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When should I buy my wedding dress?

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I'm a college senior and I'm getting married in June 2008. How far in advance should I buy my wedding dress? The wedding planning book that I have says 9 months or more. However, I would like to lose about 20 pounds before the wedding (I've lost about 9 so far), and CC says that I can reach my goal by November 26. So should I buy my dress soon and then have it fitted, or should I wait until I reach my goal? Also, I want my mom and sister to be there when I get my dress, but because I'm going back to school in mid August, the only times when I could buy it are this summer or December-January (winter break). Any advice?
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it all depends on where you're getting your dress from. You need to ask them how long it takes to order and recieve the dress.  Base your time frame on that.  You cant always go by those planning books.  I got mine at Davids bridal, and bought one off the rack.   I went home with it that day.  I didnt buy mine in advance because I was afraid I'd change my  mind.  I did have one picked out though, and actually went back a few times to look at more, and to try more on.   They quoted me 8-12 weeks to recieve my dress if I wouldve ordered it brand new. I found the perfect dress on the rack, and it was discontinued.   sometimes they're cheaper too.  Good luck! and Congratulations!  :)
Yeah, I got mine from David's Bridal too. I only went a month before we got married, it fit perfectly and I went home with it that day.

But when I went with my sister, she had to order hers, but it still only took 8 weeks for her to get it
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Thanks stlgirl and missy. I hope that finding my dress is as easy for me as it was for you! I know my wedding date is far from now, but I think that I'm going to start looking just for fun :). However, I may wait until December to buy if it doesn't take that long to get the dress. 8-12 weeks to order (if necessary) and a couple weeks to get it tailored (if necessary) should be fine.
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Hi Crothwell! Not sure if you are still checking this post, but I am getting married in May 2008, and I ordered my dress last weekend (August 25) from a local bridal boutique. I was very surprised when they told me it would take at least 4 months for my dress to come in. Just something to keep in mind!
When they ask you when you need the dress for tell them that your wedding date is at least two weeks before it really is.  Just in case unforseen circumstances happen.  You will have your dress early, instead of being told that it was lost or not ready yet or on the bad side they go out of business and leave you with nothing.
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Kadonova and spoiled_candy,
Thank you for the advice!
I actually already bought my dress. About a month ago I decided to go dress shopping just for fun and to get some ideas about what I might want, and I ended up finding a dress that I loved. I was going to wait and think about it for a while, but it was on sale so I bought it! They told me it would arrive in 4 months, so I was shocked when they called me after 2 weeks and it was in. So now it's hanging in my parent's closet. I'm very glad that I bought it early because now I don't have to worry about it coming in late. Now all I have to do is get it altered a couple months before the wedding.
I am getting married next July 2008, and I have already bought my wedding dress! I absolutely fell in LOVE with a dress at David's Bridal and I just had to have it. Now, at the risk of falling in love with another dress, I just don't look at any more, and just think about my beautiful dress I have at home that looks amazing on me :)
I bought a Monique dress for my wedding, and since they are a smaller company, I think it took about 3 months for my dress to come in.  You want to make sure that you have enough time to do some things like alterations, getting your shoes dyed if needed, and selecting a veil, too.  I tried to lose weight before the wedding, but the stress didn't help me out.  I would say to err on the bigger size instead of buying a dress that's small and thinking you'll lose weight by then.  A good seamstress can take a dress down, but she can't magically make more fabric.  Besides, you want to be comfortable and not squeezed into it!  My wedding day was a VERY long day!
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