(Closed) Fun “What if you opened a bridal store”

posted 10 years ago in Dress
Post # 32
562 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: April 2012

I would definitely provide some privacy for the bride while she was trying on dresses and trying to make decisions. The place where I bought my dress had me stand facing a wall with only my underwear on (no bra) as the consultant put the dress on over my head. Every other places I went let me step into the dress on my own and then helped me get all situated and fastened. I also felt like the consultants were all over me the entire time. There were 3 consultants standing there just staring at me when I was trying to make a decision. I understand that they wanted to make a sale, but I felt so overwhelmed and even said I was, but they just stood there and basically forced me to make a decision. It was intense.

So I would definitely provide more privacy for the bride while she’s trying on dresses, as well as step away for a few minutes while she’s trying to make her decision.

Post # 33
7774 posts
Bumble Beekeeper

Oh! And, if possible, I would hire an amazing seamstress and we would make custom dresses, too.

Post # 34
1679 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: June 2012

I LIKE having consultants that help.  When I went to the salon that sold samples, they sent me into the room alone and I was kind of flustered.  Help me…especially with the heavy ones!

Post # 35
249 posts
Helper bee


this was a great post, love reading all of your thoughts. We allow photography, provide water, have the nicest consultants ever so I think we are doing great.

Post # 36
188 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: February 2013

I personally don’t like the idea of paying $ for trying on a dress. However, I would pay $10-20 if there were other things included. If I had a bridal salon, I would actually have a tripod w/camera set up to take digital photos that a bride could have saved in her file with my store. I would also include water, champagne, cheese, and crackers for her and her party while they’re trying on dresses.

Post # 37
1175 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: September 2013

View original reply
@tehlilone: I think that makes sense 🙂

Post # 38
37 posts
  • Wedding: June 2012

I am amazed any store would allow you to wear shoes inside.  I’ve never been to one that allowed shoes near the gowns.

I do agree with the decor–you need contrasting decor for a gown.

I also agree that you need to take pictures and not being allowed to do so is very limiting on helping you decide later what you want.

The process should be fun for the bride and professional on the consultant’s part.  It’s important that the consultant know what you want and can see what looks good on you.  I always tried on what the consultant recommended if they got a good idea of what I wanted.  The worst response is “no”, and they hear that all day.  The gown that is #1 on my list right now (Sottero and Midgley’s Clarice) is one that a consultant recommended for me.  I never would have chosen it on my own because it looks “meh” on the rack.  So yes, a good consultant is a must.

I think I like the champagne when you find the right dress… that’s a nice touch! And water is a big plus, especially when you’re sweating trying all that heavy material on.  *But*… if I were a store owner I would have a problem with cheese and crackers.  Crumbs on the floors and dresses makes me cringe.

Post # 39
365 posts
Helper bee

There is a bridal shop here who has a boutique feel and most of their dresses are hanging on the wall, and they have a few racks, but not overstuffed at all.  They offer refreshments and plenty of seating, only serve one bride at a time, and have a ceiling fan in their HUGE dressing room.

And my photographer gave me a cute little goodie box when I met with him the first time.  Plain cardboard box wrapped with a cute ribbon and his card, and then inside was that krinkle confetti paper stuffing, with local products.  A Kentucky bourbon scented lotion, bourbon scented decorative soap, and a metal horse-shaped cookie cutter with “good chocolate” molded inside it. (according to my Fiance who ate all of it, lol).  Super cute.

I would steal all of the above, lol.

Post # 40
1006 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: May 2012

1. CLEAN store

2. Good lighting!

3. Space on the rack so you can actually see what you’re looking at

4. Turn up the AC! Those dresses are hot!

5. Offer water/ maybe champagne

6. I hear ya on offering larger sizes but I also have to say, being a thin girl was difficult too and I’d love to see them offer a smaller size as well. I had a really hard time picturing myself in dresses when they were 5 sizes too big for me. There is only so much that those clips can do

7. Someone that is extremely knowledgable in alterations that is on the sales floor. I was so turned off when I asked questions like “can this be done?” and they just said.. “oh you’d have to ask alterations”

8. Allow and encourage photos! I have to say – one of the biggest reasons why I bought my dress at the store that I did instead of the one that I found it in first was that they allowed me to take pictures and even offered to take photos for me!

Post # 41
7294 posts
Busy Beekeeper

as already stated, i would allow brides to take pictures!!!!

can this thread be forwarded to all bridal salons that don’t allow it?

i chose to buy from a store that charged about $100 more for my gown because i liked the customer service better, they allowed pics, they had a storage space for my dress, and they offered champaged and cookies.  they told bought my business!

Post # 42
7294 posts
Busy Beekeeper

oh and perhaps i would have a dry cleaning service in the store that was included in the price of the dress!! so no shockers after the wedding!!

Post # 43
629 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: April 2012

I agree with PPs, that allowing brides to take photos is a MUST! I could MAYBE understand before the internet, but certainly not now that the dresses are all over the web. I might even offer to take photos and email them to the brides. And this business I have heard about, of not telling brides the designer and model number is ridiculous. Offer your dresses at a good price, and provide quality service and brides will buy from you. No need to be so secretive; the bride is not the enemy! She is your customer.

I would have a retro vibe to the decor, maybe slightly “kitchy” and offer a selection of 20s-50s style gowns (modernized for today’s bride, of course.) I see lots of tea-length gowns these days…

And also, pretty much what the PPs suggested: plenty of space, sweet, helpful consultants, one-on-one service, etc. 

Post # 44
1941 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: June 2012

I have to agree with most of the other PPs, but I have another suggestion.

What about a kid’s room? I’ve read some true horror stories about kids running rampid throughout the salons, but I get that sometimes you can’t just leave them at home. So why not a little play room w/ two way glass or something, (so they can be monitored) and have a tv, beanbag chairs, books, etc set up for them? They probably don’t want to be there as much as brides trying on dresses want them running around!

Post # 45
3261 posts
Sugar bee

I loved the salon I went to. They only had about twenty dresses out front, and they were openly displayed and seperated by styles. There was a whole entire wall of mirrors, not including a mirror with a pedestal to stand on and look at yourself in the dress. and the appointments were that only one bride could be in the store at a time. Also, to enter you have to ring the door bell. It was a relatively small place, too. And the consultant was amazing, and so was the owner. So that’s what I’d want my store to be like.

Post # 46
410 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: November 2010

I love all of these ideas!

I would want everyone to wash their hands before handling/trying on dresses. It’s important to keep the samples looking fresh and crisp, not dingy.

I would also have some type of webcam technology incase a bride wanted a family member or friend who could not attend see her try on dresses.  

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