Shopping 'til we rock: The big wedding dress timeline (with printable checklist!)

Wedding dress shopping timeline as seen on @offbeatbride
Dress by Dark Garden

Need to know when to start shopping for your wedding dress? When to start stocking up on nude knickers? When to schedule your fittings? When to start flippin' out? (Hint: never!) This is your Offbeat Bride wedding dress timeline guide. Here's a run-down of all the necessary steps to acquiring your rad wedding outfit in a lower-stress way.

Disclaimer: This timeline definitely won't apply to everyone's timeline. If you're buying off-the-rack, from a place like ModCloth, wearing pants or something other than a dress, or having your dress custom-made, your timeline could be very different. But if you're planning a more traditional shopping route, whether at a dress boutique or otherwise, this will help you plan ahead.

Wedding dress shopping timeline as seen on @offbeatbride
Click here to download the wedding dress timeline

12+ months before

* Start researching: look at different styles, fabrics, colors, fits, and check the weather to help gauge what you might need.
* Create a list of boutiques, stores, online stores, and custom dress shops to start shopping and making appointments as necessary.
* Find a pair of shoes that are the same height as the shoes you plan on wearing.
* Buy some nude bras and slips to take with you on fittings.

10-12 months before

  • Be open-minded to various dress styles and silhouettes to see what looks good on you.
  • Ask about any expected additional lead times, costs, and tailoring fees based on your choices.
  • Ask about the refund and return policy.
  • Attend dress fittings and book second appointments as needed.

8-10 months before

* Order your dress.
* Start searching for your accessories such as veils, belts, headpieces, jewelry, etc.
* Schedule fitting dates to have your dress tailored, if needed.

6 months before

  • Select and order your wedding party outfits including accessories and shoes, if you're choosing them.

4-5 months before

  • Arrange to have your dress cleaned after the wedding, or ask someone close to do it for you if you're leaving on your honeymoon right away.
  • Order your accessories, especially any custom-made items like veils or headpieces that need extra lead time.

2-3 months before

* Start your dress fittings and tailoring — don't forget your undergarments and shoes at the right height, and any accessories you plan to wear.

1-2 weeks before

  • Pick up your dress and check it for any issues.
  • Store it in a clean place.

The wedding day

  • Forget any imperfections and rock that shit like you know you can!

Click here to download the wedding dress timeline printable checklist!

Wedding dress shopping timeline as seen on @offbeatbride
Dresses by Zeita Studios

Getting all stressed up? Here's how to chill:

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