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Bridal Resources

Here's some help for your wedding planning!

This is a directory of wedding vendors and services, and we're adding more every week.

 

Know your Timelines

Allow plenty of time to find your gown.  Begin shopping 8 to 10 months before the wedding, as a gown takes at least 4 to 6 months to arrive and sometimes longer depending on the designer.  Keep in mind that the sooner you start shopping, the less likely you’ll feel rushed and make a quick decision that you may regret later. Once your gown arrives, you will then want to book an appointment with the seamstress, as the first fitting usually occurs 6 to 8 weeks prior to your wedding date.  All gowns will require some alterations, whether it is a bustle or something more extensive.  Cost of alterations can vary depending on the gown.  Working with extensive beadwork and delicate laces can increase the cost.

Budgeting for your Gown

Decide on a budget for your gown before you set up a consultation.  Do not tempt yourself by trying on gowns outside of your price point. You will either end up falling in love with a gown and blow your budget or be disappointed by every other gown you see.  Keep in mind that you will also need to consider the cost of your accessories.

Etiquette

Each bridal salon is unique in the service it provides.  Various guidelines are upheld to ensure that each bride has an amazing experience.  Please be considerate of other bridal parties that are in the salon.  Ask questions about the salon’s policy on bringing children, allowing food, drinks, or photos, and guest limitations. If the salon does not allow photos, bring along a notebook to write down details of the gowns that you like.

Booking a Consultation

Scheduling a consultation is the only way to ensure that you will be assigned a consultant who will give you their undivided attention. Most salons do their best to accommodate walk-ins but to avoid disappointment take time to schedule a consultation. If at all possible, consider a consultation during the week rather than on a busy Saturday. You may be pleasantly surprised when you find that you have the salon to yourself!

What to Bring to Your Consultation

Come prepared with a nude bra and underwear for the consultation.  Also, bring along shoes in a similar height to what you plan on wearing at the wedding in case you choose to order a special length.  

Number of Gowns

Experts recommend that brides do not try on too many gowns.  Between 4 and 7 gowns with no more than 10 per salon will alleviate the risk of becoming overwhelmed. You may want to try one of each of the six basic styles (mermaid, trumpet/fit and flare, ball gown, a-line, sheath, empire) at your first consultation so that you can determine which style flatters your body type.

Consider the Style of the Gown

  1. Take a cue from your venue and the time of day of your wedding to determine the formality of your gown. Keep practicalities in mind when choosing your gown -- for example, if you’re getting married on an outdoor lawn, on the sand etc.  
  2. Another thing to consider is religious restrictions. If you are getting married in a house of worship, check with your ceremony officiant to find out whether there are any attire guidelines.
  3. If you think you know what you would like, come prepared with photos or a clear description of the gowns that you are interested in trying on.  Narrow your search to the shape and style that suits you best.  Then it is time to hone in on detail.   If your consultant brings you something she says you must try, try it -- even if you do not love the way it looks on the hanger. You may be pleasantly surprised at the fit. 

Shop with a Supportive Entourage

Consider making a trip to the bridal salon on your own so that you can choose styles that complement your personality.  Then schedule a consultation to try your favorites. Limit your entourage to one or two of your closest friends/relatives to help you start your search. This way you don’t have too many ideas clashing and feel pressured by others' opinions.  You, better than anyone, know what style you are looking for and what features you want to highlight and the look you are going for.   When it’s the right gown, you’ll know -- you probably won’t want to take it off. 

Purchasing the Gown

It is imperative to purchase a gown that fits your body.  The salon will measure your bust, waist and hips and refer to the designers sizing guide for the correct size.  Being formal attire, wedding gowns fit smaller; so don't be alarmed should your final size go up a number or two. Ask about hemming options as some designers offer a special length option for a nominal fee.

Contract

When you order your gown from a bridal salon, it is important to check the contract for size, color, style number, designer, measurements, approximate delivery date, price of the gown and deposit amount in writing. Be aware that most salons have a no-return policy.