Finding the perfect dress to say “I Do” in can be a stressful process (at least it was for me). This will most likely be the most expensive dress you ever wear, not to mention the most photographed. As with many elements of wedding planning, the more you know going in about what to expect the better off you are! Knowledge is power! Your stress level will be much less if you know the right questions to ask to guide you through the process of trying on, buying, altering, and preserving your perfect gown.
This month, the lovely ladies from Something White Bridal Boutique have stepped in to help us learn the most important questions to ask your wedding dress consultant about the process of buying, fitting, and preserving your gown. The owner Brittany, and her entire team of consultants, are seriously the sweetest group of gals. They truly care about every bride and tribe that walks through the door, and they will do everything in their power to make your experience be nothing short of wonderful. When you shop at Something White, you truly become part of the SW family. In their words, “Our desire is to transform the traditional experience of shopping for a bridal gown to one where you can relax, have fun, create memories, laugh, and maybe even cry a little – all while finding the perfect wedding gown.” How perfect is that?! I’m so glad that they helped me out with this blog post, so all of you lovely brides can have a totally stress-free gown buying/fitting experience!
10 Questions to Ask Your Wedding Dress Shop Consultant
1 | What designers do you carry?
This is a pretty important question to ask because every boutique will carry different designers. Before you visit boutiques, think about what kind of dress you want. It is important to ensure that your personal style as a bride is truly at the boutique you are visiting. Be sure to research designers before scheduling appointments to make finding your gown that much easier.
2 | What is the price point on your gowns?
Once you have decided on a comfortable wedding gown budget it is important to ask boutiques you are interested in visiting what their price range is on gowns to ensure your budget aligns with their selection. The last thing we want to see as a boutique is someone who falls in love with a gown that is outside of their budget and has to either settle on another gown or find a way to cover the excess. This topic isn’t a fun conversation, but it will allow the process to be less stressful if a budget is established.
3 | How long does it take for a gown to come in?
The ideal timeline to order a wedding gown is 9 – 12 months prior to the big day. If you are within this timeframe this question doesn’t necessarily change things for you, but for those having a shorter engagement you want to know up front if the designers at a particular boutique have rush order options and what those costs look like as they can vary significantly. Some boutiques even have the option to sell gowns directly from the floor as a sample at a discounted price point – so be sure to ask the boutiques you are planning on visiting what your options include.
4| How many people can attend my appointment?
Some boutiques are smaller and therefore are limited in space on the number of guests you can bring to your appointment. Be sure the number you are bringing aligns with availability of the boutique. Also remember that less is more when it comes to your entourage. Bring two or three people whose opinion means the most to you. If you can’t imagine not including all of your friends and family in on this experience, think about inviting them when you pick up your gown and have them assist with choosing accessories to create your final wedding day look.
5 | What size gowns do you carry?
Bridal sizing is very different from street clothes so it is good to know in advance if there will potentially be any limitations when trying on gowns. If you are a size 8 in jeans, you will average a size 12 in bridal. Average sample size of gowns is a 10 or 12, but if you are outside of this sizing be sure to find the boutique that will have the most options for you.
6 | Do I need to bring anything to my appointment?
Most boutiques will not require anything special for your appointment time. We recommend wearing nude colored undergarments and a strapless bra if available. If you’re thinking about wearing shapewear for the big day, be sure to bring this with you so you will know exactly how each gown will fit with the shapewear on. You are also welcome to bring pictures, whether it be from magazines or showing a Pinterest board as this can help your consultant visualize those details that catch your eye.
7 | How does your boutique handle alterations?
Each boutique will vary if they offer alterations in-house or recommendations to outside locations. Be sure that you are comfortable with the options available. It is also good to get an estimate on average alteration costs to know what your all in cost on your gown will be.
8 | Do you offer champagne?
Let’s be honest, most of us have seen “Say Yes to the Dress” and want that magical celebration when finding your wedding gown. If this is you, be sure you ask policies of boutiques prior to visiting to ensure all your dress shopping dreams can become a reality.
9 | What happens once I find my dream gown?
A good consultant will walk you through everything, including the designer, style, color, price, delivery date, deposit, estimated alterations cost and all additional policies at the boutique. If you are a more of a planner and need to know the full details before finding your gown, don’t be afraid to ask about processes in advance to put your mind at ease.
10 | Following the wedding day, should I clean and/or preserve my gown?
After your wedding day your gown will be VERY dirty. To get it back to its original condition you can clean and/or preserve your gown. Don’t know which one to do – this really depends on what your intentions are following the big day. If you’re a hopeless romantic and think that your daughter or granddaughter will wear your wedding gown someday then it is best to get the gown cleaned and preserved as this will get it back to its original condition and keep it protected against outside agents or discoloration over time. If you’re not physically attached to your gown and consider recovering some of your gown costs you can have it cleaned and attempt to sell it so other brides have a chance to enjoy your gown as much as you did.
“Choosing a wedding gown is a very foreign process to many brides-to-be so having a conversation with a boutique will help to guide you through unchartered waters. We hope this helps offer insight into the next stages in wedding planning for you. Still feeling overwhelmed? Give us a call – because at the end of the day we’re here to help you in finding your something white.” -Brittany, owner of Something White Bridal Boutique
For those out there who are engaged or married…I’d love to hear about what it was like to purchase your wedding gown! What was helpful during the process? What questions do you wish you would have asked? I’d love to hear other questions that you found to be helpful in your wedding dress search!
10 Questions to Ask:
Each month there will be a new post from a new vendor, so keep checking back!!