Okay, if you’re a wedding diva in any way, proceed with caution.

Ladies, it is beyond me why anyone would need to purchase a wedding dress 8 months to a year in advance and spend the next year of their life having fitting after fitting.

There is a reason why the wedding industry has such huge profit margins….

Seriously, go to your nearest David’s Bridal or similar, inventory-laden showcase, try on some dresses with your Mom and sisters, and buy the one you like. Places like David’s Bridal often have many sizes available in-store, or they can order in a different size in under 4 weeks.

Then, spend the 8 weeks before your flight getting the gown fitted and tailored.

Full disclosure:  I purchased my gown only 2 months before our flight to Ireland, and had my last fitting just 2 days before leaving. The timing worked for me, but it was a close call. I would leave at least 3 months for purchasing and tailoring your dress. And if your weight doesn’t fluctuate much, or you don’t intend to lose any weight before your wedding — go ahead and advance this process to 4 or more months out.

I was on a weightless plan and had every intention of losing an additional 10 – 15 lbs after buying my wedding dress. I chose to take the bigger-size dress home with me from David’s Bridal, but I wish I ordered a smaller size and waited the 2 weeks for it to come in. I did lose an extra 15 lbs before the wedding (take that, everyone everywhere who says to play it safe with a bigger size!), so my dress looked top-heavy because of the boob space I couldn’t fill.

During this time, we also purchased a suit for Mike at Men’s Warehouse. He actually got 2 suits from their BOGO sale, which was nice because he could wear a new suit to our City Hall wedding and the 2nd suit for our Irish wedding.

Here again, I wish we had more time for his suit tailoring. We bought his suits only 2 months in advance and the week of our City Hall wedding, we found that the tailors had hugely messed up his measurements. We had to get the manager involved.

It all worked out in the end, but it’s better to assume that people are incompetent and give yourselves extra time to deal with their mistakes, than to find yourselves surprised and up a creek without a paddle.

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