Tuesday, August 12, 2014

THOUGHTS TUESDAY #3: Bridal Gown Shopping Timeline

We are here on the blog today to talk about bridal gown shopping timelines. I think that this is by far the most common misconception among brides. But I mean it makes sense... buying a wedding dress isn't something you do everyday so how would you know about how long it really takes to get your dress and the why behind why it takes so dang long. So we are going to give you some insider insight and we even have some of our designers who chimed in!!

ORDERING TIME: Our dress designers take an average of 4-6 months (16-24 weeks) for a special dress order.

ALTERATIONS: All dresses will need alterations, unless you are an unusually lucky bride who is a 5'10 and a perfect sample size and even you might need alterations. Maybe not a hem or anything taken in; however, what about a bustle? Unless your dress doesn't have a train or you have a reception dress you are changing into after the ceremony you are going to want to bustle your train. A bustle is "a type of framework used to expand the fullness or support the drapery of the back of a woman's dress." The most common bustles we see are the French bustle (under) or American bustle (over.) Our alterations specialist prefers to have 2 months for alterations to be complete. This allows her to have multiple fittings with each bride. The first fitting is to go over what needs to be done and pinning. The second fitting is to make sure everything looks good and to see if there are any changes, which often times there are. The final fitting is scheduled 2 weeks before your wedding to make sure everything is perfect and this allows for any final adjustments to be made. Any less than 2 weeks is really pushing it... Plus you are going to want to get that dress steamed so that it is as wrinkle free as possible on your big day.

PRODUCTION SCHEDULE: When you order a dress that does not mean your dress is started on immediately. We got some insight from our accessories designer, Jaclyn Jordan, who used to be a sales consultant at Lovely Bride in New York City. Jaclyn said the biggest thing is there are steps that occur once an order is placed. First, it gets put at the end of the production line. Then materials are allocated or purchased. Fabrics are cut and sewn. Item then goes through quality control. After all these steps it then is packaged and shipped to the store. So it's important to realize there are countless other bride's orders that are also being worked on and processed. In addition, with larger designers the dresses are normally cut in size groups. So say you order a size 4. Maybe at that time they are working on size 10 not size 4 and the size 4's won't be worked on for another month or even two months. This is how designers keep production costs down. Once your dress is cut it's not all made in a day. There are many steps required in the construction of a good quality dress... from the corset, to the beadwork, to the draping... these are all details that make a dress what it is and this takes time, quality control, multiple people, etc.

BRIDAL ACCESSORIES ORDERING TIME: Our accessories designers take an average of 2-4 months. That being said, all of our accessories designers also offer custom designs. These can take even longer. Designers need to source and find the appropriate materials, fabrics, beads, etc. to make your piece. Again, they are probably not just working on your accessory but others as well. Then once the final product is complete they need to check it for quality.

All that being said... we do have some samples we would be willing to sell off the floor but it is a very limited selection and if you are not the right size then alterations can cost an arm and a leg to alter that dress to fit you perfectly. So, all in all our recommendation is that you purchase your wedding dress 8-9 months before your wedding. This will ensure a stress-free bridal gown shopping experience and a stress-free alterations experience. No need to add more stress to your wedding planning..!!! This is supposed to be a fun experience and the last thing we want is a bride worried her dress won't get in on time or having to spend hundreds in rush fees to have their dream dress on their wedding day. Hope these suggestions help and feel free to pin our easy board to help you when shopping for your dress!!

{Photo and Other Credits} Bride image via Ivory + Beau's Bridal Editorial // Photography: Izzy Hudgins // Dress: Rebecca Schoneveld // Designer Input: Jaclyn Jordan

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