Congratulations on your engagement! You already found “The One” person you are meant to be with; let us help you find “The One” dress or suit you are meant to marry them in! Everyone comes to us with different levels of wedding shopping experience; some of you are old pros, and others are new to the game entirely. Questions like “How many people can you bring to an appointment?” or “Do you need an appointment to try on bridal dresses?” are super common. We want your wedding shopping experience to be as wonderful as it possibly can be, so we’ve compiled some tips for going wedding dress shopping.
Please note that our advice for wedding dress shopping is geared specifically toward the Wedding Shoppe customer, and it’s important to remember that every bridal boutique is different, so policies may vary from business to business. By all means make sure you double check anything you aren’t sure about.
Advice for wedding dress shopping
Make an appointment. One of the most common questions we get is, “Do you need an appointment to try on bridal dresses?” Appointments are highly recommended. This is so that we can schedule our staff accordingly. We match every one of our brides up with a Personal Shopper, so that every bride can have an amazing shopping experience and get all her needs fulfilled and questions answered. We will do our best to accommodate walk-ins whenever we can.
Avoid Saturdays. There’s no other way to put it: Saturdays at the Shoppe are crazy! Be prepared for the hustle and bustle, and if possible consider a day or evening during the week (check out our Hours and Directions for more details).
Get inspired and do your homework. Figure out which styles you like by browsing WeddingShoppeInc.com. Bring pictures to your appointment, and define a realistic budget. (For example, keep in mind that silk dresses, lace dresses, and fully beaded dresses tend to be over $1,000.) We do not carry every item from the website in-store due to space restrictions, but your personal shopper will definitely be able to help you find similar products.
We also sell dresses out of stock, so that we can continue to bring in new inventory for you to see. If there is a dress you saw at our store previously, or one that you saw on the website and specifically want to see, we recommend calling ahead of time to check and see if it is in stock. If it isn’t, we can always check if it is possible to get it in-store for you to see.
Trust your Personal Shopper and be honest. Your Personal Shopper will pull a few gowns she thinks will look fantastic on you. Keep in mind that she knows the designers, fabrics, silhouettes, etc., and can offer tons of expertise, so give her suggestions a try. That being said, don’t be afraid to tell her if you really dislike something. Her job is to help you find your dress—not the one she thinks you should wear.
Choose your skivvies wisely! Your Personal Shopper will be in the fitting room with you, helping you in and out of each gown, so make sure you wear undergarments you don’t mind her seeing you in. We have strapless bras for you to use during your appointment, but feel free to bring or wear your own.
Tips for going wedding dress shopping
Remember the things that are important and replicate your look. Do you have a family heirloom you plan on incorporating into your look, such as a veil or jewelry? Bring that with you. Already know how you want to wear your hair? Style it similarly on the day of your appointment. Already know what shoes you are wearing, or the heel height? Bring them with too! Having these elements present will help you get a better idea about how everything will look together.
Limit the peanut gallery. Choosing your wedding dress is a huge event! Most brides have several special people they want to share the experience with, and it can be hard to limit the guest list. Keep in mind that inviting too many opinions can be distracting and take the focus off of you, something you definitely don’t want when looking for your dress. Choose up to two or three guests who know you and your style well and whose opinions you trust the most.
Is it appropriate to bring children? Keep in mind that this is your special day to find your dream dress and children can often be distracting. We request that any children you invite be able to remain still for an extended period of time, not only so they don’t take the attention away from you, but also for safety reasons. Again, we don’t want to distract from this being a special day for you and for the other brides in our shop.
You’ll be asked to remove your shoes. We ask all of the guests in our bridal department to remove their shoes to help keep our floors clean, so that our dresses in turn stay clean. Keep that in mind when choosing your footwear on the day of your appointment.
Hydrate. We have a drinking fountain, but don’t have glasses or bottles of water. Our departments can get a little warm, especially when you are hopping in and out of dresses. We recommend bringing a bottle of water with, just in case you get thirsty or a little warm. We don’t allow other beverages or food in our departments, so please finish your coffee or pop before your appointment time.
Advice for wedding dress shopping
Bring your camera! Feel free to take pictures of yourself in your favorite gowns. We love our brides and love seeing them in their dresses, so make sure you also share them on our social media pages!
It’s “The Dress”! Now what? Once you’ve found your dress, your Personal Shopper will take your measurements and go over the manufacturer’s sizing chart with you to help you choose the size that will fit you best. Once you have chosen a size, you will pay at least half of the dress’ balance to get the order started. The remaining balance will be due when the dress comes in (the dress will take 4-6 months to arrive). If you are purchasing a dress out of stock, the dress must be paid in full.
Will I need alterations? We order your dress according to the manufacturer’s size chart, in an effort to limit the amount of alterations, but almost every bride still needs alterations to customize a gown’s fit. The Wedding Shoppe has created a convenient seamstress finder on our website to help you discover a vendor in your area.
Think big picture. We are a full service bridal boutique, so we offer other services besides wedding dresses. We also carry accessories, bridesmaid dresses, flower girl dresses, mothers’ gowns, tuxedos, and suits! Feel free to ask about those other departments while you’re here.
Looking for tips on preparing for other kinds of appointments? We also have advice for preparing for your bridal party and tuxedo appointments.