Wedding Dress Shopping – When should I start looking?

You’re just engaged! But what happens next?!

So…’ve got a beautiful ring on your finger and the exciting part has started! But what about one of the most important parts of the day – what will you be wearing? And when should you start to look? It all depends on time! Whether you’ve got 6 weeks, 6 months, a year, 2 years! Also, whether you’ve booked your venue? We find most brides want their dress to fit with the style of their venue. The more time, the more options you have. So, what do you really want? How much does the dress matter to you? There is no single right answer. For some, it’s all about the dress – but for others the dress is probably one of the least important parts of the day. There are lots of options when it comes to your dress, from buying a wedding dress on the internet to having a bridal gown designed especially for you… and everything in between!

18 months before your wedding –

It’s a great time to start looking at where you feel you want to go to look for your dress. Is it all about the dress? Or does service and experience play a big part for you? Check out Pinterest and Instagram for inspiration, however, we find lots of brides get fixated on a style, but when they try it on it doesn’t look how they expected it to. It’s probably too soon to commit to a dress if you feel you won’t be able to stop looking around or think you might change your mind. Some brides want to have their dress ticked off the list so they can tie in other elements of the wedding with the look they have chosen. If you’re wanting to design your own dress with the help of a designer it’s a good idea to find the designer you think you’ll want to use and start meetings with them.

12 months before your wedding –

This is a great time to start looking properly and be ready to commit if you haven’t done so sooner. You’ll have plenty of choice as you have plenty of time and have lots of options available to you. If you’re ordering a dress, it’s best to allow 6-8 months as a minimum to allow time for the dress to arrive and be altered (although some designers can order dresses much more quickly.) If in doubt its always best to check!

Again, once you’ve chosen, it’s best to stop looking. Let’s face it, who doesn’t like shiny new things!! And once you’re committed, you will find, dresses that you probably wouldn’t have liked previously to seem appealing! It’s like when you look around shops if you have a little to spend you can find lots you want to buy! And if you have lots to spend you can find little that appeals! It’s all psychological!

6 months before your wedding –

You need to get a wriggle on as your options will start closing. At this point you are likely to still have enough time to have a dress made to order if you wish (this would be where you choose the dress you want from a sample and it’s ordered new for you). However, you may find you prefer to save money and buy an ex sample.

You may not know this, but most bridal boutiques work with samples that brides try on, the bride orders a new dress from the designer. From time to time boutique’s need to change their samples and will sell off dresses at a discounted price – even if the sample has barely been tried on. A lot of the time you can pick up an ex sample at a really good price – the price is likely to reflect the dress’s condition – there are bargains to be had if price is a key driver for you! If this is the case, we have some great news for you! check out Anna Wood Bridal Outlet – we’ve opened an Outlet specially to offer ex-sample and discontinued dresses that are a fraction of RRP prices.

6 weeks before your wedding –

You’re in a position where you will need to buy a ready to wear dress. Why not visit Anna Wood Bridal Outlet? Our Outlet room has the most gorgeous dresses at a fraction of the RRP. It’s worth checking with boutiques before resorting to shops that only stock off the peg dresses (such as Wed2B). A lot of the time boutique samples (such as the dresses at Anna Wood Bridal Outlet) are in better condition and have been tried on fewer times than those in shops specialising in off the peg dresses. If you’re buying from somewhere like Wed2B rather than a boutique sample check inside the dress for signs of wear. Just because a dress has a cover on it doesn’t mean its brand new, looks can be deceiving, equally a boutique sample could be in much better condition than you expect – at Anna Wood Bridal we really take care of our samples and have a fantastic seamstress who can fix cosmetic imperfections cost effectively.


Anna Wood Bridal will be exhibiting at The National Wedding Show at NEC Birmingham at stand E30