Wedding dress countdown / When should I start my search? //

"When should I start  searching for my wedding dress, am I too early, am I too late?" is often what I'm asked by excited brides either here in the boutique, via email or while exhibiting at a wedding fair. There are no definite rules, but there are timescales which are worth considering. For instance, if you're getting married within 12 months it makes sense to start your searching for your dress asap. If you're getting married within 18 months or longer, you've got a bit more time to relax about your searching for 'the one'.
But to give you an idea and the general rule of thumb of when to start your search, here's a few tips on when to begin trying. dresses, when to order your dress, to the fittings and the big day.....

// 18 - 12 months until your big day.
Do your research - Start your wedding dress shopping and figure out what style suits you. By now you should have chosen and booked your wedding venue. This will also help to dictate what style of dress you are looking for. Look online and through bridal magazines to see what styles, dress details, and fabrics take your fancy. The more information and ideas you come armed with to your appointment the better, as this helps me to getter a better idea of the type of 'look' and style of dress you are leaning towards. More importantly, take a look at the boutique website and our designers individual websites, to get a better understanding of the styles and the designers we offer here in the boutique. You'll be surprised how many brides don't do this and our designer websites offer a vast resource of dresses images from their current and past collections that you can look through.

// 12 - 9 months until the big day.
Get yourself into the boutique - Make an appointment to come and try the selection of beautiful dresses that we have here in the boutique, how exciting! Bring along a friend and/or a family member to help you decide, someone who knows you well and in who's advice you trust. I would suggest bringing no more that 2 other people with you to your first appointment, too many people equates to too many opinions, which can lead to confusion and a frustrated bride. First 'trying' appointments take about 1 - 1 1/2 hours and as I offer a one to one appointments, you'll have the full run of the boutique. I suggest to try as many dresses as possible to get an idea of what shape suits and what you like and dislike. Eventually and with my advice too, we'll usually get down to 2 dresses which are your favourites, from here we can add accessories and create your wedding 'look'. In some cases, a bride may need a further styling appointment, where she will simply retry the narrowed down selection of dresses that she has previously chosen, before she makes her final decision. Other brides may know straight away by the end of their first appointment if they've found 'the one'.

// 9 months until the big day.
Buy your dress - If you haven't already, make your final decision and place the order for your dress. There's no point in leaving it too late before making a decision and putting yourself under any unnecessary stress. Around nine months is the perfect stress-free time scale to order your dress, for your dress to be created to your measurements by our fabulous designers, for your dress to arrive and for you to have your fittings and final fitting. We are lucky, our designers here in the boutique can accommodate tighter timescales and most tight timescales are achievable. So if you're a 'last minute bride' don't panic. However bear in mind when ordering your dress within 6 months or less from your wedding date, you could incur a 'late order' charge from the designer - which could be anywhere from £150 - £200 additional cost added to your dress budget.

// 6 months until the big day.
Accessories and undergarments - So your dress had been ordered and is in production with the designer and will soon be arriving into the boutique, even more exciting! Now it's time to choose your accessories. If you already haven't decided on your accessories at a previous appointment, book a 'Styling Appointment' where we can select together your hair accessory, veil, jewellery, and any other additional items. Also purchase your wedding shoes ready for your fittings and also your underwear. Seek my advice on underwear, as this will depend on the style of dress you have chosen.

// 3 months until the big day.
Time for your dress fittings - Your dress is here in the boutique, yeah! But more than likely your dress will need some final tweaks. Most brides need around two dress fittings prior to their final fittings. All fittings and alterations that are made to your dress are conducted by myself, (I design and make wedding dresses too, I'm an expert as this) so your know that you're in safe hands and your dress isn't going to be sent away to be altered elsewhere. Second fittings usually take place around 4-6 weeks after your first dress fitting.

// 2 - 3 weeks until the big day.
Your final dress fitting -This is the point when you'll see how your wedding dress will look on your wedding day, and when I have the box of tissues at hand and a celebratory bottle of 'bubbly' on ice. It's now getting very exciting!

// 2-3 days until the big day.
Time to take your dress away - Your dress has been pressed, steamed, checked, rechecked, covered and is ready to leave the leave boutique - it's time to collect your dress ready for your big day. Hip, hip, hurray! It's been a great journey together and I'll miss your visits to the boutique, but can't wait to see the photos. Happy wedding day!

Until next time

Julia x


CONTACT ME: I'd love to hear from you, click on the image above to visit the boutique website or contact me directly, Julia xoxo -

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