holding a beach wedding.

After You’ve Found the Dress

Once you’ve found the perfect dress, it becomes a bit of a waiting game. Depending on what
dress you’ve fallen in love with changes your timeline. Typically, you can expect at least 6-7
months for the gown to come in. We know what you’re thinking: why does this take so long?
Most designers make your dress to order. Made to fit your measurements, each dress is
constructed and then embellished with lace, beading, applique—you name it. If it’s on your
dress, the designer needs to wait for materials to come in and then carefully create the dress you’re looking for.


Once your dress is in, you’ll have multiple fittings to be sure everything is exactly as you want. If
you are getting custom alterations (think: neckline changes, adding sleeves, etc.), you may
need a bit more time depending on how complicated your customizations are. For simple
alterations (ex: hemming, tightening a strap), your first fitting is 8-10 weeks prior to your
wedding. The biggest alterations will be made between your 1st and 2nd fitting, and you’ll come
back again 4 weeks prior, then 2 weeks prior. This lets the seamstress ensure your dress is
fitting exactly as it should on your wedding day, so you don’t need to worry about any wardrobe
mishaps. You’ll come back to pick your finished dress up 2-5 days before your wedding.

Your Wedding Day!

No more worries! Your dress will fit perfectly, it is steamed and ready for you to wear. The
incredible staff at Volle’s will explain the travel steps for your dress. Now you get to wear it, finally, and enjoy your big day without a care in the world! Book an appointment and come see us at Volle’s Bridal in Lake Zurich, where we will help you find the wedding dress of your dreams.

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