Your wedding dress countdown

Written by    Last updated: June 6, 2006

Finding your perfect dress is a big project. Here’s how to plan for it…

Timing ‐‐ how long do you need?

Rather like house‐hunting, dress‐buying is not something you can generally do casually. Even if you love the first dress you see, unless you are seriously busy or allergic to shopping you’ll want to look around further. Don’t hope to find the dress in one Saturday ‐‐ commit to several trips out.

Some future brides worry that if they don’t start looking the minute they get engaged, they won’t find The One in time. Others panic that if they find a dress too soon, they will later find another dress they prefer. In practice, these two scenarios rarely happen.

The main thing to remember is that unless you are particularly lucky, it will usually take three to five months for your dress to arrive once you have placed your order. So if you have enough time, start looking between six and 12 months in advance of the big day. According to a confetti survey, this is when more than 55 per cent of brides start looking.

Choose your shopping partner ‐‐ whose advice do you want?

It is rare, indeed almost unheard‐of, for a bride‐to‐be to go shopping for her dress alone. So make sure your ‘assistant’ is available on the day. Make sure you choose someone whose taste and honesty you trust ‐‐ not someone who means well but doesn’t fill you with fashion confidence.

Sizes and samples

The dress you try on in store is just a sample. Your dress will have to be ordered so don’t worry if the one you’re given is covered in make up and smudges! Sometimes however, stores do have sample sales ‐‐ and you may be able to pick up a bargain.

Going to fittings

Bring your shoes, headdress, veil, underwear and any other accessories to the first fitting. The second fitting should just be necessary to check everything was done properly. However, if you’re losing weight, it might need to be adjusted again.

If you’re intending to lose weight, its best to get to your target weight before your first fitting to avoid this. If you’re not happy with the results on your second fitting, schedule another. After all, the purpose of these sessions is to make sure the dress fits properly.

On your last fitting, bring someone with you so they will know how your gown does up. This will be invaluable for helping you get dressed on the day.

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