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For a bride, the gown is often the most important part of the wedding. Choosing the right one helps a gal feel extra special on her big day. To ensure all the details are hashed out and the alterations are completed, you'll need to have an organized timeline. Here are some wedding planning tips:

Nine to 12 months before
You need to shop for your wedding gown way ahead of the day you say "I do." It can take a while for you to choose the one that best incorporates your style and has all the features you want. So start looking up to 12 months before you are set to walk down the aisle. To help choose the right gown, make a list of everything you want in a dress. What silhouette would you prefer? Would you like it to feature lace or crystals? These are all important questions to ask yourself.

Budget - At this point, you also need to determine your wedding gown budget. It's customary to spend upwards of 10 percent of your overall wedding cost.

Organizing your bridal-gown buying timeline

Six months before
Once you have settled on the perfect dress, order it no later than six months before the wedding. Some experts recommend having a detailed receipt to avoid any mishaps later. Be sure it includes the designer name, SKU number, delivery date, size, cost, deposit and any other fees (if applicable).

Three to five months before 
Narrow down all your gown accessories. Choose the shoes you will be wearing, shawl (if the weather is chilly), clutch, earrings, necklace and more.

Two months before
Confirm with the bridal gown boutique that your gown is set to arrive on time. Have the receipt on hand and make sure all the details are correct.

Six weeks before
Have your first fitting. Make sure you like the length and that the dress makes you feel beautiful. Invite a few honest friends along so they can give their opinions. Alterations for length and fit are often scheduled at this time.

One month before
All the alterations should be complete one month before the wedding. Visit the boutique once again to try on the dress and to ensure everything was changed to your specifications.

Three days before
Pick up your gown no later than three days before the wedding. The boutique should steam it before it's given to you, so you can simply hang it up until your nuptials.