(Closed) What is the etiquette for going into a bridal shop?

posted 6 years ago in Dress
Post # 3
236 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: May 2013

@KashaUK2000:  It is generally expected that you make an appointment. If you don’t, you are likely to not be helped, especially if it is busy. 


Also, I would suggest not dismissing an entire store of dresses/designs without trying at least a few on first. How would you really know what you actually like/look like in them? That seems foolish. Are you going to buy blindly online?

Lastly, why can’t you use a phone? If you can’t, you could always walk in and book a future appointment. Seems pretty simple to me.

Post # 4
8695 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: September 2013

I am in the US and here we make an appointment and then go. Your consultant/salesperson will help you once you are there. It helps to wear comfortable and easy clothes To get in and out of. Most bridal shops in my area have great undergarments.

Post # 5
3688 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: August 2013

I would start by looking at dresses on the internet. Get an idea of what you’re looking for, see what bridal stores in your area carry that designer, and call and make an appointment. I don’t understand why you say you can’t use the phone, but you really need to make an appointment, especially if you’re located in a metropolitan area. If you know if the store carries what you’re interested in, it will save you time and you won’t have to leave after five minutes.

Post # 6
1202 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: November 1999

@KashaUK2000:  Are you talking about a bridal store in the US? With stores like David’s Bridal sometimes they will do walk-ins if they aren’t busy and they have time to work with you. I know during the weekdays that is a better option for stores like Alfred Angelo and David’s Bridal. But I think getting an appointment is probably a better strategy overall so that they have plenty of time to work with you and you can take time to look at dresses, try them on, ask questions, etc. I know with a lot of higher end bridal stores, it is probably better to request an appointment. And also having some choices in mind via their website is probably a good idea too. If you can’t call them, I would probably look at a bridal store’s website and see if you can e-mail them and schedule an appointment that way! 🙂 Good luck and happy hunting for “the dress”!! 

Post # 7
397 posts
Helper bee

It depends on the store… One that is in my town that is the most well known in about a 75 mile radius (other than David’s Bridal) does NOT take appointments.


I would call first just to be on the safe side.   I hate that most you have to do that with though… I am a spontaneous kind of person and occasionally just want to know NOW.

Post # 8
2968 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: September 2012

most stores require appointments, but some don’t. if you don’t have an appointment, they’ll probably let you look, but not try anything on.

and a lot of stores have more than just what’s on the racks, so even if you don’t see anything you like, they may have something tucked away that you would like. keep an open mind and don’t dismiss anything just by looking at it. a lot of clothes don’t look so great on a hanger, but look awesome once you try them on.

Post # 9
1177 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: June 2013

Wait… why can’t you use a phone? Many stores can make appointments through email, but it still seems a little strange.

@cmbr:  +1 What she said.

Post # 10
2082 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: March 2013

@KashaUK2000:  I would find the dresses you like and would be interested in trying on online or in a magazine before walking into a store. I would save pictures of the dresses on my phone, take printed copies or photos out a magazine with me to the bridal shop. This gives the consultant some indication of what you are looking for and she can tell you straight away whether they have anything like it in stock or not. Some designer websites list where you can find their dresses.

Post # 11
1066 posts
Bumble bee

@KashaUK2000:  I know some stores charge to try dresses on…Is this the norm in USA?

Post # 12
9954 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: December 2012

First and foremost… I see this is your first post on WBee… so a BIG Welcome to “the Hive”

As stated by the other gals, most Bridal Stores in the US (and Canada to some extent) require Appointments

You can do that by phone… or as mentioned many also can do that by email or on their websites

But just the same, it is my experience that most are also open to folks going in to “take a peek”

BUT as the other Bees have said, taking a peek and getting to see the WHOLE line is miles apart.  As many Dresses aren’t necessarily all grouped on the racks “on the floor”.

And as stated, looking at a dress on the rack is totally different than trying one on.  Gowns on a hanger DO NOT TRANSLATE to what they look like on a woman.  So you can’t judge a dress by what you see on a hanger, in a gown bag, hanging on a rack !!

— — —

Also, I don’t understand this statement…

Also it’s unlikely that any wedding dresses will be suitable for what I’m  looking for

WHY… what is it exactly that makes what you are looking for different from what you expect to find in a Bridal Salon

Telling us more about your vision… might mean that we can help point you in the right direction

Hope this helps,


Post # 13
9118 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: December 2012

Traditionally in the US you make appointments. You are assigned an associate which will help you out. She will tie up dresses for you and help you find what you’re looking for. A lot of US shops don’t allow you to “free browse” through their stock. It isn’t like going in and browsing through sweaters at a clothing shop.

Generally you go in and you tell them what you want. “I like mermaids, sheaths and trumpets, I like lace but not silk but I wouldn’t be opposed to silk being used [wherever]” and such like that.

Try to be open minded. I liked ballgowns but I am very short and I was vehemently against purchasing a ball gown.

After trying on my “dream dresses” (The styles I liked), none of them looked very good on me. There was a lace ball gown in the window I said, “What the hell” to and tried it on. It’s my wedding dress.

They’ll generally pull a lot of different styles, designers and dresses with all sorts of materials for you. Just be a little open minded and you might find the dress that is yours sooner than you think.

Don’t be astounded if you don’t have “that moment” where you burst into tears seeing yourself. I think the media has hyped up weddings and brides in general where most women expect this and it really deappreciates them because they are convinced they haven’t found “the dress” because they didn’t have this explosive reaction.

ETA: Also, don’t judge a gown by how it looks on the hangers. *all hangers* make dresses look like crap. Judge it once it is on your body.

Post # 14
719 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: August 2014 - South Bonson Pier & Community Centre

A few thoughts:

I made an appointment for a store last week only to walk in and realize that there was literally nothing there for me to try on. While I had been in to the store previously, they’d recently moved and have refocused their collections on bridesmaids & destination wedding dresses, and I was looking for something with more oomph. So I would say:

– check out websites of stores in your area to see what designers they carry and research those designers

– make an appointment through the website (email) or just walk in and make one

– I’ve been bringing my own dressing gown (short bath robe), boycut briefs, and strapless bra to each appointment


Good luck, honey! xo


I have made appointments a few hours before (if my schedule changes and I have an open afternoon), so you don’t neccessarily have to have tons of advance planning.

Post # 15
799 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: September 2014

@maya2008:  I dismissed an entire store without trying any on. I wanted modest. There wasnt a single modest dress in the store. After i confirmed that with the consultant, i left without trying anything. Don’t regret it a bit. 

Post # 16
2965 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: April 2013

@cantonbride:  I dismissed most stores because I looked at their stock and didn’t see ONE thing I wanted to try on. At the most I tried on ONE dress at one of the 3 stores I dismissed. When you know, you know.

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