(Closed) How to open up your own bridal shop?

posted 8 years ago in Career
Post # 3
3501 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: March 2002

id love to hear this as well! 

Post # 4
933 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: April 2013

Seconding this.

Post # 6
723 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: May 2012

You might try googling how to open your own business. Even though you want to open a wedding business, it’s still a business and the information you found would be very relevant. You could also take some business classes at a local community college. 

Post # 7
413 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: November 1999

Howdy Bees!


You are most welcome to ask me any question you’d like about opening a bridal shop. I am an inventory liquidator that specializes in bridal and social occasion apparel. I am happy to answer any questions that you have about where to purchase inventory, the “real” costs involved, etc. It’s a wondeful business to be in if it’s run correctly. I absolutely adore my brides 🙂

Post # 8
5427 posts
Bee Keeper

Read more: How to Start Up a Bridal Shop Business | eHow.com http://www.ehow.com/how_5435066_start-up-bridal-shop-business.html#ixzz1w15YjzjO



    • 1

      Come up with an initial budget. Depending upon what type of bridal gowns and accessories you want to sell, you may have to spend more or less money. Account for your building rent, cost of business permits, inventory, staff wages and insurance. You will need at least $25,000 to start a bridal shop, a bit less if you want to open a used, consignment or vintage bridal shop.

    • 2

      Choose a niche to help target your marketing efforts. There are many types of bridal shops you can start, including ones just for plus-size brides, one that features bridal, bridesmaid, flower girl, and mother-of-the-bride gowns, a vintage bridal shop, one that features eco-friendly designers, a used or consignment bridal shop or one that only features designer brands.

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    • 3

      Lease a prime retail location. Your shop should be easily accessible, and if possible, near complimentary businesses, such as alterations shops, cleaners, florist studios, party supply stores, or event planners. Make sure your shop has enough space to not only display merchandise but for fitting rooms.

    • 4

      Obtain a tax ID number and resale certificate. Without these, you can’t establish wholesale accounts with bridal suppliers, and you can’t stock your store with merchandise. Although consignment, used, and vintage bridal stores don’t have to worry so much about this, they still need these documents to collect taxes on the items they sell.

    • 5

      Develop a marketing plan. You can sign up to have a booth at popular bridal shows, take out ads in bridal magazines and on popular wedding blogs and websites, and even use social media such as blogs and twitter to reach new potential customers.

    • 6

      Select add-on bridal services to offer customers. The more you have to offer customers, the more likely they are to not only buy from you but to recommend you to other brides. While you shouldn’t take on more than you can handle initially, consider eventually adding services such as alterations, accessories such as veils and tiaras, a selection of shoes and lingerie and decoration rentals.

Read more: How to Start Up a Bridal Shop Business | eHow.com http://www.ehow.com/how_5435066_start-up-bridal-shop-business.html#ixzz1w15YjzjO

Post # 9
4885 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: May 2012

Take it from someone who owns a small business:  it’s a lot harder than you think.  Best of luck to you!

Post # 10
413 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: November 1999

Kristen, I totally second that!


One of my retailers pays $8,000 a  month for her building, plus CAM and NNN charges. That brings her lease to well over $9000 a month. To move in, you need to have money for first, last, deposits, and the build-out if the owner doesn’t have a TI allowance built into the lease. Typical retail leases are 5-20 years.

Buisness Consultants suggest you have at least 3 months operating expenses in savings when you start a new retail business. You need to have time for your advertising to become affective and for customers to start coming through the door.

The estimate of $25,000 to open a full line bridal salon is very low. Typically you would start with a good inventory of 100 bridal gowns. If you went to the “middle” of the road designers, with the average wholesale cost being $600, that is $60,000 right there. If you do not have sufficient *business* credit with Dun and Bradstreet, you either pay in advance or you pay COD.

Add to that the cost of all the accessories and fitting garments. Then furnishings and fixtures.

Consignment or off the rack stores are less expensive to operate and have less risk involved. Your customer takes her purchase with her the day she buys it. The biggest risk with a full line store is if you take orders on gowns, then are unable to continue, you will have to find a way to fill the orders. This is why many bridal salons are going bankrupt. The designers demand a purchase of X amount of gowns per season, times 2 seasons. To have a well rounded inventory, you have several designers. Each one of them harassing you to place season stock orders.

Sadly, the average return on investment for even the very best buyers is about 20%. This means 80% of your reorderable inventory may never receive a reorder, and 20% will have multiple reorders. This is why there are so many sample gowns on the secondary market. It doesn’t mean that they were ugly, it just means that they weren’t responded to well in the area of the country that they were presented in.

Honestly, I would do an off the rack store. Purchase bulk lots of inventory from stores that have either gone bankrupt, or have too much inventory. With the stores that are still in operation, you may be able to consign the inventory with no risk to you. When the dress(es) sell, the store is paid. This works only with stores outside your trade area for obvious reasons.

You can find contacts for available inventory in Women’s Wear Daily. If you want to purchase the inventory outright,keep stalking the bankruptcy postings and buy the inventory from the trustee.

Let me know if you have any questions!

Post # 11
1 posts
  • Wedding: October 2006

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@MayaBean:  very helpfull info for a new beginners like me! THANK YOU!

Post # 11
137 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: August 2011

View original reply
MayaBean :  I am interested in your advise 

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