Ask Colin: Fashion & Style


Coutesy of Jim Hjelm Fall 2015 Wedding Dress Collection

How far in advance should I buy my wedding dress?

Take it from me: the moment you walk into a bridal salon they will tell you they need a deposit right away to ensure you get a wedding dress. I recently visited several bridal shops with a bride whose wedding was more than six months away. We didn’t even know where the wedding would be held and all the shops told me they needed an immediate deposit. One bridalwear salesperson told me she needed six months to do the dress. “Forget it!” I said. “You’re making a dress, not building a skyscraper!”

Three months prior to the wedding date is the industry standard for ordering a wedding dress. You’re probably all right even with two months. And if you haven’t selected your dress and the wedding is six weeks away, don’t panic. You can still find an appropriate dress and have all the necessary alterations made in time. Naturally, if you’re dealing with department store ready-to-wear you have much more flexibility.

For men, one month ahead is generally plenty of time to select a suit or tuxedo and have one or two fittings. Custom suiting requires two months or more lead time. IF you are renting formalwear, place reservations for tuxedos several weeks to a month in advance of the wedding and go in for fittings immediately so that alterations can be made. Pick up the formalwear several days in advance and try it on one last time with your formal shoes to avoid any last-minute surprises.