Congratulations! Your fiancé has popped the question, and you are excited to begin your dress shopping journey. We couldn’t be more happy for you, and, we cannot wait to welcome you to our boutique.
As a first time bride we understand this may be an exciting, and sometimes confusing time as you figure out exactly what to expect during this wedding planning adventure. You may think binge watching “Say Yes to the Dress” will prepare you for this, although is loads of fun, television does not always accurately reflect the true experience.
Below are five simple rules of bridal etiquette to consider when you begin your dress shopping journey. Remember, this is can be an extremely emotional time for you and your loved ones, and you want your time to be as positive as possible. So, set yourself up with a solid foundation, and create lasting memories!
1. Make An Appointment
Providing the highest possible service is our priority, and, in order to provide the best experience for you we appreciate being able to dedicate the time to help from start to finish. Scheduling an appointment allows us to focus solely on your needs, and locate your dream wedding dress. While it may seem like a good idea to simply “pop” into a store to look, this can take away from another bride’s experience, or, pressure a stylist into feeling they need to let you try on gowns, even if they don’t have the ability to dedicate time to you.
It is extremely important to schedule an appointment if you’re wanting to come in on a weekend. It is even more important if you are coming in from out of town to set up appointments prior to arriving so you can avoid being turned away if a salon is too busy. It is the respectful thing to do, both for your shopping experience, and, for the boutique you want to visit. A lot of bridal boutiques require appointments so make sure you do your research, and plan appropriately.
Saturdays are the busiest day of our week, and we constantly fill up with appointments, and, even have to start waitlists. If you walk into our boutique with a large group of loved ones expecting us to be able to accommodate you, unfortunately, we may not be able to. And this can cause you to feel irritated or discouraged. We have brides who come from all over Ontario and even Canada, to shop with us, and it isn’t fair to cut their time short when they took the time to schedule an appointment so we can “squeeze you in.” Always plan ahead when it comes to shopping for your perfect dress!
2. Don’t Waste Time
There are lots of ways this rule applies to your dress shopping experience, so, we have broken it down into three sections.
Don’t wait until the last minute.
It takes between 6-10 months total from the moment you start your shopping experience to the last alteration so don’t waste your time. As soon as you get engaged, and you have selected a date for the wedding, start planning. Schedule appointments, look at magazines or Pinterest to get an idea for what you want, and purchase your dress. Not only does waiting too long possibly limit the selection of gowns to choose from, but it will avoid additional expenses such as rush fees, and could save you hundreds of dollars.
Start shopping when you’re serious about buying.
There is nothing more disheartening to a stylist than when a bride comes in and immediately says they’re here to “look, not buy,” especially when you are there on a Saturday. Do not waste the time of the boutique, or yours, if you’re not seriously on the hunt. If this is the first time you’re trying on, and you just want to get an idea of different silhouettes, book an appointment for a weekday when boutiques are slower, and be up front with the stylist before you arrive. This will allow them to schedule accordingly. We also know that often when you are “just looking” you find the one, and why not have your important people there and ready for that. Wedding dress shopping is so much fun, but is also a serious outing, after all-you are looking for the most important dress you will ever wear.
Arrive on time to your appointment. Also, cancel.
Bridal boutiques schedule appointments in time blocks so each bride gets the perfect amount of dedicated service from their stylist. Keep this in mind when scheduling multiple appointments in one day, give yourself enough travel time, and always arrive on time for your scheduled appointment. If you are running late be courteous, and call the boutique to let them know. But, understand, if you arrive late do not expect them to extend your appointment. It isn’t fair to take away from the appointment following yours.
If you booked multiple appointments in one day, and find the dress early on, make sure you call the other boutiques and let them know so they can open those appointment times for another bride. If something comes up, as happens with life, and you need to cancel your appointment altogether, make sure you provide as much notice as possible. It is the respectful thing to do, and the bridal boutique will appreciate the gesture. I promise!
3. Arrive fresh and prepared
While it seems common sense it is a rule which must be said. Out of respect for your stylist, and the other brides who try on our dresses in the boutique, make sure you wear proper undergarments. For example, shape ware such as Spanx, nude underwear, and a strapless bra should be brought or worn. Be conscious of your hygiene, and try to wear minimal makeup. You will be stepping into gowns, or, putting them on over your head which can cause makeup or lipstick stains.
Runway Bridal is primarily a special order store which means the gowns on our racks are simply samples or off the rack inventory, and we will order your gown in from the designer in the correct size, color, and with some changes you want made. It is important we keep our samples as clean and pristine as possible since multiple brides can try on the same gown in one day. While we spot clean and treat our samples with care, it is always appreciated when our brides treat them with the same respect.