The big day will be here before you know it, and the sooner you find a dress, the better. Finding the perfect gown for your happily-ever-after can seem like a daunting task. There are so many things to take into consideration when looking at bridal shops. Which one is right for you? Let’s discuss a few things to help narrow down the selection. Here are five critical questions to ask before making appointments at bridal shops:
1. What designers and collections do you carry?
The odds are that you have your eyes on a favorite style or designer after browsing through wedding magazines and social media. Everyone has their own taste, so certain styles and designers will start to stand out. Once you decide on a few, be sure to either call or look online to confirm that the bridal shops you’re interested in have the collections you want to see. Some may carry only a few designers, and even if they have the designer you love, they seldom carry that designer’s entire line. If there’s a specific gown that you have to have, be sure to ask if they have it in the salon so that you can see in person. Also, ask about upcoming trunk shows with your favorite designer. This is when you’ll be able to see the entire collection at once, potentially meet the designer in person, and have a chance to customize the gown to your liking.
2. What is the price range of your gowns?
Everyone has a budget. Some are larger than others, but they exist, nonetheless. It makes no sense to visit bridal shops you can’t afford—you’ll only be setting yourself up for extreme disappointment. Ask each bridal salon upfront about the price range of their gowns. This way you’ll know in advance if it is worth making an appointment. The last thing you want is to fall in love with a gown for which you didn’t budget. You’ll have many more purchases to make on your way to the altar, so you don’t want to start your planning off on the wrong financial foot.
3. Are appointments required?
Asking if the shop requires an appointment or accept walk-ins is an important detail. Wedding dress stores that require appointments in advance are more likely to ensure you get their full attention and experience customized for you and your needs. You don’t want your bridal consultant preoccupied with other customers while you’re trying on gowns. With an occasion as important as your wedding, you deserve personalized attention and service.
4. What is your average dress size in stock?
Stores typically carry only a small number of sizes in stock, so it’s important to ask this question before making your appointment. A bridal gown boutique doesn’t carry every gown in a plethora of sizes like a department store. They typically carry an average size that many brides will try on, and the gown will be temporarily clamped in or let out to give the illusion of being fitted to your body during your initial visit. Once a gown is chosen, your measurements are taken, and your dress is ordered in the closest size according to the designer’s size chart. The bride will then return for a series of fittings as their big day approaches. Don’t expect your first experience to be trying on dresses that fit perfectly. They will likely be too big or too small, but that is perfectly normal.
5. What is your return policy?
It’s important to know each bridal shop’s return policy—and they’re all different since your wedding gown is being made to order. Return policies at bridal shops tend to be much more strict than other retailers. Some allow a short window, such as 72 hours, for you to change your mind, while others don’t allow for returns at all. When you place your order, you’ll be asked to sign a contract. Be sure to read all the fine print, including whether returns are accepted. But it’s best to ask about return policies before you even go shopping so that you fully understand your rights. You don’t want to put down a significant deposit when you’re not sure of a gown, only to lose that money if you change your mind.
If you are looking for a truly customized and luxurious experience while shopping for your wedding dress, Bridal Atelier Montclair can help. We specialize in catering to you in an intimate environment. Get the NYC bridal boutique experience, without the NYC commute. Contact us to make an appointment today and allow us to help make your special day the best it can be.