Stress-free Gown Shop­ping

Bride & Groom - - CONTENTS -

Where you de­cide to pur­chase your wed­ding gown plays a huge part in your over­all wed­ding ex­pe­ri­ence. As­tra Bridal owner Lori Macpher­son shares her knowl­edge about the ben­e­fits of shop­ping for your gown at a spe­cialised bridal bou­tique…

Be­cause of the tech­ni­cal na­ture of wed­ding gowns, shop­ping for your gown isn’t like dress shop­ping at the mall. The fab­ric qual­ity and work­man­ship means it will prob­a­bly be one of the most ex­pen­sive items of cloth­ing you ever buy – and the most pho­tographed. Your gown needs to suit your style of wed­ding, the venue you choose and, most im­por­tantly, it needs to fit your body like a glove.

A good bridal bou­tique should be friendly, rep­utable and knowl­edge­able. The time you spend there should be fun and the staff should make the ex­pe­ri­ence of se­lect­ing the per­fect wed­ding gown en­joy­able. Find a bou­tique with staff who have had for­mal train­ing and plenty of ex­pe­ri­ence, so you can feel con­fi­dent of their ad­vice.

Good trained staff will give you hon­est and prac­ti­cal ad­vice based on your height, shape and per­sonal style. They know the dresses in­side out and can iden­tify styles to suit your cho­sen theme and venue. The gown you end up fall­ing in love with is of­ten not what you had en­vi­sioned while look­ing at mag­a­zines or on­line. So, be sure to try on a num­ber of gowns be­fore mak­ing one of the big­gest pur­chas­ing de­ci­sions in your life.

Choose a bou­tique that has been es­tab­lished for a rea­son­able pe­riod of time. Many sa­lons come and go, last­ing only one or two sea­sons and leav­ing a wake of dev­as­tated brides when they can’t de­liver on their gown. Look at the bou­tique’s web­site – is it fre­quently up­dated, or has it not changed at all since the shop first opened? Check out tes­ti­mo­ni­als or re­views on other web­sites, in­clud­ing tes­ti­mo­ni­als given af­ter the wed­ding – you want to know that they give good ser­vice from the mo­ment you en­ter the store un­til all the al­ter­ations are done and you’re ready to walk down the aisle.

A bridal bou­tique should be able to give you a price range for their gowns. By talk­ing with them be­fore your ap­point­ment, and do­ing your re­search, you should know the styles they have that in­ter­est you and if the price is within your bud­get.

If you buy your de­signer gown from a store that you can phys­i­cally visit, they will guar­an­tee the authen­tic­ity of your gown. If the store you are at isn’t listed as a stock­ist on the de­signer’s web­site, there’s a good chance you won’t re­ceive an au­then­tic gown. Plus, the de­signer won’t give you any post-pur­chase sup­port.

A bridal bou­tique that only works with a few de­sign­ers will have a good re­la­tion­ship with them. If some­thing goes wrong with the gown (there is a fault, or a de­lay in pro­duc­tion), you have a much bet­ter chance of both the store and the de­signer sup­port­ing you to get it sorted. A store that stocks just one or two pieces from many dif­fer­ent de­sign­ers, could in­di­cate that there isn’t the depth of loy­alty in those re­la­tion­ships.

One of the main ben­e­fits of shop­ping at a bridal bou­tique is that you get to see the fin­ished gown, and how it suits your body shape and skin colour­ing. And, a bridal bou­tique that of­fers head-to-toe ac­ces­sories gives you the op­por­tu­nity to see the fin­ished look. You can try on shoes, a veil, jew­ellery and lin­gerie with your gown to get peace of mind that the over­all look will be per­fect. They can also make any al­ter­ations for you, or rec­om­mend some­one rep­utable.

A bridal bou­tique also has the ad­van­tage of hav­ing a range of gowns on the rack that can be pur­chased im­me­di­ately. For those in ur­gent need of a gown, this should be the first place to go.

At As­tra Bridal, we have a say­ing we like to work to­wards: ‘Take the stress out of the dress’. And this is what you should be look­ing for in your bridal bou­tique – a happy, en­joy­able, stress-free ex­pe­ri­ence.

What you can ex­pect from shop­ping at a bridal bou­tique

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