Some brides are so excited to get engaged that their first thought is "I must go and looking at wedding dresses NOW!" Whilst I totally understand the excitement, there are lots of things to consider before going to search for that Dream Dress!
First, do you have a confirmed wedding date? It's really important to schedule every aspect of your wedding back from the date of your wedding to make sure that it all aligns on your special day.
My recommendation is to begin looking around 9-12 months before your wedding. If you look too soon, you'd be surprised how tastes and trends move on - what you liked 2 years ago looks "old hat" now!
Also, occasionally manufacturers will discontinue some of their less popular styles so it could be that the dress you fell in love with is no longer available. This doesn't happen often but that's why its best to look within a year of your wedding to avoid such disappointment.
So, if you make your initial appointment around 12 months (or less of course!) then you can begin to find out what style suits your body shape - I cannot emphasize enough how important it is to try on lots of different wedding dresses, as what looks great on the internet doesn't mean it will look great on you!
I always suggest to Brides to think about coming on their own for the first appointment as it is very much about "playing dress up", simply to discard what doesn't work in favour of those style that do.
After trying on all kinds of styles, we then get to "The Shortlist"! Those dresses that the Bride feels reflect her personality, taste and also fit in with the type of wedding she has chosen.
I then send my Bride the photos of those dresses in her shortlist so that she can reflect on her visit before making that all important 2nd visit, when she brings her most important people to help her with her final decision.
In terms of when you should order, my dresses take between 12 and 16 weeks to be manufactured just for you! So in order to have enough time for any possible alterations, I would suggest that you place your order 6 months before your wedding date.
Not enough time?
BUT, there are options if you're short of time - I have dresses that can be sourced immediately, if my manufacturer has your particular size in stock.
OR you can buy most of the styles here "off the peg" for a 25% discount so you can feel confident that you have your wedding dress AND you get a bargain too!