If you are a first time bride, as many are, congratulations! Your fiancé has popped the question, you have accepted, and you are excited to begin the dress shopping journey. We couldn’t be more happy for you, and, we cannot wait to welcome you to the boutique!
As a first time bride we understand this may be an exciting, and sometimes confusing time as you figure out exactly what to expect during this wedding planning adventure. You may think binge watching “Say Yes to the Dress” will prepare you for this, but, unfortunately, television does not always accurately reflect the true experience.
Below are five simple rules of etiquette to consider when you begin your dress shopping journey. Remember, this is can be an extremely emotional time for you and your loved ones, and you want your time to be as positive as possible. So, set yourself up with a solid foundation, and create lasting memories!
1. Make An Appointment
Providing the highest possible service is the number one goal of All My Heart Bridal, and, in order to provide the best experience for you we appreciate being able to dedicate the time to help from start to finish. Scheduling an appointment allows us to focus solely on your needs, and locate your dream gown. While it may seem like a good idea to simply “pop” into a store to look, this can take away from another bride’s experience, or, pressure a stylist into feeling they need to let you try on gowns, even if they don’t have the time.
It is extremely important to schedule an appointment if you’re wanting to come in on a weekend. It is even more important if you are coming in from out of town to set up appointments prior to arriving so you can avoid being turned away if a salon is too busy. It is the respectful thing to do, both for your shopping experience, and, for the salon you want to visit. A lot of salons are requiring appointments so make sure you do your research, and plan appropriately.
Tip From The Shop: Saturdays are the busiest day of our week and we constantly fill up with appointments, and even have to start waitlists. If you walk into our salon with a large group of loved ones expecting us to be able to accommodate you, unfortunately, it just can’t happen. And this can cause you to feel irritated or discouraged. We have brides who come from all over the United States to shop with us, and it isn’t fair to cut their time short when they took the time to schedule an appointment so we can “squeeze you in.”
2. Don’t Waste Time!
There are lots of ways this rule applies to your dress shopping experience, so, we have broken it down into three sections.
Don’t wait until the last minute.
It takes between 6-9 months total from the moment you start your shopping experience to the last alteration so don’t waste your time. As soon as you get engaged, and you have narrowed down an approximate date for the wedding, start planning. Schedule appointments, look at magazines to get an idea for what you want, and purchase your dress. Not only does waiting too long possibly limit the selection of gowns to choose from, but it will avoid additional expenses such as rush fees, and could save you hundreds of dollars.
Start shopping when you’re serious about buying.
There is nothing more disheartening to a stylist than when a bride comes in and immediately says they’re here to “look, not buy,” especially when you are there on a Saturday. Do not waste the time of the salon, or yours, if you’re not seriously on the hunt. If this is the first time you’re trying on, and you just want to get an idea of different silhouettes, book an appointment for a weekday when salons are slower, and be up front with the stylist before you arrive. This will allow them to schedule accordingly, and not take away from another bride who is ready to find the one.
Arrive on time to your appointment. Also, cancel.
Salons schedule appointments in time blocks so each bride gets the perfect amount of dedicated service from their stylist. Keep this in mind when scheduling multiple appointments in one day, give yourself enough travel time, and always arrive on time for your scheduled appointment. If you are running late be courteous, and call the salon to let them know. But, understand, if you arrive late do not expect the salon to extend your appointment. It isn’t fair to take away from the appointment following yours.
If you booked multiple appointments in one day, and find the dress early on, make sure you call the other salons and let them know so they can open those appointment times for another bride. If something comes up, as happens with life, and you need to cancel your appointment altogether, make sure you provide as much notice as possible. It is the respectful thing to do, and the salon will appreciate the gesture. I promise!
3. Arrive Fresh + Prepared
While it seems common sense it is a rule which must be said. Out of respect for your stylist, and the other brides who try on the samples in the salon, make sure you wear proper undergarments. For example, shape ware such as Spanx, underwear, and a bra. Be conscious of your hygiene, and try to wear minimal makeup. You could be stepping into gowns, or, putting them on over your head which can cause makeup or lipstick stains.
Tip From the Shop: All My Heart Bridal is primarily a special order store which means the gowns on our racks are simply samples, and we will order your gown in from the designer in the correct size, color, and with any changes you want made. It is important we keep our samples as clean as possible since multiple brides can try on the same gown in one day. While we spot clean and treat our samples with care, it is always appreciated when our brides treat them with the same respect.
4. Be 100% Honest
Your stylist is going to be your best friend in your dress shopping journey, and they want you to feel beautiful, confident, and sexy. They are not there to set you up for failure, and sometimes encourage you to go outside your comfort zone. However, it is vital for you to be 100% honest with them about what you love or hate when trying on gowns so they can point you in the right direction. No one ever wants you to say yes to a dress you don’t love. The more honest you can be the better your appointment will go, and the more likely you are to find the perfect one!
5. Order the Correct Size
As a curvy bridal salon, we hear lots of brides talk about how they want to tone, lose weight, or adjust their dress size prior to their wedding, and we couldn’t be happier! However, we will take your measurements upon ordering, and recommend a size we know will fit you at that time. It is always easier to take a dress in than it is to let it out. Let me repeat this phrase. IT IS ALWAYS EASIER TO TAKE A DRESS IN THAN IT IS TO LET IT OUT.
Almost all gowns can come down at least two sizes, and that can be an overall 6-8 inch difference which is a significant amount. By purchasing a dress you know will fit properly you can only look better in it if you tone or lose weight. There is nothing more defeating than ordering a gown smaller than your measurements, and not being able to fit into it when it arrives. Take the advice of the salon, and order the proper size. This will ensure you have a positive experience, and if the gown is too big when it arrives that is a much better feeling!