Our Recommended Purchase Timeline

Our Recommended Purchase Timeline

Less stress equals a happy bride… and the more time you give yourself to make decisions, the less stressed you will be. 

Many people begin shopping as soon as they are engaged.  Unlike any other purchase decision you have made in the past, we hope this is a once-in-a-lifetime experience.  Creating your perfect wedding day is a quite complicated process.  That is why Ella Park Bridal is dedicated to making sure you are fully informed prior to making any purchase decision(s).

Below is our recommended timeline for your entire wedding party.  Every bridal store is different.  This one is based on our designer’s lead times.  Our expert bridal consultants are here to walk you through this process too.  Need it here quicker?  Ask your consultant about available rush and/or in-stock options.

Finding your Dream Dress

Budget – Know what you want to spend on your dress prior to going shopping.  Why?  You do not want to purchase something that you cannot afford or will not leave enough room in your budget for something else.  Also, if someone is buying your gown for you, you should discuss this in private as it is sometimes a sensitive topic.

Ceremony/Reception – Having an idea of a date, location, theme, and formality will help the dress selection process.  For instance… if you have a formal, indoor wedding in the winter versus an informal, outdoor wedding at a destination.

Magazine Tears & Pinterest – For your appointment, you are welcome to bring in magazine tears or pin any looks from our Pinterest page that you want to try on!  Is there a must-have on your list?  For instance, do you want sleeves, straps, and/or lace?  Most people do not know their must-haves until they begin shopping, but if you do, letting your consultant know will help in the selection process.

If you find the right dress, we suggest buying it… even if it is a year in advance.  Purchasing your bridal gown is not only a great accomplishment, but it allows you to focus on the rest of the wedding planning.  Because of the time it takes to make a gown, we recommend coming in eight to twelve months prior to the wedding to create a stress-free buying experience.  Need it here quicker?  Ask your consultant about available rush and/or in-stock options.

Special Order Bridal Gown

Ella Park Bridal primarily sells special order bridal gowns.  A special order bridal gown is one that is made just for the bride.  The bride will choose the size and color of her dress from the designer’s available options.  Some of our designers also offer adjustments to the length and back closure (i.e. zipper and lace-up) to create a more customized look.

Once you have been notified that your dress has arrived, you will need to…

  • Call and make a “Try-On Appointment” within 10 days of being notified at (812) 853-1800. Appointment is typically 60 minutes with your Bridal Consultant (if available).

During your appointment, you will…

  • Inspect and approve the condition of your bridal gown for proper size, color, fabric, and length.
    • If you paid for a custom hem, please bring in your shoes to ensure the gown is the proper length.
  • Pay for balance owed on gown (if applicable) within 10 days of being notified.
  • Complete your look by purchasing accessories (i.e. veil, belt, jewelry, shoes, etc) while your gown is on.  Plus! Take advantage of your bridal savings on your purchase.  Please take into account special order accessories typically take 4 to 8 weeks to come in.
  • This is not an Alterations appointment. If someone from our Alteration Team is available during your appointment, you may get a quote for your alterations.  The quote is an estimate and is subject to change between now and your First Fitting.

Why is this appointment important?  The Try-On Appointment is for your benefit – to make sure you are satisfied with your gown.  We do not want to wait until you start alterations, or three months prior to wedding, for you to try on your gown for the first time.  We know the importance of your wedding day, and while we do not anticipate any issues, we want to be proactive if there should be any.

Timing Is Important | We recommend starting your alteration process 3 months prior to the wedding.  If you alter your gown too early and your measurements change after your fitting, it could affect the fit of your dress, resulting in an additional fitting fee.  If you do not allow enough time for your alterations, you run the risk of not having enough time to make all the desired changes and/or paying rush fees.  Note the amount of time you need depends on the amount of work required.

Appointment Required | Alterations are available Monday through Friday by appointment only.  You will call our Alterations Department at (812) 853-8595 to schedule your appointment.

  • First Fitting
    • Call to schedule three months prior to the wedding at (812) 853-8595. Appointment typically made two months prior to the wedding.
    • 60 minute appointment to pin your bridal gown for proper fit.
    • After your appointment, you will make your Final Fitting appointment and pay for your alterations.
    • Please note any measurement changes after this appointment will cause an additional fitting fee.
  • Final Fitting
    • Typically made one month after your First Fitting; will be scheduled during your First Fitting.
    • 30 minute appointment to ensure proper fit and how to put you in your gown and bustle the train.
    • We recommend having your makeup and hair trial run prior to this appointment.
  • Gown Pick-Up
    • We recommend taking it after your Final Fitting.
    • Full bridal steam will be performed prior to your Pick-Up date.
    • Please advise we will not give your gown to anyone unless authorized by the bride prior to pick-up.
Bring in your bridal gown to the store to have it preserved with The Wedding Gown Preservation Co. Click here to learn more about this service.

Bridesmaid/Juniors/Mothers

An expert consultant will assist you in the selection process to help you find the perfect style and color for your bridal party.
The two months between picking out and placing order allows enough time for your party to be measured and pay in full.  Please note we only take measurements when ready to pay and finalize the dress details.

SIZING NOTICE: Based on the measurements, one of our bridal consultants will recommend a size based on that designer’s particular size chart.  Most people will find that the recommended dress size is one to two sizes larger than what they normally wear.  Do not fixate on the actual size but instead on how your measurements compare to the designer’s size chart.  Measurements may not line up perfectly with one particular size so we will recommend a size to fit your largest measurement.  It is ultimately up to the customer on what size they choose to purchase.  Please note these gowns are not custom made to fit you.  Most people will need some alterations to fit perfectly.  Alterations are a separate fee and are available Monday through Friday by appointment only.

Once everyone in the bridal party has paid in full, we will submit the entire order.
Each girl will need to come in and pick up the dress within 10 days after being notified of dress arrival. We highly recommend trying it on in the store. If Alterations is available, they may get a quote at that time.  Alterations is an optional service and available Monday-Friday by appointment only.  To avoid rush fees, we recommend booking their appointment 4 to 6 weeks prior.  They will need to bring proper undergarments and shoes to the appointment.

We understand that not everyone in the bridal party lives in the same city as the bride and groom.  Once the bride has registered her bridal party, you can call us at 812.853.1800 to give us your measurements and pay over the phone.  We ask that you have a professional measure you.  Please note if Ella Park Bridal does NOT perform the measurements, we can NOT be responsible for the fit.

We will need the following when calling over the phone:

  • Bride’s First & Last Name
  • Wedding Date
  • Your E-mail Address so we can send you your receipt.
  • Your Cell Phone # so we can send you a text when the dress comes in.
  • Shipping is available for an additional fee so we can send the dress to you when it arrives.
  • Measurements Needed:
    • Bust
    • Waist
    • Hips
    • Hollow-to-Hem (with heels you plan on wearing)
    • Height

SIZING NOTICE: Based on the measurements, one of our bridal consultants will recommend a size based on that designer’s particular size chart.  Most people will find that the recommended dress size is one to two sizes larger than what they normally wear.  Do not fixate on the actual size but instead on how your measurements compare to the designer’s size chart.  Measurements may not line up perfectly with one particular size so we will recommend a size to fit your largest measurement.  It is ultimately up to the customer on what size they choose to purchase.  Please note these gowns are not custom made to fit you.  Most people will need some alterations to fit perfectly.  Alterations are a separate fee and are available Monday through Friday by appointment only.

Suit & Tuxedo Rentals

When you make a tux appointment, one of our expert bridal consultants will assist you in the selection process.  Once you determine your entire look, we will give you a FREE quote at no obligation.
Once your party is finalized, you can send them in to be measured at our store.  After being measured, a $50 non-refundable deposit is required as partial payment to reserve all rental orders.  Ella Park Bridal can NOT be responsible for the fit if measurements are not performed in our store.  For these reasons, it is imperative that you are correctly measured.
After all members have been fitted and paid their deposit, we will submit the entire order.  Please note that all rentals are secured on a first-come, first-serve basis.
Rentals are generally available for pick-up on Tuesday evening prior to the wedding.  Please wait to be notified by phone/text prior to coming to the store.  We highly recommend trying on the rentals in the store as soon as possible.  Balance must be paid in full prior to taking rental out of the store.  Checks can not be used as final payments.

Tuesday – Thursday Pick-Up

If there are any fit issues, we will promptly call in a replacement.  Thursday at 4pm cst is our deadline to order any replacements.  For these reasons, it is imperative that you are correctly measured.  Ella Park Bridal cannot be held responsible for measurements not performed in our store.

Friday Pick-Up

On Friday, we can make minor alterations (i.e. hem coat/pant, move button) since we cannot order new parts in time for the wedding.  Please note the Alteration Department is not available on Saturdays.  If you cannot pick up your rental by close of business on Friday, please have someone do it for you.

All rentals must be returned during normal business hours on Sunday (12 – 5p CST).  You may appoint one person to bring in all of them at once or individually drop them off.  If the rental is not returned, the customer will be charged a late fee of $50 per day.  Any missing items will automatically be billed for the replacement cost to the credit card on file.
Your wedding will be held in your home town, and a couple of your groomsmen live in other states.  They are unable to come to our store to get measured.  Not to worry.  Click below for easy-to-follow steps for your out-of-town groomsmen.