Are you a bride-to-be and ready to start shopping for your wedding dress? Are you wondering why some wedding dress shopping appointments aren't free and why some bridal stores charge for appointments?
Perhaps you have started to research wedding dress stores or bridal boutiques that you would like to visit to shop for your wedding dress. While browsing wedding stores near you, you may have seen that most bridal stores require an appointment to come in and try on wedding dresses. You may even notice that some bridal stores require a fee to make an appointment to try on wedding gowns. This might be shocking to some brides, and another line item to factor into your wedding planning budget.
This week we are talking about why bridal stores may charge a small fee for wedding dress appointments and what that means for you, the brides on the search for a dream wedding gown. We want all brides to be prepared for every aspect of wedding dress shopping, including any surprise fees or unexpected costs you may run into. Many bridal stores are run by small business owners and each store has its own policies in place. Follow along as we discuss everything you need to know about wedding dress appointment fees and why some stores charge a fee for appointments.
When discussing why bridal stores may charge a reservation fee for appointments, the first thing brides need to remember is that the majority of bridal stores are by appointment only. There may still be some bridal dress stores or boutiques that are open for walk-ins or unscheduled visits, but this has dramatically decreased over the years, and even more so over the last couple of years due to the pandemic.
By operating on an appointment-based schedule, a bridal dress store can be properly staffed and ready for each day’s clients. When you have an appointment scheduled, the bridal stylists at the store will be expecting you and ready to give you the best possible experience.
Don’t Be Flaky
In our experience as bridal consultants, we know that sometimes brides miss their wedding dress shopping appointments. We know that sometimes life happens and things come up that may cause your schedule to shift. If you have an appointment at a bridal store that you can no longer make, please use common courtesy and call the store to cancel your appointment.
Oftentimes, brides will have a wedding dress shopping appointment scheduled and just do not show up. They are not thinking that their appointment is with a small business that is preparing for their appointment and they are not responsive when the bridal store calls them to check in. This leaves the store in a bind because they could have offered this appointment time to another bride. Sometimes bridal stores are booked months in advance, so when a bride doesn’t show up, it means someone else may have missed out on a chance to find their dream wedding dress.
Being a no-show is not fair to other brides who are waiting for appointments, and it’s not fair to the bridal store staff. It will become very difficult for these small businesses to continue to thrive if people are booking appointments and not showing up.
It’s Not About Overhead
Each bridal salon is going to operate with its own set of rules and policies. Charging a reservation fee for dress shopping appointments is not a secret way for a wedding dress shop to make money. They are not going to be making money to pay their bills and support their staff based on a small reservation fee.
The reservation fee is in place more to make sure that brides are serious about coming into the store and shopping for their wedding dress. It’s a tool or a tactic a bridal dress store may put in place so they can continue to operate at their best level and to remind clients to show up for their appointments. Knowing that brides have paid a small fee and are serious about their appointment will ensure the store is appropriately staffed and ready for your appointment. And if you don’t show up, that small fee may at least cover the wages of the consultant who was there to help you shop for your wedding dress.
So often bridal dress stores put these reservation fees in place due to the behavior of past brides. Bridal stores are counting on their booked clients coming in to shop, and then when they don’t show up, that behavior affects future brides.
VIDEO: Why Do Bridal Stores Charge for Appointments
Don't miss this week's advice video discussing why bridal dress stores charge for appointments so you will be fully prepared when researching wedding dress stores and making your dress shopping appointments.
Do What's Best For You
Most bridal dress stores are charging for appointments because they want you to take the appointment seriously. They want you to show up for your appointment and not blow it off, which locks out time on their calendar for other clients and forces them to pay for staff that may or may be needed that day.
If you don't feel comfortable paying a fee for wedding dress shopping, that is okay. This will be a decision that all brides need to make for themselves. You may be able to find other bridal stores that do not charge a fee. You have to do your research and do what works best for you.
Support Small Businesses
Know that many bridal stores are women-owned small businesses, so we always encourage brides to support a local bridal store rather than a big box store when wedding dress shopping. It can cost a lot of money to operate a bridal dress store, and they have their staff show up every day ready to help you in your wedding dress shopping. So be mindful of this when booking your dress shopping appointments and treat them with care and respect.
Charging a reservation fee lets you know that the store takes their clients seriously and takes their work seriously, and brides should do the same in return.
More Helpful Wedding Dress Shopping Tips
We hope you have found this insight helpful in preparing you to make your wedding dress shopping appointments. For more helpful tips, be sure to check out these recent advice posts:
- Bridal Store Etiquette: Do's and Don't's of Wedding Dress Shopping
- 5 Questions to Ask When Wedding Dress Shopping
- Wedding Dress Shopping Appointment Checklist
- What Brides Should Expect When Wedding Dress Shopping for the First Time
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.