There is a right time and a wrong time to buy your flower girl dress. If you buy the dress too early, your flower girl might outgrow it before the big day. If you buy it too close to the wedding date, you run the risk of the retailer running out of stock; or of not having enough time for alterations or exchanges.
The best time to buy your flower girl dress depends on your method of purchase. If you shop online, you will generally receive you dress within 1 to 2 weeks of placing your order. However, to ensure you get the dress you want at the time you want, shop at websites that carry a large selection and a high inventory. Some online retailers do not stock their dresses, so you will need to add THEIR ordering time (usually 6 to 8 weeks) to the 2 weeks.
If you shop for your flower girl dress at a local store, you have the advantage of trying on dresses immediately. However, due to high overhead costs and limited space, retail stores often carry a small selection of styles and sizes. It is often possible to request the store to special order your dress, but it may take up to 8 weeks for it to arrive to the store. The store may also charge you for the cost of shipping the special order. If this is the case, try locating the dress online and order it yourself.
Of course, you will also need to consider alteration/exchange time frames in addition to the above guidelines. Generally speaking, alterations and online exchanges take 1 to 3 weeks each.
In light of these considerations, the general rule of thumb for ordering flower girl dresses boils down to this:
If you buy online, order 5 to 8 weeks before the wedding.
If you buy from a local retail store, shop 8 to 10 weeks before the wedding.
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