Ordering Your Gown Wedding Gown - How Long Does it Really Take?

We're so excited to have our resident bridal experts back this week!  You may remember a few weeks ago, the ladies of the Gown Boutique of Charleston joined us to share some pointers on how to 'Be A Prepared Bride' when gown shopping.  As if that wasn't enough, they're back this week and diving into the topic of ordering your gown... gown boutique of charleston logo

Ordering Your Wedding Gown – How Long Does it Really Take?


One question we are asked every day in our boutique is “When do I need to order my gown?”  Brides wonder, “Do I really need to order my gown 1 year before my wedding date?”

The answer is: It is best to order your gown at least 9 months before your wedding date.

When a bride thinks of ordering her gown, she just thinks about selecting the gown and then having it arrive at the boutique.  Rarely is a gown ready to be worn the week it arrives.  Most need a few fit adjustments to hug your curves in the right places, and almost all of them need a hem and a bustle.  These alterations take time!  They cannot be turned out in a week like a pant hem, and you don’t want the work to be overly rushed…it should be done perfectly!

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It takes anywhere from 4-6 months for a gown to be made and then shipped to the boutique.  Then it takes another 3 months to complete most alterations on a wedding gown.

Some of you may think, “Three months for alterations?!”  Well, most brides end up coming for 2 – 3 visits with the seamstress in order to achieve a perfect fit.  Those visits are usually scheduled 2 – 4 weeks apart, so planning on 3 months for alterations is a conservative plan.  This is why the 9 month timeframe is suggested.

Here is an ideal timeline:

Ordering Your Wedding Gown – How Long Does it Really Take?

There is one other pesky detail in this planning process.  Many brides, especially here in the south, want a bridal portrait done before their wedding.  When a bride asks if she has enough time to get her gown in, we ask “Are you doing a portrait?”  Many brides aren’t ready to answer this question for sure, but the answer is ultimately important in determining your timeframe.

If you want a framed portrait to be displayed at your wedding reception, it is likely you will need that photo session done at least 1 month before your wedding date.  If you want the wedding announcement to run in the paper the Sunday directly after your wedding day, you will need to have the chosen photo submitted to the paper 2 weeks prior to that issue’s run date.

When you plan to have a bridal portrait taken, you will most certainly want your gown to fit you perfectly before it is photographed.  That means we need your gown to arrive in time to have any necessary alterations completed before that portrait session date.

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Don’t have 9 months?  Don’t panic!!  Gown can be rush shipped (for a fee) if needed, in most cases.  Also, we always keep a nice selection of “off-the-rack” gowns.  These gowns are purchased on the spot, and alterations can be started immediately, making them a great option for brides with 4 months or less.

Happy Shopping!

Ready to start shopping?

Contact the Gown Boutique of Charleston to set up your appointment:

664-A Long Point Rd Belle Hall Shopping Center Mount Pleasant, SC 29464

843.856.2682 phone