Whilst there is of course always the beauty and excitement of waiting for a made-to-order gown, more and more brides are waiting until much closer to their wedding date to lock in a wedding outfit. Some brides also can't imagine themselves stepping foot in a bridal boutique or are so used to the convenience of shopping online, that they are wanting the same freedom when it comes to purchasing their wedding outfit. More and more brides don't want to commit to a decision a year out from their wedding day.
Some bridal boutiques are now offering an off-the-rack selection in store, to also allow for last minute brides. Some designers are also offering a small number of their gowns in a shorter timeframe, to accomodate the need to have a dress sooner, or have some ready made options in stock.
Added to this, many labels who would not typically be associated with bridal are now catering to the last minute, online bride and are curating their own bridal edits - that certainly debunk the idea of what a bridal dress needs to look like.
All in all, the world is slowly catching onto the fact that being a bride does not mean you have to dress like the stereotypical image of one - and of course we are seeing many talented bridal designers reflect this in their collections. Aside from this, the market is becoming more of brides desire for a last minute purchase.
So where do you start looking if you are getting married in a few months or even weeks? As you may know, most bridal designers will need about 5-6 months at least to make a gown to order. This timeframe can increase for certain designers and be closer to 12 months for custom gowns - as this process does require around 6 separate fittings.
If you are interested in a design from a bridal designer that you have tried on and fallen in love with, make sure to check with the designer directly regarding availability first. If you are having your wedding in an off-peak time (ie Winter in Australia), there may be a chance they can accomodate a rush order of less that 3 months. It is always worth asking, however be understanding that designers are often juggling a number of orders at once, and often simply don't have the capacity to take on an extra rush order. At times they may be able to offer you a sample, or a boutique may be able to do so on their behalf, so it is worth checking. However, make sure to keep a plan B in mind.
If you are unable to get something from a bridal designer directly, make sure to check out second hand boutiques and websites such as Still White, that may sell that dress you have eyed off. However, if you would prefer to wear a dress that may not be from a bridal designer, a good starting point is the major players such as Netaporter and Matches Fashion, who have their own anti-bride friendly bridal edits from some incredible designers. It is of course always worth looking at boutiques in your area too, as many Australian and International designers sell pieces that could easily double as a wedding outfit. Always check the return policies before purchasing to make sure that you can get a full refund, if it's not the look you're after.
When deciding what styles to purchase, a few very simple places to start are your own closet and paying attention to what shapes and silhouettes you feel great in. If you are wanting some more specific help with deciding on what you should try on, or where you should look - get in touch. We offer Bridal Styling packages that also cater to last-minute brides, who wish to purchase something off-the-rack or online.
Images Credits -
Eddie Wrey - Photographer (For Matches Fashion - The Wedding Edit)
Morgan Pilcher - Fashion Editor/Stylist
Yumi Nakada-Dingle - Hair Stylist
Pamela Cochrane - Makeup Artist
Pebbles Aikens - Manicurist
Zelda Heloise Smyth - Model