How far off from the wedding date should I start looking for dresses?

I have no idea when to start looking for my dream dress. I'm someone who is well organised and ideally I'm trying to have everything for the big day sorted 12 - 8 months prior to the date however I'm stuck on when to start looking for my dress. I'm worried that if I leave it too close to the date then I'll stress out and rush the process and then on the other hand I'm worried I pick too early and want to change the dress.!! I might add that I also hate shopping and can never decide on things from clothes to dinner ha! Any tips would be greatly appreciated.

Samantha M

Question Asked: 15/02/2017

Wedding Date: 1/12/2018

Wedding Location: Margaret River, Wa 6285

Most Helpful Response

Louise Alvarez Couture Bridal & Evening Wear

(27) · Sydney

Posted: 18/02/2017

For a couture gown it really depends a lot on what time of year your wedding falls, for a December wedding ideally it's great to book in in about a year ahead, although eight to ten months is still ok. If you're organised you will have more choices in regards to laces and fabrics which can often take up to three months to arrive once they are ordered in. You'll find that a lot of wedding details like bridesmaids and flowers revolve around your gown choice, so it's better to get the gown sorted out earlier than later. We can often still help brides who have less time, with six months you still have options open, any less time than that you would sometimes have to compromise and choose what is available in stock to have your gown made in. Once you're sure about the style, it's best to get booking, especially if you're being married in peak bridal season which falls from around September to April each year.

Answered by: 11 Experts

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Riverside Gowns

(24) · Melbourne, Yarra Valley and Surrounding Areas

Posted: 17/02/2017

4-6 months, depending on the style.


(4) · Australia Wide

Posted: 17/02/2017

Hi Samantha,

Once you have decided on your wedding venue, its a good idea to start narrowing down the style of dress you like - sleeves, neckline, colour, train length etc. Making a list of things you don't like can be helpful too. Delivery times can vary greatly, depending on where your purchase your gown from, how many fittings are needed, alterations etc. We have 65 styles of wedding dresses and can deliver in 6 - 8 weeks.

Best wishes for finding your perfect dress.

Eternal Weddings & Alterations

(95) · Melbourne & Surrounding Suburbs

Posted: 17/02/2017

10 months is ideal as it gives you a chance to look at current collections. Dresses take 5 to 6 months to order in and then alterations should begin at leas 1 month before your wedding date. Although having said that, we have brides getting married mid 2018 that have already placed their orders as they don't want to miss out on their dream dress. Designers discontinue dresses so if you leave it too long you may miss out ordering the dress you love.

Eternal Weddings


(97) · Victoria

Posted: 17/02/2017

Hi Samantha,

This may surprise you – but we are already taking bookings for Mid 2018 onwards…!

As we only specialise in custom made dresses, all made from scratch here in Melbourne, so we do require a longer timeframe.

So when it comes to securing one of our top bridal makers, its all about locking in your spot with one of them to make your gown at THAT future time – it never starts until a few months before the wedding, but due our reputation brides are now booking them out so far in advance.

It is all about being super organised in advance – just by knowing what basic style you want and choosing the fabric with us to make it now – and then it all sits on hold and the work begins when it should and because of this if you do want to make a few minor changes as time goes on you can do so.

Our couturiers always do a mockup dress way before starting with you final one. All the work is spread out and small baby steps so you will have full control of what your dress is turning out to be every step of the way.

Spots are so limited as we have only four bridal couturiers dedicated to creating just bridal gowns, and they will not take any more than 2-4 bookings per month.

I hope this all makes sense, and for that reason I urge you to get in contact with us if you are even vaguely interested in going down the ultimate path of custom making your gown. Its all a lot simpler than it may seem, a lot more personal and fun, and almost always a lot less expensive.

So definitely not leave it until the last few months to book in. If you are confident with just the basic shape then book an appointment and we can help you with the other style details in creating a classic, timeless design that is suitable for you body and personality.

Please contact us for more information.

Kind regards – Suzanna & Pala : )


62 Glenferrie Road,

Malvern 3144

Open 7 Days

Wedding Whispers

(14) · South Australia

Posted: 16/02/2017

Hi Samantha,

Most brides start looking about 12 months prior to the wedding date. Once you have your dress then yo can make decisions regarding bridesmaids, flowers etc. etc.

Chein Noir Dezines

(14) · Perth

Posted: 16/02/2017

Hello Samantha,
The best time to start looking is just after you have chosen your location and style of the Ceremony and Reception. This is best time to start looking and talking with the designers about most suitable design for you and your wedding.

Margarida Couture

(2) · Perth, WA + Australia Wide

Posted: 16/02/2017

Hi Samantha, I recommend writing a list of what you like in a dress as soon as you have the time, Do you like Lace, Strapless , spaghetti straps, Sleeves?? Once your list is done it's much easier to find the gown you are after. Are you having your dress custom made? Store Purchase? Although you dislike shopping, i recommend you take a friend or Family member to take the time and visit 1 or 2 bridal stores and try on some dresses as close as possible to your list , that way It'll give you a better idea of what you feel comfortable with and diminishes confusion or being overwhelmed with loads of different styles. Look through the web at Designer Gowns for inspiration. Ask yourself if you are having a theme for your wedding, Venue(Beach or Garden Wedding)??

I personally like to give my clients 10-12 months prior to wedding date.

If you have any further questions please feel free to contact and i will be more than happy to assist you in any way i can with no obligations whatsoever.

Best wishes on your Dress search. :)

Margarida Couture

Zolotas Australia Bridal Wear

(4) · Australia Wide

Posted: 16/02/2017

Hi Samantha, we recommend 8 months prior as it can take 5-7 months to make a dress!

Lilli Marcs

(13) · Sydney / Australia Wide

Posted: 16/02/2017

6 months

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