Not a day goes by where we don't meet lovely brides who are ready to commit to their dream wedding dress, but have big goals to lose lots of weight. Most brides see their weight loss plan as a huge barrier to purchasing their wedding dress right away, even if time is not on their side. On average, it can take about 8 months before a gown is ready to go home with you (this includes ordering and alterations). So waiting until the very last minute to order your dress is not a wise decision -- this limits your options and can cause some unnecessary stress. Anya Bridal Warehouse Bridal Specialist Sammy Hall is not an advocate of putting off the dress hunt. "You can't wait until the last minute," he says. "You either need to commit to a size or commit to a different wedding date." But what do you do if your big day is quickly approaching and you still have some pounds to shed? First, take a deep breath, "wuuuu saaaaaa," and relax. Everything will be juuuust fine. You DO have options, you know.
First and foremost, do not order a dress in the size you think you are going to be.
That is just a disaster waiting to happen, because even if you knock off a few pounds, it's unlikely that your hip size will not change drastically. Michelle Sheffield, Bridal Specialist at Anya Bridal explains, "You can lose weight, but who is to say where
you will lose that weight. We order a dress according to the biggest part on your body." Every woman loses weight differently. For some gals, the weight instantly falls off the rear, and for others it starts in the arms or bust. But even if you think you know your body's weight loss habit, this is a risk that you probably don't want to make as you're preparing to make a big investment for a big day. Just go with ordering your dress in your current size, and let the professionals worry about the rest.
Buy now, alter later.
Your best bet would be to allow yourself to fall in love with the dress that makes your feel special and beautiful just the way you are. Then, purchase your gown in your current size with plans to alter the gown later after you reach your goal. After all, an alterations specialist can take in the dress about two sizes down. Ordering now gives you the peace of mind that you won't miss out on the dress if it becomes discontinued in the next month or so (meaning, it's no longer a part of the current season, and the designer has done away with that style). You also won't have to worry about missing important ordering deadlines. Maybe the gown that you love is a discontinued gown, and special ordering the dress is not an option. If the wedding dress fits like a glove in your current size, securing that exact dress is perfectly fine. Sheffield handles this case many times with her brides. She says, "I look at when the wedding is, and I explain to her that the average bride may lose between 10-20 pounds. We can work with that." A good alterations specialist can work with you after you've reached your weight loss goal to make the dress fit perfectly again. So please, don't let weight come between you and a dress that makes you feel like the bride you've always dreamed of becoming.
Purchase off the rack.
If you insist on waiting until the last minute to find a wedding dress, try to find your dress at least 3 months before the wedding date. At this point, you should have gotten everything else on your list of things to do out of the way. While putting yourself last might seem like the humble thing to do, it really can be a challenge. You are now forced to match your wedding day look with all the other details that you planned, instead of the other way around. While many brides will select bridesmaids dresses and theme colors that complement their own attire, your options may be limited if you wait until the last minute. But that doesn't mean you can't still find a beautiful gown. Just make sure you give yourself time to shop as well as time for any necessary alterations (e.g., a bustle, hem, taking in the side seams).
Know that your weight is unpredictable.
"Depending on what type of person she is, a bride can lose and then gain the weight right back due to stress from planning a wedding," says Sheffield. For this reason, it's best to get the size that fits you now, and consider trying to keep a stable weight at least 6 weeks before your wedding date. Your alterations specialist can work with your dress and make it fit perfectly. However, you'll want to avoid taking on additional charges for additional last minute changes.
If nothing else, remember this one thing that Anya Bridal's Master Bridal Specialist Emily Smith tells her brides all the time. She says, "He proposed to you at this size, I'm sure it's fine if you get married at this size."