Special Order vs Off-the-Rack Gowns

Special Order vs Off-the-Rack Gowns


So your fiancé popped the question and you’re so dang excited (congratulations by the way)! You’ve been dreaming about your wedding day since you were a little girl and it’s finally time to shop for your dream wedding dress. You’ve been doing your research, reading reviews and trying to find the best bridal shop in your area for you and your bride squad to shop at. While your Pinterest board is filled with beautiful gowns and you have a pretty good idea of what you’re looking for, you’re coming across all of these terms like “special order” and “off-the-rack” and you’re thinking, what the heck does that even mean?


That’s where we come in. Today’s blog is all about discussing the differences between special order gowns and off the rack gowns and helping you decide which option is best for you. You’re welcome! ;)

So let’s get started.



Special Order Gowns



Special order gowns are gowns that are made just for you and typically take about 3-6 months to be made! At a special order bridal shop (like our sister store, Honest in Ivory), you would come in and try on sample gowns. Honest in Ivory has samples in a range of sizes that will accommodate brides up to a size 32.


At your appointment, you will try on sample gowns. Once you’ve found your gown (how exciting!!), your stylist will take your measurements and work with you in choosing the best size to order. We then order your specific dress and have it shipped to our shop, and it can take 3-6 months to arrive, with some rush production options available. Once your gown arrives, you’ll take your gown home until it is time for alterations. We recommend starting alterations about 3 months before your wedding and it is important to note that the cost of alterations are a separate and additional expense.

If you’re interested in special ordering your wedding gown, we recommend shopping 9-12 months before your wedding for a stress-free dress timeline. If you have a bit of a tighter timeline and still want to special order your gown, you’re not completely out of luck! Rush production options are available depending upon the style and designer capabilities.



Off-the-Rack Gowns



Off the rack gowns, just like the name suggests, are gowns that are sold off the rack. Here at Dearly, this means that the gown you tried on and fell in love with, would be the exact gown you would be wearing on your wedding day! Plus you’d get to take it home that same day! Pretty cool, right?


Here at Dearly, since we are a consignment store, we have an inventory that is constantly changing and we typically only have one size of each dress. We help you find a gown that you absolutely LOVE and we guide you through the process of finding a gown that fits pretty close to perfect or one that can be altered to fit you perfectly. Then you get to take your gown home that very same day and hang on to that baby until it’s time for alterations. Or, if you’re happy with how your gown fits at your appointment, you could head straight over to the courthouse and do the dang thing!


Want to know another great thing about Dearly? Since the gowns in Dearly are a mixture of sample gowns and consignment gowns, you’ll be saving about 20-70% off of retail value, which is pretty dang cool!



So, which one is best for you?



The great news is that it is completely and totally up to you! If you would prefer to have a brand-new, never been worn gown for your wedding day, we would recommend special ordering! If you have a super tight timeline or you’re looking for a designer gown with a little bit lower of a price tag, an off-the rack option will probably work best for you!


So, there ya have it, the difference between special order and off-the-rack gowns! Whether you’re interested in shopping for special order gowns or if you want to shop for an off-the-rack gown, click here to book an appointment


Whichever way you decide to go, you are going to look AMAZING on your wedding day and we would be honored to help you find your dream gown!



Dearly Consignment Bridal