There are tons of little details and things that go into planning a wedding. Choosing a bridesmaid dress is one of those things. The timing of when to choose the dress, have the girls try it on and get them ordered is important because it it’s too early the dress may not fit some girls who diet or gain weight during that period. However if you wait until the last minute the dresses may not come in on time or could cost more for rushed shipping and alterations. Depending on what kind of dress you choose the following timeline should help guide your shopping adventures.
Six months before:
Choose your bridesmaids and make sure it’s definite, that these are ladies who are committed to you and your wedding. It’s important to establish who your bridesmaids are for sure so you can look for dresses that fit everyone’s body type. Imagine picking a dress and ordering one that fits all your twig-thin friend and having a curvy, larger friend or cousin join your wedding party last minute and try to squeeze into the same dress. That wouldn’t work so well or be fair to her in the first place to be expected to wear that dress.
Four months before:
Start bridesmaid dress shopping. Do it alone or take your maid of honor with you to give you some perspective on what she and the girls might like to wear. Go to several different stores and your maid of honor (if she comes with you) try on a variety of dresses so you can see what they actually look like on a body instead of the hanger. Take pictures if you want so you can reference them later when trying to make a decision. Tell everyone that you’ll be choosing the dress within the next month so whatever size they want to be (should anyone be dieting) they need to get close to that range within the next month or so.
Three months before:
Choose a dress or narrow it down to a couple options and invite your bridesmaid out to try on the options then make a decision. Have everyone try on the dress and choose a size that either fits well at the time or is close to fitting. A lot of ladies will try to order a full size or two down in hopes that they’ll lose enough weight to fit into it later. Make sure they are at least close to whatever size they select so you don’t have last minute fitting issues. A dress that is slightly too large or very slightly too small can be altered to fit, but there’s nothing that can be done with a dress that’s a full size too small. Order the dresses.
One month before:
The dresses should be in at your dress shop. Arrange a time when everyone can come in and try on the dresses again to be picked up. At this time the girls can be fit and have any alterations that need to be done taken in and fixed as needed.
Two weeks before:
All alterations should be complete by now and the dresses should simply be hung to make sure it doesn’t wrinkle and the dress is ready to be worn.