We recently had the pleasure to sit down with Jay Jay, the owner of TLC Bridal Boutique in Frederick, MD. She answered some questions and offered some tips to make wedding gown shopping less stressful. Before you head out gown shopping, make sure to check out the suggestions below.
- When should I start shopping for a wedding gown? 12-15 months prior to your wedding When shopping at a boutique, timing is very important. Unlike, the "Big Bridal Stores", you are not buying a gown off the rack. You are buying a gown that will be made to your exacting specifications (color, size, etc.). This process normally takes around 6 months and you should allow more time in case there are any issues that arise.
- What are some common misconceptions about wedding gown shopping? Boutiques are more expensive than a "Big Bridal Store." This is incorrect! Bridal Boutiques are often smaller and more intimate. Most boutiques do not sell gowns directly off the rack. Because of this, they typically have a smaller overhead and can offer much more competitive prices. While that "Big Bridal Store" may have lots of clearance gowns, you will certainly need custom alterations which can drive the cost up much higher than the original price.
- What are some common mistakes brides make when shopping for a wedding gown? Having their mind set on the gown they saw on Pinterest or in a magazine. When you are shopping for a wedding gown, it is important to have an open mind. There is nothing wrong with having a particular dress or style in mind, but that may not be the best dress for you. Boutiques spend a great deal of time finding that perfect dress for you. A dress that looks beautiful on someone else just may not be the dress for you.
- What are some differences between a boutique and a "Big Bridal Store"? Customer Service & Appointment Setting Most boutiques do not take walk-in clients. They pride themselves in customer satisfaction. For this reason, boutiques schedule appointments to ensure that they can devote 100% of their time to you when you are there. They will carefully measure you and help you select the perfect gown for your perfect day.
- What are some other advantages of shopping at a boutique?
One on one attention to detail and honesty
Once again, most boutiques set appointments to ensure they can provide optimal customer service. Boutiques are generally more honest when it comes to the best gown for you. Unlike the "Big Bridal Stores", boutiques are smaller with a much smaller client list. This means they must protect their reputation in order to succeed. Most boutiques are not going to let you purchase a gown that isn't right for you.
When is the best time to shop for a gown?
According to Jay Jay, the busiest time for most boutiques are during the winter. Because most boutiques work on an appointment basis, this isn't as much of an issue. If you have any doubts about when to schedule an appointment, give them a call and they will be glad to assist in scheduling an appointment that fits your planning schedule.
How can I make shopping for a wedding gown less stressful?
Keep an open mind and don't bring too many people with you
As we mentioned before, keeping an open mind will help alleviate a lot of stress. You may have your mind set on a particular dress only to find one you like even better because you came with an open mind. Pinterest and magazines are good for inspiration and ideas about styles, but you shouldn't expect to find an exact gown and expect it to be the perfect gown. Gown makers often change up their line each year. Please keep that in mind.
Bring a couple trusted friends. Don't bring your entire bridal party and expect to have a stress-free shopping experience. Everyone has an opinion and with so many people you are bound to have conflicting opinions only making your shopping more stressful. It's best to bring no more than a couple of trusted people that will be completely honest in their opinions.
If you are shopping for a wedding gown and are in the Frederick area you should definitely check out TLC Bridal Boutique. Jay Jay and her team would be glad to assist you in finding the perfect gown for your big day!