What to Expect from Your Bridal Boutique
How to find the best bridal boutique for your wedding dress shopping experience.
Finding the perfect dress for your wedding day should be an experience every bride remembers for a lifetime. Unfortunately, many brides remember it as a period of stress and anxiety, where stores and dresses blur together and the final dress decision feels less like a calm and confident moment and more like a desperate leap of faith.
Bridal gown shopping shouldn’t feel that way. While choosing a wedding dress may never be the most stress-free moment, a good bridal boutique can do a lot to help brides relax and approach their decision with grace and clarity. If you’re wondering what to look for in a good bridal boutique, here are some of the top signs that they’re looking out for their bride’s best interests.
1. They are there to help, not to pressure you into a sale.
Choosing your wedding dress should be about your big day—not about a commission. If you feel like your bridal stylist is pushing you to make a purchase, it only adds stress to your decision and complicates your day.
As a bride, you’re probably already balancing so many factors in your dress shopping experience. You want a dress that speaks to your personality, but you also want one that wows your family, friends, and (most importantly) your partner. It’s understandable that this decision will be a difficult one, and that you will turn to your stylist for advice. But to trust that advice, you need to know it’s coming from a place where you and your happiness are the first priority.
Good stylists working on a commission know how to reconcile this conflict of interests. But our opinion is that it’s better not to put the bride in that position to begin with. If you work with a bridal boutique where the stylists aren’t under the pressure of a commission, you’re more likely to receive the pressure-free advice you need.
2. They are respectful of your budget.
Most brides are shopping for a dress with a specific price point in mind. After all, their dress is only one of numerous costs associated with their wedding, and they’re well aware of how far their budget needs to stretch.
When you go into a bridal boutique, your stylist should ask what your price range is, and then focus on presenting styles that meet that range. To begin with, this is just good salesmanship. If you fall in love with a dress you can’t afford, you’re more likely to leave the shop with a poor experience.
More importantly, you need to be able to make a decision that works for you. That means finding a dress that makes you feel amazing—but that’s also within your price range. If the dress is beautiful but isn’t one you can afford, it only accomplishes one of those two things.
3. They help you with accessories and styling tips.
When it comes to establishing your wedding look, your dress is the most significant piece of the puzzle—but it isn’t the last. The right accessories can pull a dress together in a unique way that makes it all your own.
Good stylists know how to show off a dress so that the bride can envision all its possibilities. That may mean adding a belt to show off a waist, adding a bolero to cover cold shoulders during the ceremony, or helping the bride decide between a veil and a tiara (or both!).
Accessories can also help accentuate or downplay your features. Working with a stylist who understands how your accessories will affect the final look of your wedding gown will help you feel more reassured as you envision the dress on your big day.
4. They listen to your concerns.
It’s hard to know when the small doubts in the back of your mind are just wedding dress jitters, or a sign of something being really wrong with your dress. This is why it’s so important to have someone who can listen to any hesitations you might have and work with you to find a dress that puts those fears to rest.
While it’s natural to have second thoughts, your stylist can help you distinguish between the ones that are worth listening to, and those that will go away once you become more used to seeing yourself in the mirror wearing a wedding dress.
5. They are transparent about all the costs involved.
Buying your wedding dress is a significant purchase, and it’s important to understand all the costs involved. Some brides will buy their dresses only to be surprised by expenses they hadn’t planned on, such as alterations, steaming and storage. These costs may be only a fraction of the dress price, but they still add up.
Before you sign your dress contract, one of the managers at your bridal boutique should sit down and talk everything through with you so that you can be confident in your purchase and don’t have to worry about any surprises after you’ve made the big commitment. If you’re wondering what they should discuss with you, this conversation should cover the cost of the dress itself including sales tax, any terms of your payment plan should you need to make multiple payments, shipment and delivery information, and steaming and alteration costs.
While some bridal boutiques offer some of these as complimentary services, others may include a fee. Because of this, it’s important to talk everything through. Your bridal boutique should be forthcoming about any extra charges, and happy to answer questions you may have about their services.
Finding your dream dress shouldn’t be a nightmare.
When your big day arrives, you don’t want to look at your wedding dress and think about all the stress you went through to find it. Instead, you want to slip into a wedding dress that’s already full of beautiful memories. Finding a bridal boutique that can make your experience the first in a long series of wonderful moments will help you feel your best as you walk down the aisle.