Today’s wedding planning advice post and video is going to be an important one for anyone just beginning to shop for their dream wedding dress. This process of finding your wedding dress can cause some brides stress as it’s unknown territory and something you don’t have experience with. Shopping for a wedding dress is a much different experience than shopping for clothes you will wear everyday. But, do not worry! At Lovella, we're experts in all things wedding dresses and we've helped thousands of brides find their dream wedding dress and ensure that they feel beautiful and confident on their wedding day. Most importantly, our goal is to make finding your bridal dress a smooth and easy process. Today, we're going to be talking about bridal dress shopping etiquette and talk about the major do's and don't's of shopping for your dream wedding dress.
For all of our brides heading out to wedding dress shopping appointments, you will want to read our advice on what to expect when wedding dress shopping for the first time. That advice, along with today’s tips on bridal store etiquette will fully prepare you to confidently head to the bridal salon and have a successful wedding dress shopping experience. Follow along as our bridal style experts at Lovella give you all the do’s and don’ts when it comes to wedding dress shopping.
VIDEO: Etiquette in Bridal Stores - Dos & Don'ts When You Go Wedding Dress Shopping
Before we get into this week's wedding planning advice post, be sure to watch this week's bridal fashion advice video so you can learn all the bridal store etiquette tips you need to know and all the dos and don'ts of wedding dress shopping.
The first thing to discuss when it comes to bridal dress shopping etiquette is making the appointment itself.
The first step in any wedding dress shopping journey is to make an appointment at a bridal salon. To make things easier for you and the bridal consultant who works in the bridal shop, please have your schedule available when you call to make your appointment. Many times we have brides call to schedule a bridal gown shopping appointment and they are driving or away from their calendar. This makes it difficult to schedule an appointment and it will ultimately lead to you likely having to call back when you do have your calendar with you and that just takes more time out of your already busy life.
It will be so much easier and helpful to know a few dates and approximate times that you are available before you call the bridal salon. Also, know that due to the pandemic, some bridal stores are still operating at lower capacity and so there may be less appointments available per day. The pandemic is also causing manufacturing delays with wedding dresses, so brides are scheduling appointments earlier than they would in the past. We are encouraging all brides to order their wedding dress at least one year before their wedding date, so keep all of this in mind as you are scheduling appointments.
For more on what to expect when wedding dress shopping in the pandemic recovery and with supply chain delays, be sure to check out our blog post on the topic.
Children In Bridal Stores
The next issue to discuss when it comes to bridal dress shop etiquette is kids and children at your shopping appointments. We know many of our brides come from big families and love including everyone in big decisions. Especially when it comes to wedding planning and wedding dress shopping, it is such a fun and exciting time in your life! From our experience as bridal style experts working in a dress shop, children do not have the attention span to last an entire wedding dress shopping appointment. It can actually become a burden on your guests and on the appointment itself more than being a joy.
We don’t recommend bringing children along to your wedding dress appointment because they can cause a lot of distractions. As the child becomes restless and antsy, the other guests you have brought with you to aide in your wedding dress decision will shift their focus onto the child. Their attention will be drawn away from the dresses you are trying on, and they will ultimately not be a great help to you as you are making a decision on which wedding dress to order.
It’s not just your appointment that can be interrupted. There will be multiple brides shopping for their wedding dresses at the same time as you and children in the bridal store can effect all of these bridal dress shopping appointments as well. A child that starts complaining about being hungry or tired or making a lot of noise can disrupt all of the appointments taking place at the same time. Imagine another bride has brought a child to her dress shopping appointment and they start screaming and crying. This is going to cause an uncomfortable and uninviting environment for you to continue trying on wedding dresses and will take your focus away from finding your dream bridal gown.
We always want to keep the wedding dress shopping experience light, fun, and carefree and so it is best to leave any children at home when you come for your appointment.
For more advice, check out our advice on who to bring with you to your bridal dress shopping appointment.
Beverages And Snacks
Our next piece of bridal shop etiquette is in regards to bringing food and drinks to your wedding dress shopping appointment. At Lovella, we have seen it all. Brides and their entourage coming into the bridal store with coffee or champagne and snacks. We know they are excited and want to celebrate and we want to celebrate with you! We know how exciting shopping for your wedding dress is, but we ask you to please save all the snacks and drinks until after your bridal dress shopping appointment is over.
Please keep in mind that wedding dresses are white and can be easily damaged. When champagne spills, it leaves stains on the wedding dress fabric and will damage our bridal gown inventory. No bride wants to try on a dirty or stained wedding gown sample. We do our best to keep our sample wedding gowns in the best condition we can, despite any wear and tear from many try-ons, so we appreciate your help in keeping the store tidy.
Be mindful of the environment you are in when you're in person in a bridal dress shop. The sample wedding dresses are expensive and we want to keep everything in great shape and form for the brides after you. Bridal consultants have limited time between appointments and need to prepare for our next bride coming in and not be worried about cleaning up spills and messes.
Each bridal dress store will have their own policy in place in regards to what you can and cannot bring with you to your wedding gown shopping appointment, so it’s not a bad idea to ask about the store's policies ahead of time. To not have any added stress on your wedding dress shopping day, it’s best that you save all the food and beverage celebrations for after the appointment is over.
Why not plan on a fun happy hour or brunch after your dress shopping appointment to celebrate saying "yes" to the wedding dress?
The next bridal dress shopping etiquette tip we have for wedding dress shopping is to be on time for your appointment. Being on time is important for both you and your bridal stylist. You want to be mindful and courteous of your time so you get the full benefits of your dress shopping appointment, as well as be respectful to your bridal consultant’s time as they prepare for your appointment and the ones following you.
Be sure you give the correct time to any guests coming with you to your dress shopping appointment. Be sure to factor in driving time with traffic, as well as allow time for parking if your bridal store is in a busy destination. If a bride comes late to her dress appointment, that will cause a snowball effect and cause the consultant to run late to any appointments afterwards. Or could cause your appointment to be rushed and cut short if you are late. You don’t want to add any unnecessary stress to your wedding dress shopping appointment, so plan to arrive a few minutes early.
For more information be sure to check out our blog post on how long are wedding dress shopping appointments and what to bring.
Communicate With Your Bridal Stylist
Next on the list in bridal dress shopping etiquette is communication. The biggest “do” when it comes to wedding dress shopping is to communicate and be honest with your bridal stylist. It is so important to be transparent with your feedback as you try on different wedding dresses so your bridal stylist can ultimately help you find your dream wedding dress.
Keep in mind that your bridal stylist is only as good as your feedback, so you have to communicate and be honest with what you feel, what you like and don’t like.
At Lovella, we know that wedding dress shopping can be somewhat nerve-racking. It’s a momentous occasion that comes with a lot of feelings and emotions. We understand that it's bizarre to be having a stranger that you just met dress you and help you along in this process of finding your wedding gown. But, we encourage you to trust their guidance, because there is a process in how a bridal stylist pulls out wedding dresses for you to try on. Your feedback plays an important role in narrowing down the wedding dress styles to ultimately help you find your dream wedding dress.
We encourage you to come prepared with images to show your stylist and come prepared to be an open book with an open mind. Be fully transparent so that your bridal shop consultant can serve you fully during your wedding dress appointment.
Be Cautious When Browsing
Our next etiquette tip for wedding dress shopping is to be careful when browsing wedding dresses in the store and to ask for help. We know that it can be very exciting to see all the gorgeous wedding dresses hanging in a bridal shop. Every girl likes to play dress up! When it comes to browsing bridal gowns, we ask you and your guests to be cautious and ask your stylist for help.
There are a number of reasons that we encourage you to ask your bridal consultant to pull out any wedding dress you may want to see or try on. Wedding dresses are so much heavier than you would think! There is a lot of fabric to manage, especially for wedding dresses with long trains or big ball gowns. Dresses with a lot of beading can easily get caught on each other when someone tries to pull them off the rack. It can be very easy to damage a bridal store’s sample wedding dress inventory, so we always urge you to ask your consultant for help when browsing the dresses, especially when attempting to take the dresses on and off of the racks.
Another tip for bridal store etiquette is to start your serach online before coming in the bridal store for your appointment. Most bridal stores will have all of their inventory of wedding dress designs online, so spend some time before your bridal gown shopping appointment deciding on a few wedding dresses you’d like to see and try on in-store for your appointment. It will be so much easier to show your bridal stylists a few photos as a starting point than to have to browse the entire bridal store cold when you first arrive.
Your stylist will be more than happy to browse with you, but having some inspiration photos to point you in the right direction will save time. This is also why your feedback about bridal dresses is so important. Knowing what wedding dress styles you like will help your bridal stylist lead you both in the right direction.
Please Wear Undergarments
Our last piece of bridal store etiquette is a bit of a personal one. This tip is one you wouldn’t think we would need to dole out, but is one that happens all the time. Please wear underwear when you come to try on wedding dresses for your dress shopping appointment.
It happens all the time, that brides forget to wear underwear when they come to their wedding dress appointments. While this is fine for your everyday outfits, it is not sanitary for you to be trying on sample wedding dresses without underwear. Don’t be disappointed when you are asked to purchase a pair of underwear. This is a rule you will find across the board at all bridal dress stores.
As for bras, we recommend wearing a strapless bra so that you don’t have to worry about bra straps showing in certain bridal dress styles. Keep in mind that many of the wedding dresses you try on will also have built-in bra cups, or you can have cups added during the alterations process, so you can go bra-less on wedding day.
More Dress Shopping Help
As you know, we're here to make the wedding dress shopping experience stress free and smooth for you by answering all of your questions and providing you with our expert bridal fashion advice. For more on wedding dress shopping appointments, here are few more articles that you might find helpful:
- Who Should I Bring With Me To My Wedding Dress Appointment?
- How Long Are Wedding Dress Shopping Appointments? What Should I Bring?
- Free Wedding Dress Shopping Appointment Checklist
We hope you take all of these bridal salon etiquette tips with you when you head out to shop for wedding dresses. You will be confident and prepared for anything!
Happy wedding dress shopping!
If you're shopping for your perfect wedding dress, come visit us at Lovella Bridal in Glendale, CA. We carry wedding dresses in all sizes and styles, including plus-size bridal gowns and a full selection of veils and accessories. Lovella Bridal is the premier, luxury bridal wedding dress shopping boutique located in Los Angeles, California. Lovella features couture, feminine, modern and chic bridal gowns in all sizes from the best wedding dress designers. Schedule an appointment to find the wedding dress of your dreams at Lovella Bridal. We can't wait to help you!
About Wedding Fashion Expert
Our wedding dress shopping tips and advice are from Nayri, Lovella's own, in-house wedding fashion expert. Nayri is truly the expert when it comes to bridal fashion and wedding style. As the Wedding Fashion Expert, Nayri is the top bridal fashion stylist and the best-selling author of the book "I'm Getting Married And I Have Nothing To Wear," the ultimate guide to helping brides find their wedding day style and their perfect wedding dress. You can subscribe to her YouTube channel or listen to her podcast for more helpful and practical advice on wedding dress shopping.