(Closed) What to expect during my wedding dress appointment.

posted 6 years ago in Dress
Post # 3
1361 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: September 2012

Let’s see if I can answer all your questions! 

I went to two boutiques and both let me try on more than 3 dresses.  They may try to limit you, but insist!

No idea if your family will have opinions πŸ™‚  Mine did, but it was okay (just my mom and sister/MOH)

I would wear a strapless bra if only because the assistant will likely be helping you get in and our of the dresses and you may not want her seeing your boobs. 

Most places will have you put down a deposit and then you can make payments on it if you want.  My place wanted 50% deposit to order the dress and I could make payments on the rest, but I just paid for it all up front.

You can get veils and sashes etc. MUCH cheaper at other places.  Try some on at the store, though, so you can get a sense of what you want.  Do some research ahead of time about veils (edges, width, length, styles, etc) so you can try on a variety in the store and no what you’re looking at.


Post # 4
5075 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: October 2012

I brought just my Maid/Matron of Honor.  I tried on as many dresses as I wanted (8) until I found one I loved.

They required 50% down but I paid for all of it.   Some of the sashes did seem overpriced and I’ve seen them for less on eBay and Etsy.

Bring your camera and some water.  I got thirsty trying on dresses.  

Post # 5
1361 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: September 2012

Oh one more thing related to my comment about the bra… wear underwear that covers your whole butt!  πŸ™‚

Post # 6
1043 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: June 2012

I went to two boutiques, and the experience was vastly different.

The first salon let my girls browse the dresses and help shop. The consultant also pulled dresses based on what I was looking for. She really worked to make it a memorable experience for everyone.

The second place was much more univiting. The consultant seperated me from my party and only let me shop with her for dresses. She controlled the appointment and pulled all kinds of dresses that were nothing what I asked for.

I would recommend wearing a strapless bra, even if you won’t be on the day of, as the consultant is helping you in and out of dresses, and it eases the discomfort of having your ta-tas flopping around while she’s trying to help you out.

I tried on about a dozen dresses per appointment.

Usually, you put a deposit down (50% is standard, I think) on the dress, and pay the remainder when it arrives.

I would recommend shopping around for veils, I think there’s a huge mark up at the salons, and they really try to sell them to you on the spot.

Hope this info helps. Good luck!

Post # 7
160 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: September 2013

I am obviously only speaking from my experiences, but can tell you how mine went! So far I have been to 4 different boutiques, and they were all fairly similar, but I’ll share the differences as they come up.

I was able to try on as many as I wanted at each store (although the appointment at one was strickly set to an hour, so I had a limited amount of time). Most stores I tried on between 5 and 8 dresses, depending on how many they had in my “style”. The appointments started with them asking me what I was looking for, I showed pictures, and they allowed me to browse the dresses on the floor. Based on the pics and what I picked, they pulled stuff from the back that I liked.

I have taken my mother, Maid/Matron of Honor, and bridesmaid on these trips (not all together) and they were all great. I would recommend not inviting a whole entourage, because you really need the opportunity to think about how you are feeling in each dress.

I would recommend wearing a bra, even if you think you won’t wear one on the big day. The assistants are in the rooms with you when you are changing dresses, and they don’t want to see your goodies. Make sure you smell ok too, because they will be RIGHT THERE.

In terms of payments, it depends on the place. One owner told me I could make monthly payments. One offered a $200 price break if I paid in full. One offered a cheaper price if I ordered it before midnight the day I tried it on (they called it their “Love It” pricing, which I think is the dumbest idea ever — why would anyone try to pressure a girl into a split decision about her dress?! Sorry, just my opinion). Most smaller stores will likely be willing to work with you, but my bridesmaid had a good point — what happens if you are making payments on your dress and the place goes under? My plan is to put everything on a credit card, that way I can have the dress paid in full, get credit card points, and if anything was ever to happen to the business, you’re covered.

From what I have seen, the accessories that are in the boutiques are crazy expensive, but again, it depends on where you go. I found a sash I loved at a boutique for something like $425 dollars (more than half what I am planning to pay for my dress!). My suggestion is to go on etsy and search for accessories. I actually was at a local artisan market and found a woman who makes the exact fabric flowers I want for my dress and hair. She is local, cheap, and willing to match colors for me. Super excited about this find.

A couple other suggestions: bring pictures of what you like, and be willing to try things on even if you don’t love them on the hanger. Ask if you can bring a camera/take pictures and use them to document and look back on the yeses and nos. Most of all, remember to have fun!

Hope this helps!


Post # 9
4193 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: July 2012 - Baltimore Museum of Industry

I only went once (bought a sample that day)- tried on 12 dresses. Very glad someone mentioned the bra/undies- I didn’t even think about it, and showed up in a thong, so my lucky Maid/Matron of Honor got to check out my cellulite. :)-

I went in with pictures of dresses I like- highly recommend it. The sales rep pulled the dress I ended up buying. However, I did try on totally different dresses, just for the fun of it- knew I didn’t want strapless and/or poofy, and tried both. If you try on more than 12, you’ll probably be overwhelmed.

I wouldn’t buy a veil or jewelry at the salon- try it on to see how it goes with your dress, but you should be able to get it for much less elsewhere.

Also- for most places, you’re not supposed to take photos, but Maid/Matron of Honor was able to sneak some on her phone while the sales rep was grabbing things. 

Post # 10
2808 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: September 2014

just another opinion.

i’ve been shopping twice already. the first time, was at alfred angelo and the second was at a private shop. at AA, i was helped in and out of the dresses. at the private shop, i was not. which, is fine. i can get in and out of dresses myself.

at AA, i tried on 10 dresses. at the private shop, i only tried on 6. but by the second one, i knew i’d most likely found THE ONE (i went by myself, i need to go back with family). the consultant at AA pulled dresses that i’d listed, but at the second shop, i didn’t go in with a list. she pulled dresses after i told her what i liked and didn’t like.

i second the the strapless bra and full coverage underwear. don’t need to be flashing anyone.

don’t wear heavy makeup, you don’t want to get anything on the dresses. especially lipstick.

Post # 11
666 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: July 2012

All the tips about bra and underwear are great!  I haven’t thought about that.  Now I need to go get a strapless bra bedcause my first fitting is this Saturday.

Post # 12
319 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: December 2012

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 πŸ˜‰  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. =)



Post # 13
2239 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: October 2012

Do you really only get like 3 dresses to try on or did your associate let you try on as many as you want?

I went to one boutique and tried on probably 10 or 11 dresses total.  They basically asked me what the budget was and I handed them a list of dresses I liked (designers they carried).  Most were in budget (yay) so they pulled those and let me pick others out.  They had a wall designated for different budgets so they led me to my section and told me to go wild.  I was the only bride in the shop.  

Will my family be full of opinions, were yours? 

My family had opinions but they agreed with me, lol.  They could kind of read my reaction.  Some people liked dresses I didn’t but obviously I wasn’t going to get a dress I didn’t love.  Keep this in mind:  you are the one wearing it so if you love it — get it.

Do I have to wear a strapless bra to the appointment?

I have read about a lot of girls who just go braless if they plan to wear it braless.  I wore a strapless.

Do you pay for the dress upfront or do most let you make payments on it?

We paid half up front and we’ll pay the rest when it comes in.

Also do you recommend buying veils or sashes at the bridal botique or looking else? Are they over priced at the salon?

My veil was $180 (that’s with a discount) and my headband/tiara fabulous thing-uh-muh-jig was err I dunno and don’t care because I love it hahaha.  I think you can get veils cheaper on etsy but you won’t be able to try it on, with the dress, unless you buy it before dress shopping.  

OH & P.S.  — I brought myself (ha), grandma, mom, future mother in law, my 2 future-sister-in-laws, and two of my sisters to my appt.  They didn’t seem to care.

Post # 14
7609 posts
Bumble Beekeeper


I did, but I drank it all and I had never been so thirsty in my LIFE.  Good luck!

Post # 15
326 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: May 2012

When I made my first appointment, they flat out told me on the phone that they are a full service boutique and to come with a strapless bra and to remember that they do help you in and out of dresses when deciding on underwear – so naturally it dawned on me that I NEED TO WEAR FULL COVERAGE UNDIES!  And yes – they helped me in and out of dresses – like to the point where I was completely undressed and in my skivvies, with my arms up over my head and leaning backwards while they put the dresses over me and then went underneath to pull down all the layers.  It was a very humbling experience!  Second only to my spray tanning experience!  Another salon I went to offered me a slip, but I mean, really – what’s the point?  ya know?  So yeah – full tushie coverage and a strapless bra is the way to go! 

Also, as a few other bees have mentioned – don’t bring an entourage of people…..trust me on this.  It’s hard enough as it is when you see yourself in all these dresses, and then to have other people’s opinions?  No bueno.  I’d just bring your mom and your Maid/Matron of Honor if you want a friend there – that’s what i did (although my dad came when i actually purchased my gown because I’m a daddy’s girl like that). 

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