A wedding dress is one of the most important pieces of clothing you may buy. As such, it’s natural to want to find the perfect store for your shopping experience. Though some brides wind up buying the first dress they try on, you still may need to visit multiple salons to make sure you’ve found “the one.” Reading reviews can certainly help narrow it down, as you likely want to have a pleasant customer service experience; however, there are plenty of other factors to consider as well.
As with the wedding itself, first you need to determine your budget – if there is one. Find out which designers will be within your price point before getting attached to any gowns. Most retailers will share a price range if you call and ask, if it’s not already on their website. Are you a fan of a specific designer? Visiting their flagship salon can be a wonderful experience if you’re sure you know whose dress you want to wear. On the other hand, if you prefer specific looks or silhouettes, it’s better to find a shop that carries multiple designers to discover the dress that’s right for you. If you’re not able to have all your VIPs with you, or you just know you’ll need time to think on it, a shop that allows you to take photos is a must. Look to reviews for a guide on this, or simply call and ask!
While some brides choose to travel to famed salons to find their gown, it’s important to only do so if your schedule allows it. In most cases you will have to return to the shop months later to pick up the dress, and some will even require alterations to be done in house. If you have the time, it can be a great excuse for some special trips! However, those with hectic schedules may find that to be a difficult burden, in which case a local shop may be the better choice. Of course, brides who live in small towns or rural areas may not have many options. In that case, we recommend at least sticking to the closest metropolitan area, versus traveling across the country. The exception is if the dress of your dreams can only be found at a specific salon. For example, Pnina Tornai is famously exclusive to Kleinfeld Bridal, so if you know you’re destined to be a Pnina bride, you know where you have to go.
Find an array of bridal salons here, and be sure to sign up for the Inside Weddings newsletter to receive the latest trunk show updates in your inbox every Tuesday! Read the pros and cons of shopping for your wedding dress alone and whether or not you should buy a reception dress.