Andi Diamond Photography

While bridesmaid dress shopping isn’t as big of an ordeal as buying a wedding dress, it does come close to second. As a bridesmaid, you still need to make sure that you buy the right dress and have it shipped and altered well before the big day—so staying on top of exactly when to book appointments is a must. That’s why we created a fail-safe bridesmaid dress shopping timeline that takes ‘maids through the entire dress shopping process.

Check out this go-to bridesmaid dress shopping timeline that will keep any bridesmaid right on schedule.

8 Months Before the Wedding

  • Start the bridesmaid dress shopping convo

First things first, find out whether or not the bride-to-be will be choosing a bridesmaid dress for you or if she’d rather you pick your own dress. Sitting down with the bride and discussing options before you start shopping will let you know exactly what she wants for the big day. If she wants you to pick out your own dress, then you can easily go ahead and start looking at different styles and sending her your favorites. However, if she’d prefer to pick out the dresses herself, then you’ll get a sense of what color or style she’s envisioning or at least wants you to try on when shopping.

  • Browse for bridesmaid dresses

After the bride has found her wedding dress (which is usually around the nine-month mark), and she’ll start browsing bridesmaid dresses. This means you or a few other ‘maids may get asked to go try on bridesmaid dresses to help narrow down options. Keep an eye out for a text or call from the bride-to-be around the eight month period, so you can be ready to browse and try on different silhouettes, necklines and more.

  • Get your measurements

You definitely have to know your correct measurements, (like bust, width and length) before you purchase your bridesmaid dress. Typically, you can get these measurements done while you’re trying on different dress styles, but if you weren’t able to attend the shopping excursion — don’t worry! Just go visit your local seamstress so you can have a professional take your exact measurements.   

6 Months Before the Wedding

  • Purchase the bridesmaid dress

Around the six-month mark the bride should have already picked out the bridesmaid dresses. So as soon as you find out the designer or dress style she wants you to wear, go ahead and order the gown. It can take anywhere from two to three months for a designer bridesmaid dress to arrive and you definitely don’t want to be pushing it when it comes to getting your alterations completed in time. Finding the bridesmaid dress, whether you choose to go into a bridal salon or opt to buy online, needs to be done immediately after you hear which dress the bride wants everyone to wear.

  • Find your shoes

After you’ve ordered the bridesmaid dress, it’s a good idea to pick out the shoes you will wear on the wedding day. Usually the bride will tell you the specific color and style of shoe she wants everyone to wear - especially if the bridesmaid dress is short. Double check with her about any style specifics before you go ahead and buy a new pair.

Izzy Hudgins Photography

3 Months Before the Wedding

  • Schedule your first fitting

Bridesmaid dresses (like wedding gowns) aren’t always made-to-measure and probably won’t fit right away — even if you did buy off-the-rack. So, it’s a good idea to schedule an appointment with a seamstress to ensure that the gown is fitted properly to your body type. Whether that be altering the dress length or taking the gown in at the waist, making alterations should be done during the three-month mark of your bridesmaid dress shopping timeline.

1- 2 Months Before the Wedding

  • Schedule your final fitting

Schedule your final fitting about three to five weeks before the wedding day in order to stick to your bridesmaid dress shopping timeline. This will give you enough time in case you have to make any other minor alterations.

  • Take the dress home

You’re able to take your dress home after the final fitting, so definitely make sure to find a safe place to keep the gown until the wedding day. Find a place in your closet or away from anything that could damage the dress and make sure it’s in a breathable garment bag.

Day before

  • Put the final touches together

On the day before the wedding, make sure that you have your bridesmaid dress and any other accessories, like earrings or jewelry all in one place. This will ensure that everything will get safely transported to the venue or bridal suite safely and not forgotten. We also suggest checking in the with bride-to-be to see if she wants anyone to bring or invest in a portable steamer. That way everyone’s dresses (including hers) will be wrinkle-free and wedding-day ready!

Wedding Day

  • Get dressed!

It’s officially wedding day! Now is the time to get glammed up and ready for the big day. All you have to do is steam your bridesmaid dress, get dressed and then help the bride with any of her finishing touches. And, of course, don’t forget to celebrate!