Finding the perfect wedding dress — and getting it altered to perfection — can seem like one of the biggest hurdles in a bride's wedding-planning process. With shoes, lingerie, fittings — and, of course, finding the actual gown — it can be quite the undertaking. But, lucky for you, we've created a wedding-dress checklist that encompasses every gown-related task a bride must complete — and when it should be completed by! — to get you down the aisle in perfect bridal fashion.
__1. Get inspired! __
The initial excitement of the engagement is settling down, you're in full on planning mode and you want to go wedding-dress shopping, like, now. But, if you have at least a year before your big day, we encourage you to slow down a bit and search for some inspiration. Browse through magazines and mood boards to look for gorgeous gowns that will work with that fabulous venue you and your groom just booked. Narrowing your options now will help streamline the shopping process later.
__2. Go shopping for your dress! __
If time allows, start searching for dresses about 10 months before your big day so you can leave enough breathing room for searching for the actual dress and the fittings once you find it. Remember that if you're going to any bridal salons, you'll need to make appointments to try gowns on.
3. Getting a custom gown? Order it quick.
If you're buying a made-to-order dress from a salon, you need to order it with about 10 cushion, as it can take up to nine months to perfect.
4. Nab those accessories.
Aim to find your wedding-day lingerie, shapewear, and heels at least two months before the big day. You'll need to wear them to your first dress fitting so your seamstress can nail the fit and length.
5. Let the fittings begin!
At about six weeks before your wedding, it's time for your first dress fitting, where you'll be able to make any minor tweaks you want to your gown (change in neckline, trim train, etc.)
6. Figure out your "somethings."
Pick out your something old, something new, something borrowed, and something blue about a month before your wedding. Take them to your fittings if necessary.
7. Second fitting.
Schedule this for four weeks before you say "I do." Choose your veil, jewelry, and other accessories.
8. Final fitting.
Two weeks before your wedding, have your final fitting. Don't forget your accessories and shoes!
9. Take it home.
With just mere days before your wedding, if you haven't done so already, pick up your dress — be sure and try it on before leaving the store to guarantee its fit.
10. Be prepared.
The night before the big day, prepare a wedding-day emergency kit. Don't forget fashion tape, safety pins, mints, and needle and thread that matches your dress — just in case!