Congratulations, you’re getting married! We hope that your wedding preparations are running smoothly. One of the biggest items to tick off of your list is of course your wedding gown, something that you have probably been dreaming about since you were little. That’s why it is so important to get it just right! And to do this, you need to ensure that you are looking in the right places for your perfect gown. In this article, we are going to help you to choose the right bridal shop for you, providing with you with some key questions to ask your favourite bridal stores to ensure that the search for your dream wedding dress goes perfectly. At Blog For Bride, you are safe with us!
A personal experience
When you embark on your journey to find your dream wedding dress, you want your bridal shop to offer a unique and personal experience. It is vital that you feel happy and comfortable as soon as you walk through the door, and for this, you should look for a bridal shop that provides a service in which a member of staff accompanies you throughout the process and is dedicated to helping you find the perfect wedding gown. The best bridal shops ask you to straight away sit down with them and discuss every little detail of your dream dress, so that the assistant knows exactly what you are looking for. Not only does this save time, but it creates a more personal and productive experience. We recommend that you research the bridal shops in your area and read reviews from previous brides so that you can see how approachable, knowledgeable and helpful the staff are at each bridal shop. To get the most out of your wedding dress journey, you need to have the best help and guidance along the way!
Do I need to book an appointment or do you offer walk-in consultations?
The majority of bridal shops do require you to make an appointment that usually lasts an hour or so. It is essential that you enquire about appointments before you visit the store, and also ask how long the appointments usually take, so you know how much time to set aside.
When should I begin searching? How long will the process take?
You need to make sure that your bridal shop gives you enough time to choose, alter and fit your dress all in time for your wedding day. Therefore, it is essential that you check with your bridal shop the time frames that they offer for the different parts of the process. We suggest that you start shopping for your wedding gown at least 8 months before your wedding date, as it could take up to four months for your dress to be finished and ready once you’ve bought it. It is recommended that you get your alterations finished two months before your wedding, to cater for any last-minute changes and also to ensure that your wedding dress is altered to fit your body perfectly in the run up to the big day. Start early and avoid stress later on!
What sizes do you offer?
It is imperative that you check with the bridal shop that they sell dresses in your size, and plenty of them! You don’t want to arrive at the shop and find that you can only try on a few dresses in your size. You want to have access to the biggest range of dresses as possible, and so we do suggest going to bridal shops that specialise in certain dress sizes, such as petites, plus size, and tall styles, if this applies to you.
Do you provide support garments and shoes for me to use when trying on dresses?
This is a really important question, because you need to know what to bring yourself to the shop and what will already be provided. Many shops do provide bustiers or slimming garments as well as shoes at various heel heights so that you can get the best experience out of your wedding dress search. So, if your bridal shop doesn’t provide these things, it would be very useful to bring your own! If you have already chosen your wedding dress shoes, you should most definitely bring these, as this will help immensely when it comes to selecting your wedding dress.
Can I take photos of the dresses when I try them on?
This is another important thing to check, as some bridal shops do not allow you to take photographs. If this is essential to you because you want to show the dresses you try on to a friend who cannot join you in the shop, you may need to look elsewhere, or try your best to find a way to have them with you in person on the day.
Do you provide an alteration service?
To save time and stress, an in-house alteration service from your bridal shop is an excellent addition! It also means that you are sending your dress to be altered by someone who already knows you and what you are looking for. If your bridal shop does not offer alterations, it would be a good idea to ask them for recommendations, so you know who to go to!
The alterations are often the most expensive part of your wedding gown journey, and so if this is something that you would like to avoid, it would be a good idea to ask your bridal shop assistant to help you find something that needs little or no alterations at all – often simpler styles without beading or intricate details.
What is your price range? Do you offer sample sizes off the rack?
The most important thing to do before you start looking for a wedding dress is to set your budget and stick to it. When you arrive at the bridal shop, inform the assistant of your budget so that they only show you dresses within your price range. Equally, you should definitely ask your bridal shop about the kind of price range that they offer before you visit the shop, as you do not want to find that you cannot afford anything.
A great way to save money and still find a gorgeous design is to look for sample sizes off the rack. These dresses usually have been sent to the shop for the sole purpose of acting as a sample for the brides to try on before ordering their own personalised gown. Once they are no longer needed as samples, these dresses are sold ‘off the rack’ and you can usually buy these at a discounted price, and take them home on the day you purchase them. Just make sure that the dress is in perfect condition, with no rips, stains or problems with the design, and ensure that you can alter it in the way you wish to. However, some shops do not offer dresses off the rack, and so it would be a good idea to check this before you visit the shop.
How can I pay?
It is always a good idea to investigate the payment methods that each shop offers, before you walk into the shop. Some may offer discounts if you pay in cash, and some may provide a payment plan, especially useful if your gown is over budget. For example, you may be able to pay a certain percentage of the price when you buy it, and pay the rest once you actually pick the dress up. Getting a good deal is a very important part of wedding dress shopping!
What additional fees will I have to pay?
Along with the dress and the alterations, you may also need to pay for shipping costs and tax fees for your dress to be delivered. Some shops may even ask for a consultation fee. Consequently, it is really important to ask an assistant to clearly break down the costs so that you know exactly what you will need to pay, so there are no surprises along the way!
Can I store my dress at your shop?
Another important question, it is a good idea to check if your bridal shop can store your wedding gown once the final design has been delivered. Some shops will keep your dress for you until the big day, but often at a cost, so definitely enquire about how much this service will cost you!
With these essential questions, we are certain that you will find the bridal shop that offers the wedding dress of your dreams with a friendly, helpful and personal service. Choosing your wedding gown is such an important part of the wedding planning process, and we want to leave you in good hands.
If you have any further questions about wedding dress shopping, as well as recommendations, sample bridal collections to get you inspired and advice about the wedding dress trends for 2021:
- Pronovias Cruise Collection 2021
- Sébastien Luke Bridal Spring 2021
- Jolie Bridal Spring 2021 debut collection
- Viktor & Rolf Bridal Spring 2021 Collection
- Eve of Milady Bridal Spring 2021
We can’t wait to see you shine wearing the most gorgeous gown on your wedding day!