The beginning of the year is a busy time for most wedding shops, and The Wedding Dress Shoppe is no exception. Many of the ladies who got engaged at Christmas or the New Year are anxious to have their first dress-shopping experience, and we love being a part of that.
But while coming in right away is important, it is more important to know when you must purchase your wedding dress to make sure the dress is yours in time for the big day.
While the average engagement lasts a year to a year and a half, that isn’t always the case. Lately, we have been meeting with brides who have wedding dates in fall 2016, early 2017, and some as early as this upcoming spring! That is only a few months away!
Why the rush, you might ask? A lot of it has to do with weather considerations.
Wilmington and southeast North Carolina are such an ideal place to say “I do.” With the plethora of opportunities here, Wilmington can accommodate any type of wedding. With beautiful venues such as beaches, rustic barns, historic mansions and classic ballrooms, and our generally mild climate, wedding parties flock here.
But while temperatures in the Cape Fear region are fair year-round, we can certainly see extremes in the winter and summer. Brides know this, and that is why the fall and spring months are the most popular times for weddings in our area.
Spring in Wilmington offers mild temperatures (that gradually warm up from March into May) with a lower precipitation average than summer and fall. The fall offers warm temperatures and generally gorgeous weather, but hurricane season can increase the risk for storms. This can be a deterrent for brides who want their nuptials to take place outside.
And with the popularity of spring weddings in Wilmington, it’s really no surprise to see brides who were engaged in recent months choosing wedding dates that are only three or four months away.
It is certainly possible to plan a wedding in a matter of months, but brides should know there may be hurdles to overcome when trying to get the “perfect” dress in that timeframe.
As a rule of thumb, you should order your wedding dress nine months before the big day. Yes, nine months! Wedding dresses are high quality, intricate pieces that need to be made to fit the bride perfectly.
This timing allows the dress to be produced by the designer then shipped to us at the store, followed with ample time for alterations that may be needed to the dress once it arrives.
When a bride comes in with a wedding date that is under six months away, we know we will have to make special accommodations. Truthfully, in most instances we are able to do so, but we see brides become quite stressed over the compressed timeline.
If you are faced with a condensed time frame, there are a few options available, and it helps to go to a professional shop to understand these. For example, our knowledgeable staff knows our designers’ ship dates for the approaching months. This means that when a bride is looking through our expansive selection, we can inform her immediately of which dresses we can get in time to accommodate her wedding date.
Some designers may be able to get a dress to us faster than others based on their production schedule and the number of orders they have, and ship dates can change on a daily basis.
At The Wedding Dress Shoppe, we also know that certain designers have hanging stock or produced dresses in their warehouse that they can ship immediately. While this doesn’t occur often, it is possible and going to a professional shop is the only way to glean this information. Some designers are able to rush production of a gown; however, this will come at an additional cost to the bride.
As mentioned before, weddings already come with many moving parts that can be stressful, and we want the wedding dress to be the fun part! This is why we recommend allowing plenty of time to order your dress. Of course, if you simply can’t, still come see us. We have worked with brides in varying situations and circumstances, and we pride ourselves on accommodating all needs.
Our only goal is to make every bride feel as beautiful as she is, whether her big day is four months or a year and four months away.
Alan Perry is the president of Perry’s Emporium and The Wedding Dress Shoppe, offering a range of services for couples, from engagement through their wedding day. Perry’s Emporium is one of the largest retail jewelry stores in Southeastern North Carolina and offers exclusive brands and one-of-a-kind estate jewelry. The Wedding Dress Shoppe is a full-service bridal salon featuring distinctive and stylish bridal gowns, bridesmaid dresses, and mother-of the-bride and flower girl attire. For more information, visit www.perrysemporium.com and www.theweddingdressshoppe.com.
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