Just as you want your wedding dress to fit with comfort and ease, you want your bridal shop experience to be filled with comfort and ease. After all, this day is often an experience brides dream about when they’re young. So how do you choose which bridal boutique to visit? Ahead, we break down everything you need to know about choosing the right bridal salons for you and how to make the most out of this special shopping experience.
What to Consider Before Visiting a Bridal Salon
Before you start booking appointments to find your perfect dress, there are a few questions you need to ask yourself in order to set yourself up for wedding dress shopping success.
1. Determine Your Wedding Dress Budget
When we dream of our dream wedding dress, we usually don’t dream about the price tag. Nevertheless, having a price range will help you and your bridal stylist pull the right gowns to try on during your appointment (and save you from any out-of-budget heartbreak!).
The average wedding dress cost varies greatly. It all depends on the fabric and materials used, your location, the designer – the list goes on. So, whether it’s you, your parents, or another loved one paying for your bridal gown, be sure to set a price range that is appropriate for you. Some bridal boutiques have their price ranges listed on their website or in their Instagram bio to help give you a better idea, or you can always call and ask too.
2. Have a Bridal Style in Mind
You will then want to consider your wedding dress style. What do you envision yourself wearing when you walk down the aisle? Maybe it’s a romantic A-line or a clean modern, minimalist bridal gown. Keep a few descriptive style buzzwords in mind to bring to your stylist.
Need help with inspiration? Head to Pinterest and set up a new wedding dress board. Then, pin any wedding dresses you love to your board. Once you are done, go back and look through the board and analyze the trends. Did you pin a lot of lace? Perhaps you noticed you pinned a lot of gowns with sweetheart necklines. Notice these trends and use them to help define your style.
If you’re still feeling stuck on the day of your appointment, consult your bridal stylist or even show them your Pinterest board. Your stylist is a guide and a resource to help you find the bridal gown that makes you feel the most beautiful, sometimes trying on the gowns also helps you see what style makes you look and feel your best.
3. Considerations for Plus Size Brides
We know that wedding dress shopping can sometimes be stressful, no matter your size or shape. If you’re a plus size bride, be sure to do your research and don’t be afraid to call or email bridal boutiques near you to ask about their size selection. Be sure to include your clothing size because wedding dress sizes are sized differently from your average street size and are usually one or two sizes bigger.
How Do I Find a Bridal Salon?
1. Do Your Research
Never underestimate the importance of doing research! Depending on where you live, you may have access to three salons or 30 bridal salons within an hour of where you live. This is a special moment and the last thing you want is an experience or dress selection that doesn’t live up to your expectations.
Before booking your appointment, visit the bridal salon’s social media and website and read reviews on Google or Yelp. As many salons also include size ranges, price ranges and designers carried on their website. This will help you get a better grasp on the bridal salon’s reputation as well as their style aesthetic, price range and size selection.
2. Look for Specific Wedding Dress Designers
If you are on the hunt for a specific style, designer or size be sure to contact your bridal boutiques in advance so they can prepare for your upcoming visit and make the most of your appointment.
You can also visit the designer’s website directly to see a list of available locations. Remember, just because a bridal salon carries the designer doesn’t mean they carry the full collection in store. Be sure to give your boutique a heads up if you have a specific dress style in mind.
3. Consider Budget and Location
In addition, you want to become familiar with both the location of the salon and the price points. Since you have already determined your budget range, you can use it to narrow down your list of potential bridal salons. Knowing this information in advance can help avoid unnecessary trips.
4. Attend a Local Trunk Show
A trunk show is a special event when a designer visits your local bridal boutique with a curated collection of dresses that may not normally be available in store.
Not only will you see a wider range of styles from a specific designer, but trunk shows often come with special perks like money-saving discounts and the potential to be styled by the designer or expert representatives during your appointment!
When Should I Make My Appointment?
You want to begin shopping for your dream dress 10-14 months prior to your wedding day, ideally after your venue and wedding date are booked. This gives you the time to shop for a gown you love without feeling like you need to rush. Most wedding gowns are made-to-order and will take time to ship to the salon.
Once your wedding dress has arrived, you will likely have multiple alteration appointments leading up to your wedding day to ensure your dress fits just right, so be sure to give yourself plenty of time!
What to Expect During Your Bridal Salon Appointment
1. Getting to Know Your Stylist
When you arrive at your appointment, you will be paired with a bridal stylist who will guide you through the process, answer any questions and help you try on dresses. They will ask questions about your venue, sizing, preferred styles and what you envision for yourself on your wedding day. Then they will pull an array of incredible styles for you to try on.
2. Time to Play Dress-Up
Now comes the moment you’ve been waiting for! Your stylist will help you try on different dresses and show them off to your friends and family. Don’t be afraid to ask questions about potential customizations or express if there is a dress feature or style you like or dislike. Remember, your stylist is a resource that is there to help you!
Tip: We recommend wearing seamless, flesh-colored undergarments and a strapless bra to your appointment. Also, while you may not have your wedding day shoes purchased, bring a pair that will have a similar heel height and style to what you would like to wear on the big day.
Did you find your dream dress? Are you feeling the tears well up? Your bridal stylist will help you complete the look with finishing touches like veils, jewelry and other accessories!
4. Have Fun
Even if you don’t find your dream gown at your first appointment, or second, or third – remember to have fun! Wedding dress shopping is a special, once-in-a-lifetime moment during your wedding journey.
Ready to shop for your dream dress? Find a bridal shop near you!