Inside Weddings shares the trusted bridal salons in our Editors Circle, plus a directory of local wedding shops to find your wedding dress, bridal accessories, and more!
Congratulations on your upcoming wedding! One of the most exciting parts of the planning process will be shopping for your wedding dress at a bridal boutique or bridal salon. Since dress shopping for this special gown often comes with lots of questions, so we're sharing some frequently asked questions below related to bridal salons, the shopping experience, and what you need to know for your visit.
Most brides start shopping for their wedding dress about nine months to one year before the wedding. Normal delivery can be seven to nine months for most bridal designers. There are some situations where a bride will need a dress sooner, so depending on the designer and style, a bridal salon will be able to get you a wedding dress in time for the big day.
Typically salons can book up two to three weeks in advance, so you'll want to make arrangements as early as possible. Try to limit appointments to one to three store options at most. They'll normally take an hour to two hours. Finding your special dress is a process that cannot be rushed!
You should bring whomever is instrumental in making your decision and has your best interest at heart. You can bring inspiration photos of dresses you have seen in magazines or online. Some salons will have undergarments available for you to use, but you can bring a special bra as well.
A bride will typically need anywhere from one to three fittings, depending on what work needs to be done. In order to ensure the best fit, a bride should start her fittings about six to eight weeks before the wedding.
A trunk show is an in-store event that normally spans one to three days. With the beginning of each bridal season, fall and spring, the designer's dresses go straight from the runway or showroom to a series of trunk shows at retailers across the country. These events give brides the opportunity to preview the entire collection of gowns and to place orders on these styles months before they hit the stores. Brides may also have the opportunity to meet the designer, or representative of the company, who will provide valuable advice and insight.
Attending a trunk show is a wonderful opportunity for brides to view a wide selection of dresses from the featured designer. Since bridal salons typically carry only a few select styles from a designer's collection each season, there are many additional styles that brides would only be able to see during the trunk show.
If you find the dress of your dreams at a trunk show, be prepared to make a decision on that day. Due to the limited run of the event, it may be your only opportunity to place an order. Also, many bridal salons offer a special service or incentives during the events, such as offering veils or accessories, custom changes, or waiving certain fees. Always call in advance to schedule a time to visit.
To find out about upcoming trunk shows, be sure to follow all your favorite designers and local bridal salons on social media! Stores, brands, and designers (and magazines like Inside Weddings!) will often post tweets, Instagram posts, and Facebook messages about upcoming shows. We also encourage you to sign up for our Trunk Show Tuesday newsletter by hovering over "Subscribe" on the top or bottom of the website.