Tips for Wedding Dress Boutique Shopping from a Mother of the Bride
My daughter’s dream was to purchase her wedding dress at a boutique dress shop. Most of her friends have used David’s Bridal. David’s Bridal offers great service and selection, however, after being in 6 weddings in the last few years and spending lots of time at David’s, she just wanted something different.
Here is what we learned as we walked out her dream dress shopping day.
Search all the Bridal Salons and Bridal Boutiques in the area you will be shopping.
Look at locations, days and open hours but also have your daughter look at their websites. Most Boutiques will have a gallery with their designers and styles. No need going to a more BoHo style shop if your daughter is looking for a princess gown.
This is where David's Bridal has an advantage – they have ALL styles you could ever imagine. The smaller boutique style shops may not have all the styles your daughter wants to try. We found most will lean in a certain direction with their designers.
I recommend searching online using a search engine but also on social media using hashtags.
Search Term ideas: bridal boutiques near me, bridal boutiques (fill in your city), bridal shops near me, bridal shops (fill in your city), favorite designer and the city you are shopping in
hashtag search ideas: #bridalboutique(the city you are shopping in) / for example, we searched #bridalboutiquenashville #bridalgowns(the city you are shopping in)
The key to these searches is always adding in your city, town or area so you find shops within driving distance.
2. Start early no later than 7 months prior to the wedding.
When shopping at Boutiques many of the designer dresses will be custom made to order after you pick your style and have your measurements. Avoid having to pay for rush shipping (regular shipping is enough already!) and also avoid the stress of “will it get here in time!” by shopping no later than 7 months before the wedding.
After you place your order, the dress will arrive approximately 6 months after the order is made. (see be ready to pay on shopping day 1 note below!).
3. Make appointments.
Schedule a day (yes I would schedule a whole day) with all those the bride wants at the boutique with her.
Then call ahead and make an appointment.
Most Bridal Boutiques and Salons will be by appointment only. Also this gives the salon owner or attendants a chance to prepare for your daughter’s big day looking for her dress! They can have someone ready to assist her and focus only on her during her appointment.
4. Have your budget and/or price range set.
At the beginning of the appointment let the shop owner or sales associate know what your price range is. This way they will avoid showing the bride dresses that are way out of her price range.
Budget tip: no one likes to talk about money and if you are like me, the idea of an unlimited budget is very appealing although not realistic. Share with your daughter what her budget is for her dress. It is wise to share with her the overall budget and budget breakdown, that way when she is shopping and searching for ideas she will know what will work and what won't. *wedding budget blog coming soon!
Most shops will have a sale area. Ask about it if you are interested in seeing the sale dresses! Chances are it will be tucked away, so you will need to ask.
5. Be ready to pay, if not in full at least half. Why?
Believe it or not, the bride just might find her dress on your first day of looking!
I have heard about this happening and then it happened to us! My daughter, her sisters and I headed out for our “first day” of dress shopping, thinking we may have a few more to schedule and she found her dress at the first shop!
All the stories are true, when you know you know and the bride will want to secure her dream dress that very day so she won’t miss out on it.
This is my first time being the Mother-of-the-Bride and although I have seen many of my friends go through this process everyone’s experience will be a little bit different. I hope these Boutique shopping tips help you, if you are the Bride, the Mother-of-the-Bride, a friend who is helping with this exciting process.
Our goal is to enjoy the process of planning and hopefully enter the big day with as little stress as possible and as much JOY and peace as we can.
We will be sharing our experiences along the way. I would love to hear from you! Let me know how your dress shopping day goes!
“What to Bring on Bridal Boutique Day” coming soon!
A big thank you to Village Bridal Nashville. Excellent service, a wonderful experience in every way. Lydia is amazing. She took such good care of us!
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