(Closed) Taking photos and shopping tips for newbie dress shopper?

posted 8 years ago in Dress
Post # 3
5800 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: May 2011

I went to 5 shops, 2 would not let me take pics. I snuck a cell phone pic in Kleinfelds and the lady was piiiiiissed. I never had trouble getting the style number/name. No one ever told me how much the dress was before I put it on so I usually just snuck a peak at the tag.

Post # 4
435 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: June 2011

I had my 1st appt. at Davids Bridal this past Sunday. I took with me quite a few pictures I had printed off their website.  My consultant was thrilled. She said it makes her job much easier, knowing what I like. It also helped her to pick some dresses for me to try on that I hadn’t printed.


Post # 5
595 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: March 2011

i took pictures of the dresses i tried on, the store i went let me do it, but i know there is places that wont.

ask for it.

its good to go to a place where you can take pictures, get name, style and designer name, so you can compare and will be easier for you to buy the right one.

Post # 6
689 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: August 2011

I’ve been to 6 shops all together and 2 of them would not let me take pics. I do try to get the designer’s name and the style number/name.

Post # 7
654 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: October 2011

Maybe this is a silly question but what is their reasoning for not letting you take pictures?

Post # 8
7300 posts
Busy Beekeeper
  • Wedding: September 2012

Sometimes they don’t want you taking pictures with your phones to send to a seamstress to copy the design for cheaper. Some shops don’t mind. I have to remember to ask about that policy before I make appointments because I want to compare dresses.

Post # 9
154 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: May 2011

i checked out a book called the “Bridal Bargain book” by denise and alan fields (link below) and it has a whole chapter on how to shop smart for your gown and avoid being ripped off. It talks a LOT about how and why bridal salons rip out tags and wont let you use cameras ect. and it talks about finding the gown you want for a lot less. Oh, and this book also has a forum that you can look at (if you dont want to check out /buy the book) that has a lot of info thats in the book.

For me, im on a super tight budget so i went to a store when the gowns are all samples that have been donated by designers and got mine there. THe store is a charity-run bridal shop (all the money goes to the YWCA). THey let you take pictures and tell you whatever you want to know about the gowns and were helpful so i feel like i really lucked out! Having pictures of styles helps a lot!


Post # 10
47 posts
  • Wedding: June 1998

MUI831 :As a Bridal shop Manager I can shed a bit of light on why some Bridal salons do not allow pictures. First I will start by saying that we have no problem with it and in fact we encourage it, we know many Brides who have made a “scrap” book of their experience and we want them to be able to document the entire process.

Other Bridal shops think that by limiting your ability to photograph the dress you will be less likely to “find it elsewhere for less” OR if you are debating between dresses and you don’t have a picture of the dress they think you will come back and shop with them again and they will hopefully be able to sell you the dress.

As for designer style information it depends some shops do cut out tags and won’t disclose styles etc. I would be concerned as to why they are doing this in the first place? I would have to think they have a higher mark up on the dress and they do not want you to price shop.

I think the best thing for any Bride is buy where she feels most comfortable and where you receive the best customer service.

Post # 11
78 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: April 2012

It varied for me with the pictures.  Some places allowed it no problem (David’s Bridal, for example) while others didn’t (usually the independent salons).  I was told that for Maggie Sottero gowns it was a decision handed down from the designer.

That said, I found some ways around it.  There’s of course the sneaky way, which I didn’t try much.  I was most often shopping by myself, and because of that I had saleswomen who sympathetic to it.  One took photos for me so I could show my mom (who lives across the country).  At another store, I asked very politely if I could take photos on my camera, look at them right there, and then delete them while they watched.  My reason for that is that I learned I look at myself in a dress VERY differently from a mirror to a photo, and dresses I liked in the mirror I later hated in photos.  It wasn’t ideal, but it gave me some idea.  And the fact that I was polite about it and wasn’t being sneaky made them much more obliging about it.

I do think the no-photo policy is silly, especially since photos are easily available online.  But… still have to deal with it.

As for style numbers, some shops were more obliging than others.  Some would write the style number on the business card they gave me (without my even asking).  Others just gave me a price.  I had to do my own digging to find out information about the dress I eventually bought (limited edition that wasn’t on the official website).  I wasn’t good about asking for style numbers, though.

Post # 12
40 posts
  • Wedding: May 2010

Definitely try and take pictures when trying on the dresses!! It helped me to make my final decision!

It is so helpful to see YOU in the dress, not just a model. And go home, think about it, look at the pictures… compare, and the one you can’t stop looking at, can’t stop thinking about…

That’s the one!!!

Post # 13
1701 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: October 2010

Any garment for sale must have the manufacturers original label, country of origin, fabric care, etc.  I guess if they never sold the sample, they could skirt this law.

No designer/manufacturer has ever said that their designs couldn’t be photographed for personal use.  If that was the case, no bridal shop would allow pictures. And we all know there are plenty of Maggie bride photos on this website:)

Personally, having photos was critical in my decision-making process.  Yes, a bad picture could cloud your judgement, but if it looks that bad, it probably shouldn’t be a contender anyway.  Of the 7 or 8 shops I visited (my dress and BMs), only Priscilla of Boston was a little funny about it and even then, the consultant just graciously “gave us some privacy”.  The flip side is that I wouldn’t waste anyone’s time by taking pictures of dresses I wasn’t seriously interested in.

Bottom line, you are spending a lot of money.  Take pictures if you want.  If they seriously give you a hard time, seriously take your money elsewhere.

Post # 14
290 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: December 2013

I like what JAndrews said.  I ended up buying my dress from the store i had the best service. I did this even though another store offered me a discount, because i don’t want to worry about anything.  the store i went with had NO problems with me taking pics and are allowing me store my dress when it comes in as i don’t have a place for it at home.  And overall, when you go looking for a dress, that is not the only time you will have to interact with the seller.  when it arrives, what if something is wrong as in size, color, etc. i want to know that i will get the support and help i need. same for alterations.


i went to a couple of stores too that did not allow pictures, but i found that by being super sweet and persistent about it, you can get what you what.  one store was sooo strict about it, she wouldnt even leave me alone in the dressing room….BUT once she finally understood that i cannot buy a dress with examining it in the photo to see if i still like it, she let me…however, that was not the store i bought from.


i say you need to be persistent, and if the store cannot give you what you need, then go elsewhere. 

Post # 15
424 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: September 2010

I went to about 7 different shops looking for my dress.  There were a few that didn’t allow pictures as a policy.  However, I was shopping by myself or just my mother in law most of the time (all my family is from far away), so I was able to convince ALL of the sales ladies to allow me to take pictures (although sometimes they only allowed 2-3 favorites).  I basically used the excuse that I wanted my mom to see my dress before I bought it, and there was NO way I was going to purchase a dress without her seeing a picture.  I’m not sure if this would work everywhere, but they pretty much knew I was serious about finding the right dress because I was shopping by myself.

I found it very helpful to compare dresses and see the pictures at home, because you sometimes look different in a photograph vs. in person.  Some fabrics & beading photograph better than others, and I was really surprised at dresses I loved in the store looked kind of flat and boring in pictures.  Because of this reason I’d say pictures are a must, and if a store doesn’t allow pictures, you probably don’t want to buy from them anyway.  Good luck in your shopping!!!  🙂

Post # 16
379 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: July 2011

I had baaaaaaaaad service at a dress shop.  If you feel you are getting bad service, dont waste anymore time there.

Take pictures.

The dress shop will probably ask you a lot of questions about the dress you want

Do you like

lace, pickups, beading, applicques, strapless, ballgown, a-line, mermaid?It helps if you know these things, but you might find out what you like just by trying it on.

Honestly my first time dress shopping I did not know what any of this meant but now I know.

Try on dress even if you dont think you will like them bc you will get an idea of what looks good on you and what looks bad.

Most the gowns will be ivory or some shade of off white, so make sure you try on a white white gown to see how it looks on you.  And take note of all the different colors and how they look on you.  This helps when you find THE DRESS and you have to pick a color to order it in.


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