I went to 2 differnt boutique shops. I had considered going to DB but since I only had one day to look with my mom, I wanted that full on “boutique” atmosphere and if I didn’t find it, then I would bring a friend to DB with me (I found it at shop number 1): So I am speaking from a boutique standpoint:
1. The first store, they gave my whole party (4 including myself) white gloves and let us choose three to try on. They told us up front that we can definitely try on more than three but to start, they only wanted me to pull three (I think this is because they don’t want you taking the whole store into your dressing room when there are other brides trying on dresses too)–makes sense.
The second store was a little different, I was only allowed to take one person with me to look for my three dresses. Not a big deal, but not as fun.
2. My family was opinionated if they felt the need to be, but nothing over the top. As we started getting into the swing of things and figuring out what looked best on me, the opinions seem to come more frequently and naturally 😉 I’m so glad I only had 3 people with me. More than that would have been to much for me.
3. I called both stores to double check and both had strapless bras to use. Some of the dresses I didn’t even need a bra so I didn’t use it. I would bring one of yours just in case but you may also want to call and confirm. And anothe poster made a good comment, wear full underwear. I am not too shy but it was nice knowing I was fully covered. I also purposfully wore nude underwear–no big deal if you don’t have them, but I didn’t want bright neon showing through different dresses =)
4. You CAN pay for the dress upfront, some may give you a discount for that, or if you buy the sample dress, but we put a 50% deposit and will pay the rest when the dress is delivered.
5. I did try on veils and jewlery and the only item we purchased was my hair comb. The only reason we did purchase it (80 bucks!) was because it literally was PERFECT and I asked if this was an item that was in the store regularly or if once it’s sold it’s gone. Unless it’s a pretty common item such as veils or sashes, it typically is something the store buys just a few of and when it’s gone it’s gone. So my mom surprised me and bought it for me. I have looked on etsy and have found MANY MANY MANY cheaper veils, jewlery, sashes…ect. I would take your time and look around. You may change your hairstyle between now and next April and it would stink if you purchased a $200 veil and no longer needed it or it didn’t work for the new style. I’m planning on going to look for veils after my hair trial to see how it will look with my actual style =)
Last little tid-bit. I was a little thrown off by the fact that I was given free reign of the facility to look for gowns. While I liked this, a part of me thought it would be like SYTTD where I show the consultant what I like and she magically appears with “the” dress. I was a little stressed thinking that I may have overlooked the perfect dress for me. Fortunatly, after my first 3 dresses, the consultants then began bringing in dresses that they personally choose.
Also, the first store I went to did not have prices on the dresses. They informed us that once I tried them on, they would check on pricing. I KNOW it’s because they want you to fall in love then not be able to say no! I didn’t let this bother me too much..but it was still a little strange. They did however tell me the breakdown of the store ex: most expensive/couture gowns are here, least expensive are here..so I had a pretty good idea. When I found out my dream dress fit in my budget it was like winning the lottery! =)
And last thing…man, you probably won’t even get this far after all my rambling. 99.9% of all boutiques will NOT allow cameras until AFTER you purchase the gown. So don’t be too alarmed when they tell you this. =)
MOST IMPORTANTLY, HAVE FUN AND DON’T PUT TOO MUCH PRESSURE ON YOURSELF =)