For some brides-to-be, finding the perfect wedding dress is an easy task; for others, it takes months of thoughtful shopping trips. The easiest way to shorten the amount of time you spend looking for your ideal big-day look? By going into every bridal salon prepared. There are a number of questions you should ask before, during, and after your appointments to ensure you ultimately walk down the aisle in a gown you absolutely love.
What's the price range for the selection of dresses you carry?
Ask this question before booking an appointment—the last thing you want to do is visit a retailer with dresses that exceed the budget you've set for your wedding dress (and if you haven't already established a budget for your big-day attire, you should do that now, too). There's nothing worse than falling in love with a wedding dress that you cannot afford.
Which designers do you carry?
It's a smart idea to know which designers the salons you're visiting carry and spending a little time looking at their wedding dresses so you can be prepared to tell your dedicated stylist which looks you like and are interested in trying on. You (and your stylist!) will be grateful that you did some homework ahead of time because you'll be able to find your ideal look faster.
Can I see multiple silhouettes?
You may have an idea in your head of what you want, but you should always ask to see other options during your appointment. You may be surprised at what you end up loving and hating.
How can this dress be altered?
Keep in mind that most sample wedding dresses will be too long, too big, or too small, so it's important to remember that those details will be sorted out when the gown is ordered in your actual size. As for other alterations you might want, it's important to ask whether or not those are requests that can be reasonably accommodated. If there's something you'd want to change—for example, adjusting a neckline or adding straps—it's important to ask before you make your purchase.
Do you accept payments in installations?
Once you've found the wedding dress you want, it's important to discuss payment details. Some salons allow you to pay 40-60% of the total purchase now, and the remaining balance when your dress arrives. This could be a game changer if you are unsure about a gown just because of the ticket price.
Do you offer in-house alterations?
Every wedding dress is going to need some sort of alterations. Some bridal salons offer in-house alterations while others will refer you to an external professional for adjustments. If you're looking for one-stop shopping, you might be better off finding a retailer that's able to handle changes in-house.