Things to consider before shopping for bridal gown

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Preparations for Bridal Fittings

  1. STEP 1.

    Schedule your first fitting about 4-5 weeks before your wedding date, at the absolute latest. This first fitting will usually coincide with the delivery of your actual garment to the shop or boutique, as most bridal businesses do not tend to carry large inventories of different garment sizes.

  2. STEP 2.

    Prepare by wearing the undergarments, especially your bra, and the shoes you plan to wear at your wedding. Your undergarments will greatly influence the shape of your body under your dress and the way the fabric drapes over it, so it is best to wear these garments while the dress is measured and altered. Your shoes will help determine whether the length of your dress will need to be altered, so it is required to take them to the fitting.

  3. STEP 3.

    Set the appointment for your second, and perhaps final, bridal fitting to occur about 2 weeks before your wedding date to see how the dress fits you based on the first round of alterations. Usually, this fitting will identify any final changes that may be needed, however minor. Be sure to speak up if you have any last-minute concerns.

  4. STEP 4.

    Arrange for a member of your bridal party, a friend, or a family member to go to each of your bridal fittings with you. It is usually helpful to have someone else with you to give her feedback about how the dress looks on your body and to reassure you in your decisions regarding the fittings. Many bridal boutiques frown upon taking photographs of their wedding gowns–this helps to prevent the copying of their designs, so you may not be able to take a picture of yourself to show others.

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Shopping for a Wedding Dress


Think ahead and shop well in advance. Most designers require four to six months to produce a gown so you should be shopping at least nine months in advance. Some brides purchase their gowns as much as 18 months before the big day. Shopping early will give you the most choices.

You’ll often get the widest range of choices at an independent bridal salon that can do special orders from designers with distinctive styles, rather than the mass market chain stores.


Find out if you should make an appointment with the store where you intend to look at wedding dresses. Many bridal salons prefer to have brides make appointments, and some require it. Find out ahead of time. If you make an appointment but need to cancel, let the store know in plenty of time. If you are not considerate enough to cancel an appointment properly, you are not enough of a grownup to be getting married.

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