Wedding Gown Timeline

Planning a wedding can be such a stressful experience! There are loads of things that need to be planned, and all on different schedules! Of course, while we’re not experts on the entire wedding industry timeline, we definitely know how to handle the wedding dress timeline. Here’s our recommended ideal timeline for an average length engagement:


9-12 Months Out:

Now is the perfect time to start shopping and find your gown! Designers can take many months to send the gown once the order is placed, so it’s good to plan ahead. We know that this can be a daunting part of the process. So, for tips on finding your gown, check out our blog post on our Top 10 Wedding Dress Shopping Tips.

6-8 Months Out:

It’s time to find your hair stylist and make-up artist! Of course, this can vary with each vendor, but as a general rule, more time equals more availability. Also, your particular stylist may want to do your first trial further out from the wedding date (although some stylists also like to wait till closer to the wedding). In any case, the general rule is that planning what you can earlier out will lead to less stress closer to the big day!

3-4 Months Out:

Your dress should be here or arriving soon! Now is the perfect time to finalize your total look. Start with any undergarments you’re planning on wearing: spanx or a strapless bra will change your shape under the gown, so you’ll need them for alterations appointments! In addition, you’ll want to find the shoes you’ll be wearing, as the height of your heels will affect the length of the hem. Not to mention, any jewelry, belts, or hairpieces you plan on wearing should be decided on soon, too!

3 Months Out:

Now’s the time to find your seamstress and set up an appointment! Some tailors do take longer to alter depending on their schedule, so if you have someone you plan on using, it’s best to call ahead and check how soon they will expect you to set up an appointment.

2 Months Out:

By now, you should be attending your first fitting! Remember to bring your shoes and any shape-wear you plan on wearing. Make sure to ask your seamstress about the possibility of sewing cups in so you don’t have to wear a bra. Also at this time, your seamstress will look at the hem to make sure it is the correct length. And, sew in any bustles you will need to hook your train up.

1 Week Out:

Your gown is done and you’re almost ready! If you’re traveling, make sure you have planned out a way to pack the gown properly. If the wedding is local, it’s time for your dress to get steamed! At Altar, we steam our brides’ gowns complimentarily, but you can also check with your seamstress to see what options they recommend.

2-3 Days Out:

It’s gown pick-up time! Make sure to ask any last minute questions you may have about transport, bustling, or preservation options.

The Big Day:

Wear your dress, look amazing, and enjoy every minute!


Are you ready to begin your wedding gown shopping? We want to help! Contact us with questions or set up an appointment to start trying on!

Posted in