What to know before going dress shopping


Gown shopping is a big deal

Here are some things to think about and be aware of before you go shopping:

The Budget:
Come in knowing what you’d like to spend. Our gowns range from $500 (limited selection) to $3,000. The average gown price is around $1000. But quality doesn’t always dictate price. A new discontinued gown already in our store may be every bit as desirable as the latest fashion ordered for you directly from the designer. Be sure to include a budget for accessories, like veils and undergarments. Alterations, too.

But it’s not all about the price. There’s that old adage - if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Think before you buy something that you haven’t tried on. We’ve seen lots of cases where brides have wasted a lot of money on a dress they’ll never be able to wear.

The Dress:
Think about how your gown will fit with the rest of the wedding. Bring in photos or even share your Pinterest pins when you make an appointment. But also be open to suggestions from your bridal shop stylist. They have experience to know what might look great on you. What a great surprise to end up with a dress you never would have considered with expert help.

The Shop:
Be sure it’s reputable. Check out reviews from multiple sources; even talk with others who’ve shopped there. Is the shop “visible” in the community? Is it recognized, even awarded recently within the industry? Are you seeing its staff at bridal events outside of their own? This kind of activity usually shows the shop is involved with potential customers months before they may walk through their doors. Good customer service takes place before and after the sale, on and off property.

The Experience:
We’re guessing you’re not used to trying on gowns. They’re unlike anything else you’ll ever wear. So be aware you’re in for an experience. Make sure it’s a pleasant one with experienced in-person help. Online has its place. But when it comes to getting exactly the gown you want in the size you’ve paid for, don’t trust what you can’t see in person.

After the Sale:
If you feel pressured into purchasing, remember that your return trip for alterations, accessories or gown preservation will bring back those negative emotions. Wedding planning is stressful enough. If you’re pushed, then push yourself out the door to another shop.

How to spot a fake gown -

taken from the ABPIA, American Bridal and Prom Industry Association: