When to buy a dress, weight loss, alterations, etc...

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jmd22 Posts : 125 Registered: 7/17/08
When to buy a dress, weight loss, alterations, etc...
Posted: Jul 16, 2009 5:33 PM

So, I just got engaged on July 4th (yay!! :) and I don't really know what to do next, haha. We haven't picked a date yet, but are tentatively looking at around May 2010. We will most likely be getting married at my fiance's parent's house in Idaho.

I had a couple of dress-related questions:

1) how early should I try to order my dress? How long do alterations usually take/how many fittings, etc?

2) I am planning on losing some weight before the wedding. 15lbs would be nice, 20lbs would be better! Should I wait to try on and/or order a dress until I have lost at least some of the weight, and then order a little smaller? That just seems like a risky move to order a dress too small, and hope that you fit into it when the time comes! But, since we'll be getting married in less than a year, I don't know that I will have time to lose all the weight before ordering a dress....

3) Maggie Sottero gowns: seems like I have seen a lot of threads on here about people having trouble finding specific Maggie gowns. Are they hard to track down? Can I find a bridal shop in my area who carries Maggie Sottero and request for them to order a sample of the gown(s) I like, or does it not work that way?

Thanks in advance!



WinterWonderlan... Posts : 658 Registered: 8/23/08
Re: When to buy a dress, weight loss, alterations, etc...
Posted: Jul 16, 2009 8:36 PM Go to message in response to: jmd22

Congrats on your engagement!

Before you do ANYTHING, pick a date and then pick a venue. Definitely no dress shopping for that! Considering what would go best with my venue actually helped me make the decision between my favorite two dresses!

1. The place I ordered my dress from told me it would take up to 6 months to get my dress in. I ordered the last week of March for my December 5th wedding. This was definitely not the case, as I got a call last week saying it had arrived. So it really took 3 months and a couple of weeks. As for fittings and alterations, it depends on how much of alterations you'll need. If you think it will take a couple of tries to get it perfect, then give yourself at least a month just for alterations. Plus, you want to have your dress READY about 3 weeks before your wedding.

2. NEVER ORDER A DRESS SMALLER THAN YOU ARE AT THAT TIME. It is easy to take a dress in, but not so much to make it bigger. Do try to lose the weight you want, but don't try to order a dress for your "idea" size. Try on dresses at the appropriate time and order the size that fits you at that time. (About 9 months before the wedding).

3. Maggie gowns are NOT hard to find, at least not where I live. Pretty much every bridal store I went in carried them, but one of the places I went in was actually having a Maggie trunk show. I really doubt that you can call and ask them to order a sample for you, since they only get new samples a few times a year, but it doesn't hurt to try. You could probably find one they already have in store very similar to whatever one you are wanting to try. Don't get your heart set on Maggie either, I did before hand, but then realized that there were a lot of other dresses that were even nicer. Don't even look at the "names" as you are deciding what dress to try on...brands aren't important.


Gypsami Posts : 8 Registered: 6/19/09
Re: When to buy a dress, weight loss, alterations, etc...
Posted: Jul 16, 2009 11:19 PM Go to message in response to: WinterWonderlan...

If you're planning to lose weight (a lot of it) you should do that before you pick out your dress, due to changes that your current body couldn't possibly reflect. You could be busty or pear shaped and switch when there is a large drop in weight. If you're only worried about minor fluctuations, the alterations closest to your wedding date should be able to fix it, supposing you don't overeat yourself into oblivion.

I assume that the time needed to purchase and alter the dress varies by salon, so ask around!


Mer21 Posts : 32 Registered: 11/10/08
Re: When to buy a dress, weight loss, alterations, etc...
Posted: Jul 17, 2009 12:01 AM Go to message in response to: Gypsami

Congrats on your engagement! I'm a summer 2010 bride too (June 26, to be exact) and I've been engaged since April 2006, so I've been thinking about dresses for a long time. I actually bought my dress this past november, a year and a half before our wedding. I ordered early because I knew it was the perfect dress and I didnt want to take a chance that it would be discontinued. They told me it would take 6 months to come in, particularly because it was being special made with extra length, and it took exactly 6 months.

Mine was a Maggie, and I know what you're saying about the dresses being hard to find. Almost all the bridal stores I went to carried Maggies, but the selection of which dresses was kind of random, so it can be hard to find a specific one, especially if it's a newer one. Mine was from her newest collection at the time, and none of the stores that I called had it in yet when I found it online (which was actually last summer). Your best bet might be a trunk show, which is how I was able to try mine on. I do think it's really important to try it on before you order it. One store did tell me that I could order a sample in for about $150, half of which would be refunded if I bought it, but it turned out it was too new anyway. Others just wouldn't do it at all.

In terms of weight loss with it being so early, if you get a Maggie with a corset back, loosing 15 or 20 lbs should be a problem. I didn't originally want a corset back, but it's so great because it's saved me from having to do any alterations (other than a bustle) and I know it will fit perfectly on the day of the wedding (I'm hoping to loose some weight too).

Sorry for the super long post, but I dont think it's too early if you love the dress. And Maggie's dreses are really great! At the trunk show (which was my first day of trying on dresses) I tried on just about every maggie dress they had - we were there all day - and even in the sample sizes, which were way too small for me (i'm 6'2'') they all were much more flattering in terms of fit than any other designers I tried on.

Good luck! And post a picture of your dress. Here's mine!


Autumnalis2010 Posts : 133 Registered: 1/12/09
Re: When to buy a dress, weight loss, alterations, etc...
Posted: Jul 17, 2009 12:25 AM Go to message in response to: Mer21



briony Posts : 75 Registered: 2/9/09
Re: When to buy a dress, weight loss, alterations, etc...
Posted: Jul 17, 2009 9:34 AM Go to message in response to: jmd22

I'm also a May 2010 bride. I bought my dress in April, but because I would like to tone up and lose a little bit of weight before the wedding, I asked the salon to hold off on submitting the order for as long as they safely could (the dress is being made to my measurements, so I wanted to give myself as much time as possible to lose weight before getting my measurements taken). They recommended ordering no later than September - six months to have it made, a month for any alterations, and a cushion of another month or so before the wedding.

So if you're looking at May 2010, I'd buy no later than September. I'm sure there is some variation among designers, but 6-8 months seems pretty standard.

Also, I agree with the other girls about buying a dress that's too small. As Winter said, it's much easier to take a dress in than to let it out, and despite the best of intentions you can't really count on losing weight. There will be enough wedding stress without having to worry about not being able to fit into the dress.

As for Maggies, you don't happen to be in South Florida, do you? I know of a bridal store that carries Maggie Sottero almost exclusively, and they have a huge selection.


LilTuffGirl Posts : 301 Registered: 11/4/08
Re: When to buy a dress, weight loss, alterations, etc...
Posted: Jul 17, 2009 10:42 AM Go to message in response to: briony

My dress is the next size up from what I need but it's a lace up back so I can play with it. I've lost weight and have toned up and it still fits ;) granted there isn't anymore room to make it any tighter but by god it fits! lol
So if you like the lace up look i'd go for a dress with it. Lets you play with your weight a bit.

And I hate to say it but if you work out to lose those pounds you really wont see the diff. when fitting into the dress. My jeans are all way too big but the dress didn't fit much differently.


True love never lives happily ever after - true love has no ending


jmd22 Posts : 125 Registered: 7/17/08
Re: When to buy a dress, weight loss, alterations, etc...
Posted: Jul 17, 2009 12:33 PM Go to message in response to: jmd22

Thanks for the replies ladies! I think that maybe I will give myself about two months to lose however much weight I can, and then try to order a dress in whatever size I am at that point. I like the lace-up back idea, and I like that look as well.

And, no, I am not from South Florida....I'm in Southern California. I'm not totally set on getting a Maggie dress, but I just had seen a few of her dresses that I really loved, so I wanted to take a look at them.

Thanks for all the advice!



SESager Posts : 1 Registered: 1/14/09
Re: When to buy a dress, weight loss, alterations, etc...
Posted: Jul 22, 2009 2:29 PM Go to message in response to: jmd22

Congrats on your engagement! I am getting married August 2010 and I have already picked my dress out. The bridal shop in my area told me that after you order them dresses take around 6 months to arrive so I wanted to get it done early. I too plan on losing some weight but I figure it's better to get it now and lose weight and then have it altered smaller than try to lose the weight first and then not have enough time to order the dress I really want. I also have picked a Maggie Sottero dress. the girl at the bridal salon informed me that Maggie discontinues dresses in September of each year and they don't know in advance what dresses will be discontinued so that might be why some of your friends are having trouble locating the dress they want and keep that in mind too if you like Maggie's dress to order it now so you can be sure to get the dress you want in case she discontinues it.


LeddaBlue Posts : 1 Registered: 6/4/09
Re: When to buy a dress, weight loss, alterations, etc...
Posted: Jul 22, 2009 4:17 PM Go to message in response to: jmd22

When I started looking for gowns I really was set on Maggie Sottero as well. She has so many that I love! So I went to the one place that carried her gowns. They only had a couple but luckily one that I did want to try, however I liked the strapless version and they only had a version with straps on the shoulders. Of course I could never buy a gown that didn't look the way I wanted it even if they tucked in the straps. The one I really wanted was not there so she called the store in the next city to see if they had, they would transfer it to her store for $50 (non-refundable), however there were no stores in my State that had any that I liked. So I started going to other stores, first Alfred Angelo and then Demetrios. I was amazed by the ones at Demetrios, they are really lovely and elegant. And of course I found one I love at Demetrios. They advised me to order my dress no later than September 14th which is 11 months in advance, she said it was because they make it to my exact height (I am short) and they do all the bead work, etc.. I think it may vary from place to place and once you start trying them on, when you find "the one" you will know! I know I did, and I was dead set on this certain Maggie gown.

I too want to loose a little bit of weight and they advised me not to order SMALLER. They say it's much easier to take in then to expand out!

Good luck with your weight loss and your wedding!



Mishu917 Posts : 1 Registered: 6/9/09
Re: When to buy a dress, weight loss, alterations, etc...
Posted: Jul 22, 2009 6:00 PM Go to message in response to: jmd22

I looked at dresses earlier this month and she told me that if I plan on losing weight, I should still go with my current size for ordering purposes. The reason being is that I can obviously get it altered once it comes in, which I would have to do anyway to perfect it, so it shouldn't be a big deal. I was concerned about this because I fluctuate between 95 and 105 lbs, which she said is not really enough to change my dress size.

She basically said if the dress was ever too small for me, I would need to work out A LOT because I'd have to reorder a new one, which would cost me my 50% deposit on the old dress since they're not just going to order a new one for me because I gained weight, and also the time constraints might not permit ordering a new one. I'm not sure of that's the policy everywhere!

I actually loved Maggie Sottero, the Sabelle dress pictured above, but when I went into the store, I ended up getting a Pronovias and Priscilla of Boston (Ceremony and reception haha). I do agree that most stores don't have the Maggie dresses on the website, but I ended up going to the NY Flagship Store which is huge and has everything, after calling a bunch of places that didn't carry it.

Most places advise that you get your dress a year in advance, or asap in your case, since it takes a few months to order and then alterations and what not. Plus if you want to theme your wedding after it, then you need to decide on something. In general, venue and date, then dress :)

Good luck!


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Re: When to buy a dress, weight loss, alterations, etc...
Posted: Sep 19, 2012 8:13 PM Go to message in response to: jmd22

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