Are you a bride ready to start shopping for your wedding dress and wondering how to get the best price possible on your wedding dress and bridal accessories? Anyone who is budgeting for their wedding day outfit is not going to want to miss this advice all about price shopping at bridal stores. We are going to give you the pros and cons of price-shopping bridal stores and whether or not you should be price-shopping when it comes to bridal fashion.
We recently discussed how to handle issues with a bridal store or your wedding dress and that advice is good to keep in mind when we are discussing price shopping in bridal stores. These issues were along the lines of receiving your wedding dress in the wrong size or color, but having a good prevention plan in place can help solve those problems before they arise. Picking a bridal store with a good reputation and that you trust is crucial in the wedding dress shopping process and will be important when it comes to price shopping for your wedding dress too.
What Is Price Shopping?
If you're hoping for a discount on a wedding dress or looking to find the most affordable bridal gown option in your price range, this is the post for you because we're talking all about wedding dress price shopping. But, first, before we get into why we don't recommend price shopping for a wedding dress, let's talk about what is price shopping.
Price shopping for a wedding dress or any item in a store refers to the practice of visiting different stores in the hopes of finding the best deal or the best price on a wedding dress. Price shopping is also known as comparison shopping or "shopping around" in an effort to find the wedding dress for less money or cheaper in a different store. For example, if one bridal dress boutique carries the wedding dress that you want to purchase, but you don't love the price at that particular store, it is considered price shopping to visit additional dress stores in the hopes that the new store carries that same dress at a different or lower cost.
Video: Price Shopping Bridal Stores: Why it's not recommended!
If you are considering price shopping or comparison shopping for your wedding dress at different bridal dress shops, be sure to watch our video on price shopping bridal stores and why it's not recommended.
Designers Set The Prices
The first thing brides should know about wedding dresses and bridal accessories is that the bridal dress store itself does not set the price for the wedding dresses and bridal accessories in their inventory. The price of wedding gowns and bridal accessories is established by the wedding dress designer. Wedding dress designers set the prices on their dresses so that there is uniformity in prices between bridal stores and there is no need for brides to comparison shop, as customers should be finding the same wedding dress prices even at different bridal stores.
Every ethical bridal dress store has signed contracts with the wedding gown designers that they offer in their store, and are supposed to sell the wedding dresses at the MSRP set by the manufacturer or the bridal dress designer.
Bridal fashion is not like a car dealership or other industries where bridal dress stores can set whatever price point they want for the wedding dresses that they feature in their shop. Shopping for your wedding dress should be thought of more like shopping at your favorite department store than at a car dealership. There is no room for negotiating or discounting on a wedding dress.
Ethical Bridal Stores
If you are shopping for a bridal dress and you find a different price on the same dress at different bridal shops, you should be wary of the shop with the price difference.
Imagine you are shopping at Nordstrom and find a wedding dress you love. You may see the same dress at Bloomingdale’s, but the bridal dress is going to be priced the same at both stores, unless one store is having a huge blowout sale. Sales in bridal stores are done for the sample dresses in the store’s inventory and not on new orders. Sample dresses are different than brand-new dresses being made specifically for you. For more information, be sure to read our advice on how wedding dress sample sales work.
At Lovella, we often see brides find a wedding dress or a bridal veil they love, but they decide or are told by someone else to try to find that item for a cheaper price at another store. Now it may be possible to find those items for a cheaper price at another store, but you should be wary of a bridal store offering deals on designer items. Keep in mind that if one bridal store is offering discounts that another bridal store is not, the store with the discount is going the discount against their contract with the wedding gown designer.
And as a bride shopping for a wedding dress and trying to stay on budget, you might not care about the bridal store’s contracts and will gladly take the discount one store is offering, but keep in mind this practice shows you that the bridal store is operating with unethical practices and you may not have a great experience with that store in the end. An unethical bridal store likely does not care about its reputation very much and may not be great at problem-solving if an issue with your wedding order arises, which could put your wedding dress purchase and alterations in jeopardy.
Where to Save?
We know that many brides are on a budget when it comes to wedding dress shopping. Also, many brides might not know where to start when it comes to wedding dress shopping or how much they should spend on their wedding gown. Unless you are familiar with bridal fashion, it can be hard to know and understand how wedding dress pricing works.
As a bride shopping for your dream wedding dress, you will have to decide for yourself where you want to spend the money and where you want to save. Is saving a little money worth it to your overall experience? Many times, it is worth it to spend the money upfront for what you want or need. Things have a tendency to be too good to be true. You are going to get what you pay for. If a bridal store is operating with unethical practices by offering discounts, then they likely are not going to be very helpful if there ends up being a problem with your wedding dress.
The margin for error also increases when a bridal store is trying to order a wedding dress for you that you tried on at another store. Style numbers and color specifics don’t always transfer over like you think they would. Each wedding dress store may have a slightly different inventory system and you could end up with a different wedding dress then you envisioned for your wedding day.
Another factor to keep in mind when considering price shopping for your wedding dress is the type of bridal stylist who will help you find your wedding dress. Your bridal stylist or consultant is very knowledgeable and has the expertise that you are getting for no additional cost while shopping for your wedding dress.
Think about the other experts you are hiring for your wedding, like your wedding planner or wedding photographer, or even just someone in your everyday life like a therapist or interior designer. You are hiring these people for their expertise and you are paying them for their knowledge and guidance.
Shopping at a bridal store like Lovella gives you access to an expert stylist at no additional cost to you. When you purchase your wedding dress, there is not an additional charge for working with a bridal consultant. This is a big money saving for brides planning a wedding.
Be mindful that the bridal stylist helping you put together your overall wedding day look, even if you came into the bridal store knowing what bridal gown you wanted, they are still helping you with your bridal veil or different accessories and helping you see the overall wedding day vision. Bridal stylists in a wedding dress shop are giving you an experience. That person and that store deserve to have your business because they’ve done the work of helping you find your dream wedding look.
More Wedding Dress Shopping Advice
We hope this advice on why we do not recommend price-shopping bridal stores has been helpful. It’s unfortunately a situation that many brides don’t realize until they've been through the experience and already spent the money, thinking they are saving money in the long run, only to have it go wrong. If you are a bride really on a budget or looking for a bargain, we recommend shopping wedding dress sample sales over price shopping or comparison shopping for your bridal gown.
For more helpful wedding dress shopping advice, be sure to read our past posts:
- How To Handle Issues That Arise With Bridal Stores And Your Wedding Dress
- How Much Do Wedding Dresses Cost?
- Negotiating & Discounting In Bridal Dress Stores
- 4 Things Brides Need To Know About The Price Of Wedding Dresses
- The Complete Guide To Wedding Dress Pricing & Costs
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.