You are engaged; now it is time to shop for your bridal gown. What key things should you know when shopping for your bridal gown?

Top Tips

What is the best day to shop?
The busiest time at a bridal boutique is Saturday and Sunday. If you want to have less of a crowd, go during the week.

How do I decide what bridal shop to go to?
Ask your friends where they went shopping for their bridal gowns. Research all the bridal boutiques in your area online and decide which ones you want to shop and find your bridal gown. Call the boutiques to see if they require appointments and what their price ranges are for their bridal gowns.

When should I order my Bridal Gown?
Brides magazine recommends purchasing your gown at least 9 months to 1 year before your wedding date. Why such a large time frame? Your dress needs to be made by the designer. Most designers do not have hanging inventory, and when your dress is ordered, that is when it starts the manufacturing process. You will also need to allow time for alterations and any issues that may come up. Time is your friend when ordering your bridal gown.

This is a big decision, and it will set the tone/theme for your wedding. Once this item is checked off your list, you can move on to all the other fashion decisions for your wedding. If you plan on purchasing off the rack, we suggest 4 to 6 months before your wedding date. The other fashions for the wedding party must also be ordered, and they can take up to 4 months to arrive.

What should I bring with me to my appointment?
Photos of dress styles you would like to try. Any items you have already decided to wear, such as shoes, undergarments, veils, jewelry, etc.

Additional Tips for Shopping

Who should I bring with me to my appointment?
Be extremely careful with whom you bring to your appointment. Too many people will make your decision extremely difficult and frustrating. They also need to understand your style and your budget. They need to be supportive and want to be there for YOU. The key is bringing the people you need to help make your decision.

What should I tell my Bridal Fashion Consultant?
Be 100% honest with your Bridal Fashion Consultant. Tell her the styles you are interested in, any concerns/requirements of the gown, how you feel about the dresses you are trying on or have tried on, and your bridal gown budget. Falling in love with a dress that is way beyond your budget will take up too much time at your appointment, and then you will compare every other dress to one that is out of your budget. Holding back or lying to your Bridal Fashion Consultant will only prevent her from doing her job and finding your bridal gown.

Should I only try on dresses I like?
Try on gowns that you pick out and gowns that your Bridal Fashion Consultant may suggest. Be open-minded. A dress looks so much different on someone than hanging on a hanger.

Final tips for shopping

Should I buy a dress on my first visit?
Absolutely! Only you will know when it is the right dress. You will try on several gowns at your appointment, and when you find the dress, you will know it. You have so many other tasks to complete with planning your wedding. Check this big one off the list and move on to the next one. Once you purchase your gown, stop looking at bridal gowns and keep moving forward with planning your wedding.

What could I risk by not buying the dress I love on my appointment?
Leaving an appointment with a dress you love but not purchasing it risks a few things. The dress may be sold off the rack, and you will not have the opportunity to show your mother later or to try it on again. So you will be ordering from memory. Another risk is that a gown may be discontinued by a designer and unable to be reordered. In that case, the only dress available will be the one in the store, and if it isn’t in the color and size you need, you miss the opportunity to have the dress you fell in love with. It’s best to be ready by bringing your mom or whomever you want with you so if you find that perfect dress you won’t have to leave it behind. Why take the risk?

Shopping for your bridal gown should be fun, exciting, and something you tell all your friends about. Enjoy this time with your family and friends.