Shopping for a destination wedding dress is no easy task.

You don’t want to buy it too far in advance (your tastes may change!) or too late (you may not have time for all your fittings!).

Destination wedding dress timeline. Photo by Jesus Peiró.
Photo by Jesus Peiró.

Follow this timeline to make sure your destination wedding dress is ready in time for your big day.


9–12 months out

  • Think about dress transportation: Before you start shopping, consider how you’re going to get your dress to the destination. Check your airline’s guidelines about transporting your dress and see if that will affect the style and size gown you want to buy.
  • Set a wedding gown budget: After setting a budget for your wedding, decide how much of it will be spent on your dress.
  • Do your research: Figure out what style you want by looking at gown websites and magazines. Consider the style, form and fabric.
  • Choose your shopping mates (your mom, mother-in-law to be, bridal party?) and start shopping.


7–8 months out

  • Buy your dress!
  • Choose your shoes. You’ll be on your feet all day, so make sure you get something that’s comfortable for you.
  • Select your hair accessories or veil.


4–6 months out

  • Shop for special undergarments before your first fitting.
  • Look into hair styles. Do a hair and makeup trial before going to one of your dress fittings. That way, you’ll be able to see if you like how it all looks with your dress.


2–4 months out

  • This is usually when you’ll have your first and second dress fittings. Remember to bring your shoes so they can alter your dress length.
  • Make sure you get your “something old, new, borrowed and blue” in order.
  • Plan how you’re going to have your dress steamed at the destination.


2 weeks–1 month out

  • Prepare an emergency kit for unexpected tears or dress or shoe mishaps (safety pins, fashion tape, Band-Aids, etc.).
  • Break in your wedding shoes: practice walking and dancing in them.
  • Have your final fitting.
  • Schedule your destination wedding dress pickup one or two days before you depart for your destination.






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