Things To Consider When Wedding Dress Shopping Without a Wedding Date

Things To Consider When Wedding Dress Shopping Without a Wedding Date

Things To Consider When Wedding Dress Shopping Without a Wedding Date. Mobile Image

Feb 21, 2024

If you're shopping for your wedding dress early, before you have a wedding date set, you'll want to pay close attention as we share our best advice what to do. We hear from many of our brides that wedding dress shopping is one of the first tasks they want to accomplish when they begin wedding planning. Wedding dress shopping can be one of the more enjoyable and fun parts of wedding planning so we often have brides shopping with us early for their bridal outfits. Lately, we have had quite a few brides shopping at our bridal store without a wedding date already set. In the past, we have even helped some brides shop for their wedding dress before they are even engaged!


If you are ready to begin shopping for your wedding dress, you may or may not have your wedding date set. We’ll share all the things brides should consider if they are wedding dress shopping without having a set wedding date. Shopping early for your wedding dress can be proactive, but there is a fine line between being proactive and being unproductive in your wedding planning. Follow along as we share all the tips to keep in mind if you want to shop for your wedding dress but you don’t have a wedding date.


Video: Things To Consider When Wedding Dress Shopping Without a Wedding Date


If you are newly engaged, you might be wondering when is the best time to start shopping for your wedding dress. Do you need to have a set wedding date before you can shop for your wedding dress? Don't miss our advice video sharing all the things to consider when wedding dress shopping without a wedding date.


Wedding Dress Timelines


One very important thing to know about wedding dresses before you begin shopping, is the amount of time it takes for production after you place an order for a bridal gown. If you are ordering a brand new wedding dress from a designer, it can take anywhere from six to eight months for your order to arrive in store. You should then add on about two months for alterations as you typically have your first fitting two months before the wedding, a second fitting a month before the wedding and the final fitting about two weeks before the wedding. This is an average timeline, you’ll want to confirm with your bridal store or seamstress, whoever is doing your dress alterations, but that is at least a good starting point. This is why we always encourage brides to order their wedding dress about a year in advance of their wedding.


Ordering your wedding dress about a year before the wedding will alleviate stress as well. This gives ample time for manufacturing delays, shipping delays, customs delays, anything that could cause your dress to arrive later in store. You will also not have to worry about things like paying for a rush fee to ensure delivery of your dress in time for wedding day.


Now if you fall on the opposite side of the spectrum and you have less than a year or eight months til wedding day, don’t panic. You still have options. Be upfront with your bridal consultant when shopping for your wedding dress because they will know what dresses are available to you on your timeline. There are some dress styles and designers that have quicker ship dates or do offer rush fees. You may also be able to purchase a sample wedding dress from your bridal store and not have to worry about shipping timelines.


Have An Estimate In Mind


Shopping for your wedding dress without a wedding date can be a little tricky and this is where communication with your bridal stylist is very important. The bridal consultants will know what dresses are available to you based on your wedding date. They will know what dresses might be available on shorter timeline or if you should only be looking at sample sale dresses. It can be really helpful to have a rough time frame in mind, like the goal month you want to have your wedding or a range of time like six months or ten months from now. Knowing how much time you have before your wedding is going to allow your bridal stylist to show you the best selection of dresses to shop. You don’t want to have free range of a store’s inventory and fall in love with a dress only to find out there is no way to get this dress in time for your wedding.


If you are looking at a wedding date on a shorter timeline, there will be sample dresses available to you, as long as the sizing works, and you’ll be able to buy and take home your dress on the same day. This can also be a way to save a bit of money as sample dresses are typically sold at a discount to brides because they are “used”, as other brides have tried on these dresses, but they will still be in good condition.


Preliminary Research


While shopping early for your wedding dress can be a good idea, there is a fine line between being productive and shopping too early. If you are planning on getting married in the next year or year and half, there is a lot of time for your wedding. If you are shopping just to do some preliminary research, it can actually work against you. You should always be ready to buy your wedding dress when you start shopping for your dress. If you make an appointment to try on wedding dresses, but you don’t plan on buying a dress that day, it can be an unproductive use of your time. It might sound like a good idea to start seeing what styles or types of wedding dresses you like, but if you shop too early and don’t purchase a dress, you might fall in love with a dress that is unavailable by the time you are ready to buy.


Wedding dresses can be discontinued at any time, with no warning. We just recently heard from one of our designers that two styles were immediately discontinued. So any brides who may have tried on that dress last week or last month or three months ago, it is no longer available for them to order, even if they call tomorrow. Bridal stores also get new dresses in all the time. Designers release new collections and inventory can constantly change in a bridal store.


If you are beginning your wedding dress search really far in advance, it can actually work against you. We would encourage you to always be ready to buy when wedding dress shopping, even if you don't have a wedding date. If you go bridal dress shopping, you want to be in the mindset and prepared to spend the money on the dresses that you are shopping.


In the end, it can be very helpful to have a set wedding date so you know what dresses are available, but it’s not a requirement to go wedding dress shopping. If you are shopping without a wedding date, be prepared to buy on the spot so you don’t risk disappointment and take the chance of a dress you love no longer being available in a few weeks or months when you come back to buy your dress. If you go ahead and buy your wedding dress with out a wedding date, then you can go ahead and cross that task off your wedding planning to do list and your dress will already be ready to go once you do set the date.


One last tip to keep in mind if you shop for and buy your wedding dress without a wedding date is to keep your bridal store informed and up to date. Once you do set the date, be sure to call and update the store on your wedding date so that they can better manage your dress timeline and ensure everything runs smoothly and on time.


More Helpful Wedding Dress Shopping Advice


We hope you have found this advice helpful when it comes to shopping for your wedding dress without a wedding date. For even more helpful advice when it comes to shopping for your dream wedding dress and finding your bridal style, be sure to check out our past posts:



About Lovella


If you're shopping for your perfect wedding dress, come visit us at Lovella Bridal in Glendale, CA. We carry wedding dresses in all sizes and styles, including plus-size bridal gowns and a full selection of veils and accessories. Lovella Bridal is the premier, luxury bridal wedding dress shopping boutique located in Los Angeles, California. Lovella features couture, feminine, modern and chic bridal gowns in all sizes from the best wedding dress designers. Schedule an appointment to find the wedding dress of your dreams at Lovella Bridal. We can't wait to help you!



About Wedding Fashion Expert


Our wedding dress shopping tips and advice are from Nayri, Lovella's own, in-house wedding fashion expert. Nayri is truly the expert when it comes to bridal fashion and wedding style. As the Wedding Fashion Expert, Nayri is the top bridal fashion stylist and the best-selling author of the book "I'm Getting Married And I Have Nothing To Wear," the ultimate guide to helping brides find their wedding day style and their perfect wedding dress. You can subscribe to her YouTube channel or listen to her podcast for more helpful and practical advice on wedding dress shopping.