Your Bridal Shop Checklist: Don't Forget These 5 Important Details

Posted on: 20 October 2015

Shopping for a wedding dress should be an exhilarating experience, not a stressful event. However, attention to details should not be overlooked, which is why it makes sense to compose a checklist prior to setting out for the bridal shop. Knowing what questions to ask and what to consider can make the shopping experience work in your favor, possibly saving you time, money and a throbbing headache in the process. Here are a few important details that need to be considered and addressed:

1. Call the Bridal Shop in Advance

It may not be the best idea to wander into your bridal shop aimlessly expecting to receive first-rate customer service and the gown of your dreams. For a positive outcome and the best experience possible, you might want to call the bridal salon in advance and schedule an appointment. In fact, some bridal shops except business by appointment only.

Be sure to allow yourself plenty of time, as you'll most likely be trying on various sample gowns and needing individualized attention from a knowledgeable wedding dress consultant. You might also want to ask if there is a time limit for your appointment. While 60 minutes might seem like a long time, it might not be enough if you're indecisive or have a long list of concerns. At the same time, figure on allowing yourself a few months (or longer) for fittings and alterations. Custom orders will often take quite longer.

2. Don't Take an Entire Entourage Shopping With You

While it's helpful and often encouraged to bring along another person to the bridal boutique, it's best to refrain from taking along several people. If you bring a group of companions to the bridal shop, you may become bogged down and overwhelmed by conflicting opinions and ideas. Keep it organized and calm with one trusted person along to offer advice and input.

3. Offer the Consultant or Sales Associate a Little Help

While the bridal salon will employ dedicated sales associates or consultants to offer suggestions, they are not mind-readers. It's in your best interest to bring along sample photos of the styles you find most appealing. If you have definite ideas, let the consultant know what you're looking for.

Do you have an idea for a custom wedding dress? You might want to make a sketch of your ideas. You don't need to be an artist; simply compose a rough draft and offer your consultant a view from your perspective.

4. Know Your Budget

Would you prefer sequins placed on a pre-fabricated gown? Is that strapless gown "perfect" except for the sleeves you'd prefer as an addition? While price ranges will vary, you can typically expect to pay a higher price for a custom-made wedding gown or one that requires special alterations. Before you make up your mind, ask about the total costs to determine if it is realistically in your price range.

If you must adhere to a strict budget, inquire about ways to save. For example, you might be able to purchase a wedding dress "off the rack" at a significant savings. Clearances or discontinued attire may be another option that could save you money.

5. Don't Forget the Accessories

Your wedding gown might be the single most important (and costly) purchase, but there are a few other accessories to complete your ensemble that should not be overlooked. Save yourself time by choosing shoes at the bridal shop that will complement your chosen dress. At the same time, don't forget the veil and headpiece. You might also find jewelry to complete and enhance the look, all on your initial visit.

For more information, contact local bridal shops or visit sites like