What to Expect at Your First Bridal Salon Appointment

The wedding dress is one of the most exciting aspects of getting married. Most people don’t ever attend any other events where they get to wear something as fancy as their wedding dress, and of course, the best place to find the perfect gown is at a bridal salon. To make the most of your time there, here are some tips to guide you through the experience and help you understand what to expect.

1. Start Early

Ideally, you should start visiting bridal salons about nine to twelve months before your wedding. Salons don’t sell off-the-rack dresses. You choose your style and the salon orders the dress, so you need to allow time for that process. You’ll also need to leave time for fitting and tailoring.

2. Schedule an Appointment

For the best experience, schedule an appointment with the bridal salon. Some salons take walk-in customers, but if you want to be assured that you’ll have the full attention of one of the salon’s employees, you should make an appointment.

Keep in mind that the prices can vary drastically. Some salons carry many wedding gowns under the $1,000 price point, while others only have gowns starting at $3,000 or more. Before making an appointment, ask to make sure that the salon offers dresses within your wedding budget.

3. Consider Going to Trunk Shows and Sample Sales

If you’re a bargain hunter, check out the sample sales periodically offered by most bridal salons. At these sales, the salons offer discount wedding dresses, such as the gowns they’ve been allowing brides to try on in their shops. Usually, these dresses range in size from about four to eight, but that varies based on the shop.

Trunk shows feature one or more designers who bring in all the wedding gowns from their current lines. A trunk show can also serve up some bargains, but generally, the advantage of these events is that you get to see a wide variety of dresses that aren’t normally offered at salons.

4. Be Prepared for, But Don’t Expect Champagne

On many reality shows for wedding dress shopping, the brides almost always get a glass of champagne while shopping for the perfect dress. Keep in mind that you may be offered champagne at your bridal salon appointment, but not all salons have that amenity. Have a light meal prior to your appointment and arrange for a designated driver if you plan on enjoying the bubbly.

5. Try on All Kinds of Styles

If you’re like most brides, you likely have an idea of the type of dress you want. If not, you should spend some time looking at different types of dresses to get a sense of the styles you gravitate more towards. However, don’t hyper-focus on one type of gown. Be open to things you might not like on the rack, because they could look spectacular on.

The personal consultants at these shops work with brides every day. They often have great ideas on the best style for different body types. Take advantage of their expertise and try on a range of different dress styles. You may be surprised at how you look.

6. Remember You Won’t Be Trying on Your Size

Bridal gowns are expensive, and as indicated above, salons don’t sell off-the-rack wedding dresses. Instead, they stock a few dresses for you to try on, and then, they special order your final selection. That means you may not be trying on dresses in your size. Instead, the bridal gown consultant will use clips and other items to secure the dress to your body so that you can see how it looks.

7. Choose Undergarments Carefully

To ensure your undergarments won’t interfere while you’re changing in and out of gowns, choose your underwear carefully — you may want to opt for a strapless bra and light-colored undergarments that don’t show through white, off-white, and ivory.

8. Take Notes

You may end up trying on a lot of dresses before you find the perfect option. Take notes so that you remember what you tried on and the styles that you liked the best. Then, you can easily return to certain dresses or go into your next salon appointment with more information. Or, delegate this task to one of your bridesmaids.

9. Select Guests Carefully

Most brides bring some friends or family members with them when they go to the bridal salon. Choose your entourage carefully. Ideally, you want people who make you feel comfortable, who will be supportive during the dress selection process, and who have great taste.

Your wedding is one of the biggest days of your life. In addition to looking great in the right gown, you also need the right venue for your big day. At the Essex Room, we have beautiful spaces and delightful catering options for indoor and outdoor wedding ceremonies and receptions. To learn more or to schedule an appointment to talk with our wedding consultant, contact us today.