Advice for Wedding Attire Shopping

I am sure many of you out there have watched some of the wedding dress shopping shows and have been just as appalled by the shopping experiences of those who choose to bring their extremely opinionated relatives and friends, not to mention and entourage. The lesson here is this: The more opinions you have be they strong or mildly expressed, the harder it will be for you to make a decision on what you want to wear. My greatest advice for shopping for your wedding attire, bring only those people who are going to support your decision and who understand that it is your wedding and your decision as to what to wear and keep your support team to a minimum (no more than 3 or 4). This should be a special time for you and making sure you will have the best experience possible ultimately lies with you and those you have chosen to invite along.

Once you have decided who you are going to bring with you, it’s important to follow the following etiquette regarding shopping for a dress:
1. Make an Appointment
Make an appointment two weeks in advance with the bridal boutique that you would like to visit. Some bridal boutiques may take walk-ins, but most bridal boutiques will request that you make an appointment before coming in.

2. Allot Enough Time
Allocate approximately 1-2 hours to try on dresses. Dress shops are very busy on the weekends and may only allow you to try on dresses for an hour. Weekday appointments not quite as busy and ideal if you want to spend more time trying on dresses and talking with your sales person.

3. Be Prepared
Most bridal boutiques do not have showrooms that allow you to browse through their collection of dresses. All of their dresses are usually stored in back room that your sales person goes to bring you dresses that she feels is suited to what you are looking for. Therefore it is important to be prepared to describe what types of dresses you are interested in trying on during your visit. Bring pictures from magazines or descriptions of dresses you would like to see. With limited time, this will help your sales person quickly identify dresses to bring you and make your visit most productive.

4. Your Budget
Be prepared to discuss your price budget with your sales person. This will allow her to bring you dresses that are in your price range.

5. Dressing Rooms
Bridal Boutique dressing rooms are generally large enough to accommodate 1-2 guests.

6. Getting Dressed
Because dresses can be heavy and even delicate/fragile, the sales person will likely dress and undress you.

7. Cameras
Do not bring a camera to take pictures of yourself in different dresses. Even if your intentions are honest, bridal boutiques need to guard against customers who are trying on dresses with the intention of having the dress copied by a dress maker.

8. Accessories
Although most bridal shops will have bras and shoes that you can wear with your gown, it’s always best to bring a strapless bra and shoes (approximately the same as what you intend on wearing for your big day) with you.

9. Take Notes
Be sure to note the dresses that you are interested. Although most sales people would love to sell you a dress that day, most also know that most brides want to “sleep on it” before making a decision. Make sure all the dresses you’re interested are noted for reference. After visiting many bridal boutiques and trying on so many dresses, it can be difficult to remember which one is which.

10. Couture Dresses
Most couture dresses are custom made (not of the rack). Expect Bridal shops to request either a sizeable non-refundable deposit or payment in full. Be sure to read the contract they will ask you to sign to verify that the size and style are correct. Mistakes are often made and you are usually liable for the dress if you sign the contract.

11. Bridal Shop Trunk Shows
If you are at a bridal store for a trunk shore, expect to try on ONLY dresses from the specific designer hosting the trunk show. The designer will usually send a representative of the company to help with selecting a dress for you or answer any questions. It is usually respectful to NOT try on dresses from other designers during the trunk shows although some stores may have an understanding with the designer that other dresses (from other designers) may be tried on.

12. Trunk Shows
Trunk shows are the best place to find a discount on a dress. Most bridal shops do not bargain with their customers, not do they expect you to bargain with them. The price that you see is what you should expect to pay. With that being said, discounts can be had at trunk shows for a specific designer.” -


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