Are you recently engaged and are ready to start looking for the dress of your dreams? Well, congratulations! We are here to help you through the whole process, but before you jump in head first let us give you some advice on how to get started. From deciding the perfect store all the way to saying, “yes to the dress,” we want you to be prepared for a perfect day!
Picking out the right stores to shop at is important, not only for the dresses they carry, but for the experience you’ll receive on the day that should be all about you, the bride. Do your research on the stores around you. In that research look up the designers they carry, but realize that they may not have every single dress. As a store that has several designers, we can only have so many from each line. If there are ones you are really interested in, you can always call the stores ahead of time to see if it’s there. (Also know that even if they don’t have the dress, but carry the line they can order it for you if you decide it’s the one). After you narrow stores down based on the dresses they carry, check and see how they run their appointments or if they require appointments. Here at The Dress Shop we set aside 60 – to – 90 minutes for you that includes a private fitting room, experienced stylist, and mimosas or champagne for you to enjoy. What will also be important when looking at stores is how much you can do at one place. We offer a wide selection of bridesmaids and mothers dresses that we schedule separate appointments for so everyone can have the attention they deserve. We also carry a beautiful selection of accessories from hairpieces and jewelry to shoes. We are a Jim’s Formal Wear retailer so you can get your complete guys outfits here as well. Looking for a one stop shop will make the process that much easier for you!
After you’ve picked the perfect place to get started shopping, the next step is setting a price range before your appointment. Every store will have a different price range depending on their designers and that is okay. What is important is that you pick a price that you are comfortable staying at. When starting to think about a price there are several factors you will need to remember. For our store we have two sections of dresses. We have our “off the rack” section which includes gowns that have once been samples and now being sold for brides to take home the same day of shopping. Those gowns are typically under 1,000 dollars. Our other section includes all the gowns we will reorder in your size and color preference. Those gowns are typically between 800 dollars and 3,000 dollars. When thinking about style and detail, the more detail directly equates to a higher gown price. Another factor to keep in mind is alterations. Most stores, like ours, do not include alterations in their gown prices. We do this because we do not want to make any bride feel like they have no choice to work with us. With having done research on alterations in the area we have found that on average alterations will cost brides anywhere from 300 dollars to 500 dollars. With knowing that, we want to make sure we give you the best price possible on the dress. Many brides are surprised to find that there is actually a price we cannot sell below based on the designers’ policies. What we find best for you is to automatically mark all of our dresses at the lowest price possible. Beware of stores that offer discounts on gowns because that just means they have marked the dress up before taking money off.
So you have picked a price range for dress shopping and the right store, now who do you bring with you to your appointment? The short answer is the people you need to be there to say yes. This may sound obvious, but many brides don’t come with the important people and aren’t able to have the full experience when they find the dress because someone is missing from their group. On the other hand, we have also seen when brides bring a large group and become overwhelmed to the point they aren’t able to enjoy the appointment any longer. We have designed our store with that in mind so our rooms comfortably sit up to 6 people and if the bride wants to bring more we encourage a private appointment after hours where they are the only group in the entire store. The thing to remember is that as a bride it is your day to enjoy, bring the people that will help you to have a perfect day, people who will be positive and supportive of what you want.
Alright so your appointment is set and you have your entourage, what’s next? The dress! The biggest piece of advice we can give you is be open minded. Have an idea, gather pictures of what you are looking for, but do not become dead set on anything until you try a variety of styles on. Keeping with the spirit of being open minded, realize you may fall in love with a dress first visit or you may not. Either way that is OKAY! We see so many brides come in and fall in the love on the first visit, or even one of the first dresses she ever tries on. We have also seen brides where it takes a couple stores to find the perfect one. Don’t get discouraged if you don’t find it the first time around and don’t be afraid to say yes if you do. When you find the dress, trust your initial instincts and know that all the work you did to get to the this point means it is the right moment for you to say, “YES,” to the dress!
We hope this was helpful in planning for your dress shopping!