Stress-free Gown Shopping
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