If you recently got engaged and have started the hunt for your dress, you may be surprised to find out many boutiques recommend you shop nearly a year in advance! Designer wedding gowns are made to order, meaning long ship times. Then you will need to account for about two months of alterations. This may be no problem if you’re planning on having a year-long engagement. But what do you do if you want to get married ASAP? Or if you didn’t know they take so long to come in and now have two months until the big day? Don’t worry…there are plenty of options we will talk you through below.
Many designers offer the option to place a rush order on your gown. Typically, the fastest rush options are anywhere from 6-8 weeks, and don’t forget you’ll want to have at least 3 weeks for a seamstress to rush your alterations. Just as every boutique is different, so is every designer! Here at Love, we have two designers that offer a 3 week rush option! Keep in mind that a rush order does incur extra fees… How much? Depends on the designer, gown and how fast of a rush you’ll be placing. Most designers REALLY want to be able to get you the dress you love on time – if they can make it happen, they will! This is something your consultant will know ahead of time. If you ask to try on a gown and they say they can’t get it in time, they just want to make sure you don’t fall in love with something that won’t be available!
Some brides have a date so close that even a rush order won’t get a new dress on time. This is when you’ll be looking for a dress you can purchase right off the rack. Pro-tip: these are referred to in the wedding world as a sample dress. There are a lot of perks that come with buying a dress off the rack! Most of the time, as the dress has been tried on before, you’ll receive a discount. (The discount is typically determined by how new the gown is, its condition, and if it will require a professional cleaning prior to your wedding day.) You also can take the dress home with you that day and immediately start your alterations. Keep in mind because of this, most boutiques will require payment in full.
When calling to schedule your appointment, be sure to tell the boutique you're booking with the time frame you are working within. Often the first question you're asked is your wedding date because it is the most important thing for us to know! Next, you'll be asked your regular clothing size. This is asked because if you will be looking at sample gowns, they need to know how you might be fitting. It is possible to take in or let out a dress, but alterations can be costly if the fit is very far off. Most boutiques carry a range of sizes. Here at Love, we have gowns sampled in sizes 2-26, with most being a size 8-12. Next, the boutique you call will likely ask the budget you have set for your dress. Knowing this helps them think about what dresses to have pulled for you when you come in! Instead of looking through the racks at a lot of gowns that won't be available, your consultant will likely have a personalized selection ready for you! If you'll be placing a rush order, knowing your budget helps your consultant factor this into the price of the gown.
If you have any questions or just want to talk through any anxiety you might be feeling give us (or your local boutique) a call! During this special time in your life the last thing you should be feeling is stress. We are here to make finding your dress the easiest part of planning your big day, whether its 6 weeks or a year away.