Time, An Important Element of Every Wedding Planning Experience

Time is one of the elements of wedding planning whose importance is most underestimated. Christa’s Dress Shoppe has brides with all sorts of time variations to plan their weddings. We have brides who come in with one-to-two years to plan their wedding and we have brides who pop in with one day to plan their wedding. 24 hours and 17,520 hours make for very different wedding planning experiences, and that is what we are here to talk about today. First let’s look at a generic, overall wedding planning checklist, and then narrow it down to just choosing/ordering your wedding gown.

A wedding involves many pieces that brides and grooms often overlook. You will need the big things, of course—a venue, a gown, the rings, a photographer, flowers—but you will also need to plan for other things such as sending out your invitations, editing guest lists, and keeping not-so-friendly relatives on opposite sides of the reception venue with the seating arrangements. There are also little things that many brides forget about until the last minute: the garter, the ring bearer pillow, the flower girl basket, and so many more. These things take weeks to months to print/order/arrange. Our suggestion to remember these is to create your very own wedding planning checklist. To do this you could easily take a traditional wedding checklist and revise it to suit your personal dream-wedding-needs.

The wedding gown itself, while not often forgotten about like the garter, is one of the most important pieces and takes the longest to make. All of our companies custom-make your gown for your order. When you order a dress our company will make that gown in the size closest to yours (2, 4, 6, 8, 10, 12, 14, 16, 18, 20…) from scratch. This means that the dress is cut for your order, sewn for your order, and hand beaded for your order in the size and color you have chosen (and in some cases, as with Casablanca Bridal, with the custom changes you have made to the design). These dresses aren’t simply hanging up in a warehouse in these sizes ready to be sent out within a day of your order coming in. Your dress is made especially for you. As you can imagine this is not an overnight process. Some of our gowns have upwards of 200 hours of beadwork involved (If someone were to bead for eight hours a day it would take them 25 days to complete this gown. This doesn’t include the original construction of the gown, either). Your order is not the only order going through the factory at any given time. When we order your dress it “gets in line” with the other orders placed before it. A factory’s shipping times depend on the kinds of dresses that are being ordered (more beadwork and complicated patterns = longer/ less beadwork and less complicated patterns = less time), how many gowns are being ordered at a time (gowns that are ordered during busy season will have ship dates further out than those ordered during slow season), etc. Most wedding gown factory’s ship dates run between four months and six months. If you are having custom work done your ship date will be further out. We have many brides who come in to search for a wedding gown with one or two months until their wedding day who believe that they have plenty of time to find a dress. While there are a few options we can explore—we have a prom company that sells some of their formalwear in white that can come in quickly, or some of our bridesmaid’s dresses could be rush-ordered in white or ivory, or occasionally a stock piece will be available in the perfect size and color that we are able to make an exception from our “no selling our samples” policy—our shop much more limited in how we can help.

A few notes about how our consultants help last-minute weddings: When a bride comes in with a limited amount of time until the wedding our consultants will pull all possible options. This means that some of the gowns they pull might be too big (and can be altered down) or slightly too small (and can be altered to fit; whether that means letting out the seams or adding a lace up). Our consultants also pull both white and ivory gowns—and occasionally other light wedding-friendly colors—to give you a look at any possible option you can choose from. It is very rare that there are dresses in stock that are the exact size, color, and hem length of our brides. Nearly every dress needs something done to it (even it that is just a bustle). If you are a bride with limited time, please remember that alterations might be necessary. Wanting a dress that doesn’t need any alteration is limiting your options further.

Back to wedding gown ordering: When your gown ships from the wedding gown company of your choice—Alfred Angelo, Casablanca Bridal, etc.—it takes approximately one to two weeks to reach our shop. Your dress could ship from the east coast or the west coast, depending on its company. If it ships from the west coast, of course, it will arrive quicker than those shipping from the east coast. If a Christa’s Consultant gives you an estimated ship date it means that that is the expected date that your dress will leave their facility, heading our way. The estimated ship date is not the date that the dress will be in our store.

When your dress does arrive, our consultants will call to schedule a dress viewing. A dress viewing is an appointment during which you can bring other friends and family who might not have had the opportunity to be present during your initial appointment, enjoy spending time in your gown, and assess any need for alterations (including deciding whether or not you would like a bustle). If any alterations are necessary, including a bustle, our consultants will schedule a time for you to come in for a wedding gown fitting. During your wedding gown fitting you will meet with our seamstress so that she can pin for the alterations that will make your dress fit perfectly for your body. Our seamstresses work in order of wedding dates; September dresses come before October dresses, October dresses come before November dresses, etc. Another reason to make sure you give yourself plenty of time to order and alter your gown is rush fees. Because alterations are a lengthy, complex process, our seamstresses cannot be rushed. Most alterations can take anywhere between three hours and three days. Our seamstresses take their time to ensure every seam is sewn with care and every bead tightened properly. Rush alterations cost extra for two reasons. First, your alteration is jumping onto the rack unexpectedly, pushing other alterations further back in line. Second, our seamstresses have to perform the alteration quickly, typically calling for them to come into the shop hours before the store opens to finish the task in time.

Planning your wedding with a sufficient amount of time eliminates stress, rush fees, and broadens your options for styles, colors, and companies to a nearly unlimited combination. Most wedding magazines and bridal shops recommend that you begin searching for your wedding gown at-least twelve months ahead of your wedding. At least eight months ahead of your big day you should be ordering your dress. The alteration process should begin no later than the two-month mark. The dress can set the stage for the rest of your wedding. While Christa’s Dress Shoppe does have hundreds of styles for you to try on and choose from, these gowns translate into thousands of ordering options. To ensure that your gown perfectly fits your personality and style, we ask that you enough time to guarantee that reality. In our experience the brides who have the most time to plan their weddings are the least stressed and happiest with the wedding planning process. Give yourself enough time to enjoy the experience! Your wedding can be one of the most enjoyable events in life, and Christa’s is here to make sure that happens.

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Category : Blog

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