Before you take your first step into a bridal salon, keep these things in mind to help you.
Make an appointment
First, even if a bridal store isn’t appointment only, it’s a good idea to give them a call and let them know when you’d like to visit. It will make the time you spend there more pleasant for three important reasons:
1. You will have a fitting room available for you.
2. You will have a consultant to answer your questions.
3. You will have their time and full attention.
After all, you’re the bride. Having an appointment gives them the chance to treat you like the most important person in the room.
Know what you want to spend
When you think of how much you want to spend on a wedding dress, remember all the things you will need to complete your look. You will be spending money on the gown itself, the alterations, and the accessories like a bridal veil, a garter, and jewelry.
If you arrive at your appointment with a budget of $1,500, be clear from the start if that’s the price you want to pay for just the wedding dress, or if you’re trying to include alterations and accessories in that estimate as well. Please remember that alterations are never included in the price of a gown, and the cost of your alterations will vary depending on the dress you choose and what needs to be modified.
Bring someone to share the experience
It helps to have a close friend or family member at the appointment with you to “Oooo” and “Ahhh” over you as you try on wedding gowns. This can be one of the best parts of the planning process! Bring someone who knows you, loves you, and is happy for you!
Too often a bride will bring in too many friends or acquaintances and then have trouble deciding on a dress because of clashing opinions. You want support; you want compliments and cheers (or even tears). It’s best to bring two or three people whose opinions you know and trust and let everyone else see the dress after you’ve picked it out.
Timing is everything
It can take up to six months to order a bridal gown. You can rush some gowns, but not all gowns, and it will cost you a special rush fee to do so. If you don’t want to pay extra to rush something through production you’ll want to order your gown in a timely manner. If you’re pressed for time, most bridal salons will sell you a gown off the rack.
That doesn’t necessarily limit your options, but you need to understand that the sample gowns vary in sizes and colors, and you will be picking from those available to fit your time frame. It helps to have your wedding dress as early as possible, so don’t put off ordering the gown if you don’t have to.
Alterations should be started (at the absolute latest) four weeks before the wedding. The earlier you meet with a seamstress the more time you’ll have for additional changes.
Congratulations on your upcoming wedding and of course, happy dress shopping!