When to Buy a Wedding Dress

When to Buy a Wedding Dress

So, you’re recently engaged (congrats!) and beginning your search for the wedding dress of your dreams. While one of the more fun parts of wedding planning, the entire process of finding a dress, waiting on the gown to come in, and altering it properly can take anywhere from 6 to 9 months. Don’t worry—for brides on a tighter timeline, this can be shortened depending on your dress. A lot of brides are shocked by the time it actually takes for this entire journey, so we’re giving you a breakdown of what to expect when shopping from the day you get engaged to your actual wedding day. 

After You Get the Ring


First off: Congratulations! When newly engaged, you probably haven’t started planning too much yet. While you’re discussing potential wedding dates, start getting an idea of what kinds of dresses you like. We know some brides have been saving dress ideas on their Pinterest boards for years, but if you’re the type of bride who’s never considered her dress, go find a few magazines and start thinking about dresses you may like. By no means do you need to come into your appointment absolutely sure of what dress you want—plenty of women come in and fall in love with something completely unexpected—but it helps make your appointment easier if you have a few general ideas. 

Book an Appointment


Once you’ve chosen a date and a venue, book your appointment to find the dress! It’s always safer to start earlier than you think you may need to. We also recommend waiting until you’ve selected your venue so that you have a better idea of what your wedding is going to look like: you don’t want to come into the store and fall in love with a long-sleeved ball gown and then decide you’re holding a beach wedding. 


After You’ve Found The Dress


Once you’ve found the perfect dress, it becomes a bit of a waiting game. Depending on what dress you’ve fallen in love with changes your timeline. Typically, you can expect at least 6 months for the gown to come in. We know what you’re thinking: why does this take so long? Most designers make your dress to order. Made to fit your measurements, each dress is constructed and then embellished with lace, beading, applique—you name it. If it’s on your dress, the designer needs to wait for materials to come in and then carefully create the dress you’re looking for. 


Don’t have six months? Don’t worry! You have a couple of options. Most designers at Volle’s Bridal & Boutique in Lake Zurich, IL have rushes available. The dress can be ready for alterations in as quickly as 10 weeks. Please note: there is an additional fee involved and can range from $150 to $600 depending on the designer you are choosing. Shopping from the samples is also an option at Volle’s as well: we have a limited supply of dresses that may come in your size, so when you fall in love with “the one,” it’s already close to fitting exactly as it should, and you can go straight to alterations. 



Once your dress is in, you’ll have three fittings to be sure everything is exactly as you want. If you are getting custom alterations (think: neckline changes, adding sleeves, etc.), you may need a bit more time depending on how complicated your customizations are. For simple alterations (ex: hemming, tightening a strap), your first fitting is 8-10 weeks prior to your wedding. The biggest alterations will be made between your 1st and 2nd fitting, and you’ll come back again 4 weeks prior, then 2 weeks prior. This lets the seamstress ensure your dress is fitting exactly as it should on your wedding day, so you don’t need to worry about any wardrobe mishaps. You’ll come back to pick your finished dress up 2-5 days before your wedding. 

Day Of


No more worries! Your dress will fit perfectly, it is steamed and ready for you to wear. The incredible staff at Volle’s will explain the travel steps for your dress. Now you get to wear it, finally, and enjoy your big day without a care in the world! 

Realizing you might need to book your appointment sooner than you thought? Don’t worry! Book an appointment and come see us at Volle’s Bridal in Lake Zurich, where we will help you find the wedding dress of your dreams.