Most bridal magazines say you should shop for your wedding dress 12 months before your wedding. And some brides will shop early, find a favorite dress, and decide to wait to buy it. Other brides shop just six months (or even fewer!) before their big day. But let me give you three good reasons why you should buy your wedding dress as soon as possible:
- Wedding dresses sometimes come in the wrong color. Strut recently had a 10/2011 bride buy her wedding gown in August. It just arrived last week but Allure sent us the wrong color. Instead of being panicked about replacing her gown, we simply sent it back, knowing we have 11 months before her wedding, and plenty of time to get the right color in.
- Wedding dresses sometimes ship late. We have a November bride who shopped in August. She paid a rush fee for her wedding dress, which was supposed to ship in late October. But it didn't come in from the factory on the original date. In fact, we didn't get it in the store until just two weeks before her wedding. We know that's nerve-wracking for brides (and believe me, we were calling every day to get that dress in faster!), but manufacturers don't promise ship dates and, frankly, don't have much control over when they'll get in gowns.
- Wedding dresses sometimes come in damaged. Yep, as much as we don't want to admit it, they are sometimes shipped to us in, ahem, less than perfect condition. We've sent back a stock gown to have a large stain on the skirt cleaned. And we had a bride's dress come in with the ruching not fully tacked, so we had to send that back. You want your wedding dress to be perfect, and so do we, so we want enough time to be able to fix these kinds of things.
Finally, there's the human error option. Yep, we might right down the wrong size when we place your order. Or it might get entered incorrectly at the manufacturer. Or it might be placed wrong at the factory. There are so many points in the ordering process where a person can simply make a mistake. We want enough time to be able to fix that, without stressing out the bride.
Some manufacturers keep stock in wedding gowns. That means, if you buy a popular style, they might have it in their warehouse and be able to ship out the correct one right away. However, most brands do NOT stock plus size wedding dresses, which means that yours, if wrong, will have to be re-cut from scratch, which takes months.
It really can take up to six months to get in your gown, so please shop early–it's the only way we'll have time to fix a problem, should one arise!