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  • Writer's pictureNina Bashaw

7 questions to ask the bridal boutique

As a bride, you want to find the perfect gown. Shopping for your wedding dress is a huge part of the wedding planning experience and should be a fun one! However, there is much to consider when choosing that gown, from alterations to budget, asking a wedding salon these seven questions will help you find the best boutique (and dress) for your needs. Here are some questions to help you make the best choice for you!

1: Do I need to make an appointment?

You will find that the majority of bridal salons are by appointment only. The average appointment time allotted will be for about an hour. During this time you will try on several dress along with will shoes, veil, and other accessories. Find out how many hours you should plan for ahead of time so that you don’t end up going overtime thus or over-schedule yourself causing stress and taking all the fun out of the day.

2 : What sizes do you have?

Don't just assume that every bridal salon will have exactly what you're looking for. If you require a special size, ask about their inventory when you call to make your appointment. It's also helpful to ask how extensive their inventory is of the size dress you require, that way you can ensure you have lots of options to try on. No two brides or sizes are the same, so if you need plus size, petite or extra length, consider finding boutiques that specialize in what you are wanting and needing.

3 : Do you offer a payment plan?

You will find that the majority of wedding boutiques accept all forms of payment. Ask if they offer a discount if you pay in cash, some bridal salons will offer a small discount if you pay in cash because they don't have to pay credit card fees. Most of the time a salon requires fifty percent down and fifty percent when you pick up your dress. You can easily pay for it in those two payments or you can pay a little each month as you obtain more cash to put towards your gown. Remember if the dress is from a sample sale just remember that wedding dresses are sold as is and final sale. No returns on a wedding dress is standard, however, if you change your mind and choose another dress you might be able to use the money that you have already put down and apply it to a different dress. However, if it's a custom made dress, no returns and no exchanges will be allowed.

4 : Can I take photos of my dress in the store?

Make sure to ask about this one. Certain shops are very firm about this and do not allow any photos of the dress. Others do mind if you snap a few photos, but there again make sure to ask!

4 : Do you offer alterations?

Ask if the salon does alterations in-house, and if not, do they recommend any good tailors. Many years ago I worked at a bridal salon and some alterations were complementary when you purchased the dress from the salon. Extensive and custom made alterations where not included and were an additional cost. Every boutique will have their own policy, so make sure to ask what alterations are included and which ones are an additional cost.

5: Can I store my gown at your boutique?

Some boutiques can store your gown for you but other stores will not allow you to leave your dress there. Some shops will store your gown but in order to do so will charge a storage fee. Add storage fees into your wedding dress budget or be prepared to hang your dress in your closet at home.

6: How long do I have to decide?

Wedding planning timelines often recommend selecting your gown six months before your wedding. That might sound too early, but believe me it’s not, and here is why. You’ll want to give yourself plenty of time for alterations and time for the designers to make and ship your dress. If you are special ordering your dress it can take up to 8 months to have the dress completed and ready for alterations.

7 : Are there any additional or hidden fees?

Here again make sure to ask if alterations are complementary and if they not included ask to see a price sheet of how much those cost. Be prepared to pay for shipping and tax. If you are buying a sample sale dress or one right off the rack, ask if there is a cleaning fee or if its sold as is. When you say Yes To The Dress, ask the bridal salon about these fees. And most of all, fun a blast enjoy shopping for your gown!

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