Post # 1
I’m excited to go dress shopping for the first time at the end of August and am going to a nice, somewhat upscale store.
I am confident that I will find something I love, because of the lines that they carry, but do NOT want to make a decision on the spot. How do you handle that without making them mad? I intend to return the following weekend, assuming I find something.
Part of the reason I am asking is because I emailed the store after making the appointment to ask if they had a particular Rivini gown, and the manager told me (in summary, it was a little nicer) that I shouldn’t come to the store and waste their time if I was going to buy a dress on the internet. I was like, wth?!
Also, I gave them a “range” of prices I was comfortable with but really want to be at the LOWER end of that range, or find something on sale (who wouldn’t). How do I get that across as well without being cut off from service?
I am super busy at work and have so little time to dress shop, plus my wedding is in March, so I want this to work out.
Any advice, I would REALLY appreciate. Thank you so much.
Post # 3
That’s really rude for the store’s manager to say that to you. Plenty of brides go to bridal stores looking for specific dresses so for her to come to that conclusion with you just asking about a specific dress is pretty ridiculous. Maybe you should find a nice store….
As for the budget, just keep in mind how expensive alterations, veils and any other accessories are going to be. My veil ended up costing almost $500 alone, my hair piece $150 and my alterations $300 so if you add that all up that’s another $1000 on top of the price of the dress. Not to mention the whole cleaning the preserving the dress afterwards….If you don’t want them to only give you dresses are the higher price range, I recommend telling them only the lower range and if you can’t find anything you want, compromise and tell them you’re willing to up the budget by a bit.
I actually started off with a pretty high budget and was planning on going to a high end bridal shop (where dresses started at about 2K), but decided to make an appointment with a lower end shop (max price was 2K) first just to see their options. I ended up falling for the 3rd dress I tried on in my appointment and since it was siginificantly cheaper than what I originally planned on spending, we bought it right then and there.
Most shops though are very understanding and if not, just stand your ground. If you’re not ready to buy the dress, then don’t. If they’re mean about it, then who cares, you can always find another bridal shop to get it from at a nicer place and sometimes with a nicer price. Just remember to always ask your attandent what the name of the dress and model is that you’re trying on.
Post # 4
@maiziekate: Give them a budget that is slightly lower than what you’re willing to spend. I think salespeople naturally gravitate towards the higher end of it – it is how they making their living. You can ‘up’ the budget if you don’t find anything in that range, and the salesperson will be happy they managed to upsell you even though you were actually willing to spend more from the get-go.
I know you said they were a bit nicer than you pharaphrased, but maybe check out a different shop as well… they might not be easy to deal with if your initial interaction was that.
Just an idea, but I found out that the David’s Bridal site has an outlet section – and there are some crazy deals on there. You can’t return the dress, but you can get a $600 dress for $100 – I found one the other day that I love. Too bad I’m not engaged yet lol.
Post # 5
Also, you’re in Florida: check out Brides Against Breast Cancer. You can get a fabulous dress from them for far less than retail, and it goes to support a good cause.
They may not be the best option if you have a very specific gown in mind. If you are open-minded about what you’re looking for, though, they do have some really smashing designer gowns priced well below retail. Some of them are pre-worn, and some are never worn (donated by bridal shops and designers as tax write-offs, etc.)
Post # 6
Thanks for the advice. Especially about the cost of all of the extras…something to consider. I’ll definitely check out the bridesagainstbreastcancer and let you know when something wonderful happens.
Post # 7
@maiziekate: Wow, that is pretty rude of the manager to ask that upfront. I get it that there are a lot of women who waste their time trying on dresses in the store and then look for bargains online. But come on! What a way to turn off a potential customer.
By the way, many stores will not tell you the dress designer or style specifically because they don’t want you to price compare. Some shops even cut the tags out of dresses so that you can’t see what designers they are and shop online. I also think this is why some stores won’t let you take pictures.
I would just tell them upfront what your budget is. Lots of stores carry dresses of all price levels, so they should steer you towards something you can afford. Also, many places have sales on sample gowns, so I’d recommend checking those out too. If this bridal shop doesn’t do that, then I would try to shop elsewhere. It’s perfectly ok to shop the sale rack–they should know that there are brides with varying budgets.
I also recommend to not choose something immediately. It’s easy to get swept away by all the pretty gowns (heck, I sure did!), but sleep on it before making a big decision. You don’t want to have dress regret (and heck, I sure did!). So your thought to come back the following weekend to buy is a good idea. Just tell them you have to talk to your mom, get advice from your Maid/Matron of Honor, whatever.
A great book that is a fantastic guide overall, not only for dress shopping, but wedding planning, is “Bridal Bargains: Secrets to Throwing a Fantastic Wedding on a Realistic Budget” by Denise and Alan Fields. That book has become my bible for wedding planning! It is by far the best of all the planning books I’ve seen. There is a big chapter on dress shopping, with a lot of great tips and info. If you can get a copy before buying your dress, it’ll give you a lot of help.
Good luck and don’t be intimidated by the sales people! They should not pressure you into any purchase at all!