Just said yes to the most magical proposal? Have this new amazing feeling of “I’m a fiancee” … but also a new one of “OMG, this is actually happening! When do I start the hunt for my wedding dress? Do I actually need to sort seamless undergarments? When do I need to pencil in my first fitting session? When do I panic?!” (Hint: never!)
We see so many brides at our BLANC Studio that we thought we’d put together a Bridal Dress timeline to help you through the next 12 months. Here's a breakdown of all the essential stages you’ll need to go through over the next few months to make sure you look your absolute best on W-Day … stress-free!
Please note: This schedule will not be suited to all brides or scenarios. If you're opting for a Vintage dress, considering non-dress options like trousers, or going the custom-made route, your schedule might vary significantly. This guide will help you if you're leaning towards the Bridal Boutique shopping option, and are planning to purchase your dress from places like The Mews Bridal, The Wedding Club or Browns Brides (... we know them well and couldn't recommend them more!)
12+ months in advance: Research
Initiate your research: explore various styles, fabrics, hues, fits, and take weather considerations into account to guide your choices. As part of this:
- List out all the boutiques, shops, online stores, and bespoke dress-making ateliers so you can start shopping soon, as a lot of these are appointment-only and you will want to make your appointments memorable experiences, perhaps to be shared with close female family members or your bridemaids/best friends.
- Select a pair of shoes with the same heel height you plan to wear.
- Purchase a nude bra or two, and possibly slips, to bring along for future fittings.
10-12 months in advance: Try things out
Try out different styles and silhouettes, and keep an open mind to determine what will look best on you, and flatter you on your special day. Each style also comes with specific lead times, expenses, and tailoring charges - so make sure you factor that into your choice, as it’s never only about what you find the prettiest. This means attending several dress fittings (it takes time - start early!), and arranging subsequent appointments as required once you’ve found the one!
8-10 months in advance: Order gown & look for accessories
Place the order for your gown! woohoo! Start looking for accessories like veils, belts, headpieces, jewelry, etc. A good tailor can often help you order things like new attachments for your dress (feathers, tulle), a veil or headpiece. This is something we do a lot at BLANC. This really is the time to start knowing your tailor / dressmaker and to plan fitting sessions for potential dress alterations, which are often necessary to make it fit like a glove. Book a first fitting at our Chelsea Studio by clicking on this link if you’ve already got your dress and the date of your wedding, and we can take you through all of the above together.
6 months in advance: Style your Bridesmaids & Ushers
Make your style choices and place orders for your wedding party's wardrobe, including accessories and footwear if you’re buying them. Organise for your tailor to see them to make adjustments as no two bridesmaids are shaped the same - you can make a booking at our Studio for everyone to come and take measurements together, and make it time to remember (bubbly is involved! wink wink!). We cater for bridesmaids, as well as ushers - whether at our Chelsea Studio or in one of our Central London stores.
4-5 months in advance: Organise your Dress’s Pre- and Post-Wedding Cleans
Organise your dress’s pre-wedding cleaning if you have bought a sample sale dress, or a second-hand one. You can book a collection & delivery online from us, or come into one of our central London stores if you’d like a quote or some advice on either cleaning or tailoring.
Also organise your dress’s post-wedding cleaning, or delegate this task to someone close to you if you're leaving for your honeymoon immediately. We see so many brides who forget about their stained and damaged dress for several months, and are so disappointed when they bring them in and we tell them that some stains are going to be very hard to get off… this is a *critical* tip. Given the amount of care and love you will have put into your dress, and the amount of fun you’ll have on your wedding day, do NOT delay cleaning, or you might not be able to get your dress back to a fit state entirely after your wedding. This is especially important if you plan on selling your dress after your wedding - unattended stains or damages could severely impact its value.
Ask your Bridal store if they work with a trusted partner - they really should be able to advise you on this. We work with many Bridal stores and accompany their brides on the whole after-purchase journey, from fittings, tailoring and alterations to cleaning and storing after the big day.
Around that time, also order your accessories, particularly any custom-made items like veils or headpieces, which may require additional lead time.
2-3 months in advance: Start your Fittings
Start your dress fittings and tailoring — remember to wear appropriate undergarments and shoes with the correct heel height, and bring along any planned accessories.
If your bridal store does not have a trusted partner, book your first fitting with us and we can give you all the advice you need based on years of bridal alterations experience.
1-2 weeks in advance: Collect & Inspect your Dress
Collect your gown and inspect it for any issues. Make any last minute adjustments if needed. Store it in a clean and dry location.
Your Wedding Day
Forget everything, just be yourself and enjoy this incredibly special day you've worked so hard for - knowing you look phenomenal!
Happy BLANC Brides
At BLANC, we are proud to offer a premium Wedding service in our Chelsea Wedding Studio, where we cater for Brides, Grooms and Bridal Parties. Whatever dress or suit you have in mind for your special day, we will make it look exactly like what you have it mind, and fit like a glove. Our Dressmakers & Tailors will receive you in a private fitting Studio, serve you and your party some bubbly or refreshments, and walk you through all the various steps to the perfect gown or suit. Most importantly, they will listen to you, and be with you every step of the way during this strange and wonderful time that is wedding preparation.
We hope this helped! and congratulations on getting engaged. What a wonderful, exciting time. We hope to see you soon in BLANC Chelsea Studio!