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Ever since your fiancé popped the question, it’s likely that you’ve been imagining yourself in the perfect wedding gown. As you walk down the aisle, you want to look and feel your very best, so wedding dress shopping can be an exciting and slightly overwhelming experience.

You may be wondering, “When should I start?” “Where should I go?” “What’s the whole process like, anyway?” Don’t stress — we’ve got your back. From finding the perfect dress straight off the rack to special orders, we’ve covered everything you need to know about looking for the wedding dress you’ve always imagined.

Twelve Months Away: Budget and Style

About 12 months before your wedding, you’ll want to decide how much of your budget will be reserved for your dress. It’s important to remember that wedding gown costs may include taxes, alterations and perhaps shipping. You’ll also want to set aside some of the budget for your shoes and other accessories.

At 12 months before your wedding date, you’ll also want to decide on the style you’re looking for. Are you interested in classic silhouettes or would you like something more modern? Do you want details like beading or lace? You can browse online collections to narrow down your style choices and find a silhouette that fits your unique vision.

Nine to Eleven Months Away: Shop ‘Til You Drop

When it comes to wedding dress shopping, the earlier you can find “the one,” the better. If you’re not buying off the rack, you’ll want to give yourself plenty of time for alterations. Feel free to bring in pictures of dresses and styles you like while you’re shopping so the staff can help you find the perfect match. Pinterest boards are a huge help!!

Eight Months Away: Go On and Buy It

After you’ve tried on different dresses, it’s time to make the big decision and place your order. When you don’t want to take it off, you’ll know that dress is the one. Make sure you have the right shopping crew with you to help you confirm your choice.

Purchasing a wedding gown typically includes a contract and deposit. Make sure all of the information is correct and ask the shop when you can expect your gown to arrive. If you’re ordering a designer, custom-fitted gown, it may take four to five months for it to arrive.

Three Months Away: Fittings

Your first fitting should happen about three months from your wedding day. Subsequent fittings can happen in the weeks following, but you’ll want to make sure that you give yourself plenty of time to schedule them. At this point, you should have picked out your undergarments and shoes to help determine the right fit. And be prepared to grab the tissues because your final fitting might be an emotional one.

At DownTown Gowns, we’re here to help you every step of the way during the wedding dress shopping process. We have a variety of styles to suit every bride and even offer gorgeous off-the-rack dresses so brides can have their perfect wedding gown ready in much less time than 6 months. Please browse our collection and give us a call to make your appointment today.

We can’t wait to help you say “yes” to the gown of your dreams!