We hear this question all the time, so I figured why not post a blog outlining your wedding dress timeline!
When should I order my wedding dress?
Trusted sources such as TheKnot, Wedding Wire, and Brides Magazine all suggest ordering your gown 8-12 months before your wedding. Yup, you heard that correctly!
Why so early?
Special order wedding gowns are not pre-made. What this means is that each dress is made to order in your choice of style, color, size, and sometimes even length. While it doesn't take 8 months for manufacturers to actually sew your dress together; your order gets put in line and made in the order in which it was received.
What takes so long?
First and foremost, every wedding gown company that we carry are sold internationally. They aren't just selling to our store. These companies are selling to hundreds, even thousands of stores; and that means even more brides. Each bride needs their dress made for them, in the style that they chose, the color they want, the size they need, and sometimes even their custom length. Companies such as Maggie Sottero sell to over 68 Countries, that's a whole lot of brides.
Think about that for a second.
Not only do you get in line for your wedding dress to be made for you, but wedding dresses with heavy, or "complex" beading can take longer because once production actually starts on these intricate wedding dresses, they take additional time and manpower to complete. Some of our wedding gowns can take up to 3+ weeks to bead once started, and that's just one dress. Ruffles are often cut one-by-one and pinned individually before they are actually sewn on the dress. Remember all those sparkly beads you loved on your dress? They're sewn by hand. Wedding gowns are truly a work of art, and works of art take time to complete.
Where are they made?
Each gown manufacturer has factories that they work with to produce their wedding dresses. Most of these factories are located overseas, and the gowns are imported into the United States.
How long does shipping take?
Most of our companies ship by boat, which is about 30-45 days once the order leaves it's place of origin. Why do they ship this way? To keep the cost of your dress manageable. If each gown was individually shipped by air, it would add $100-$200 to the cost of your dress. Your dress only ships by air once it hits the US and crosses customs.
What about alterations?
Alterations should be started 3 months before your wedding date, or sooner in some cases. In New England our busy wedding season is Fall & Spring, so if your wedding falls in either of these seasons, the sooner you start your fittings the better!
So there you have it! The inside scoop on the when, where, and how of wedding dresses. Like you, I had no idea about any of the ins-and-outs of how this industry worked until I started going to bridal market to purchase the gowns with Barbara, the owner of the store. In spending time in showrooms you learn a lot about how each brand works, and believe me when I say they all operate in their own unique ways. I hope that this blog helps a little in understanding the timeline!
Photo above provided by Maggie Sottero
Hi! I'm Katy, a bridal consultant at Marry & Tux Bridal. In addition to helping brides, I built & maintain the website, and love writing on our blog/get inspired page! Tag us on instagram with the hashtag #marryandtux if you'd like your wedding to be featured, I'd love to share! If you're a photographer with photographs of one of our brides please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org