How to Find a Wedding Dress on a Tight Timeline


You’ll often read that brides need ample time to pick out their wedding dress. With researching, shopping, placing an order for a custom dress, and doing alterations, many will recommend eight months or more! While this longer process may make sense for some brides, for those who are working with a tighter deadline, a different plan of action is needed.


Maybe you are working with a short engagement. Maybe you’ve changed your mind after picking out your initial dress. Or maybe, amongst all the other wedding planning chaos, you’ve simply procrastinated on the dress part (it happens!). Whatever your reason is, it is possible to find your perfect wedding dress while working with a tight timeline. If you don’t have the recommended eight or more months to shop for a wedding dress, these tips and ideas will help you find your gorgeous gown fast.


Have an Alterations Professional Standing By

More likely than not, the dress that you pick out will require some sort of alteration. Err on the side of caution and find a local alteration professional who is available to take on your wedding dress altering needs. Ideally, you’ll pick out a dress that only needs a few minor adjustments so that you can get the final dress as quickly as possible.


Check Out Sample Sales

Sample sales can be a huge resource for brides looking for off-the-rack wedding dresses to take home the day of shopping. These dresses are often offered at an impressive discount, making them great for those working with a tight budget. Keep in mind that sample sizes are typically around a bridal size 6 or 8, but you should check in with different stores to see what they have. Since they were samples, they may also require some additional cleaning to be ready for the big day. Check-in with local bridal boutiques to see if they are doing any sample sales.


Shop Online

Many retailers have wedding dresses that are in stock and ready to ship. For example, David’s Bridal offers a variety of dresses that you can order online. They also have standard, expedited, and express shipping available, so you won’t have to worry about lengthy processing times typically associated with the wedding dress shopping process. You will likely still need to take in an online ordered dress to get altered, but you at least won’t need to wait as long as you would ordering a custom-made dress. Of course, since you won’t know how a dress fits until you have it in person, check a store’s return policy before ordering.


Keep it Traditional with a Bridal Boutique Appointment

Just because you are working with a tight deadline and aren’t getting a made-to-order dress doesn’t mean you can’t have the traditional bridal appointment experience. Many bridal boutiques have off-the-rack options that you can try on in-store. Check-in with local boutiques ahead of time to see if they carry off-the-rack dresses. Also, be sure to make it clear to your bridal consultant what your timeline is. That way, they can steer you in the direction of dresses that will require the least amount of alterations.


Go Beyond the Typical Bridal Boutiques

You don’t have to buy a dress that is marketed as being a wedding dress. Many department and boutique stores offer off-the-rack white formal dresses that could work perfectly as a wedding dress. Simply add a veil or bridal accessories, and no one will know the difference! You could potentially get your wedding dress shopping done in one day (besides some potential alterations that may be needed). Look at local clothing stores in your area to see if there are any options that fit your needs.


If you are in the process of planning your wedding, come to the next Georgia Bridal Show near you. You will have the chance to meet with professional wedding vendors of all talents who can help bring your vision to life!


Georgia wedding vendors, as well as other wedding professionals across the Southeast, can contact us about opportunities for exhibition and online marketing with Georgia Bridal Show.