Tips: Researching the right bridal shop for you – Part 1

Chances are, if you’re engaged, you have BIG feelings about gown shopping. You’re either ready and excited and can’t wait to get started or you put it off for a while because you were a little nervous about the process. Or you fall somewhere in between. The good news is that I am here for you and promise to make the experience a fun one. I have a singular mission in working with you, and that’s to find you a gown you love at a price you feel comfortable with an experience that leaves you with that warm and fuzzy feeling. That sounds great, right??

Know the Wedding Dress Budget

So I am going to bring up the B-word. Budget! One thing you need to know and have a good grasp on if your dress budget. Have the tough talk now or you may be heartbroken later. ( I’ve seen it happen – a bride thought one price and the mom or fiance thought another.) And my advice prior to coming in is knowing what you are comfortable spending on your bridal gown as well as your tolerance for fluctuations around that budget. Both are important to communicate to me and something that I will ask you when we chat.

Malinda Macari with Dresses

Hence why establishing your wedding dress budget is step one, but I also recommend making sure you are comfortable with the price range of gowns a store carries before you visit it. Bridal gown shopping is fun but can be time-consuming, and I believe the time you are spending should be enjoyable and productive. Walking into a place where the gowns are priced more or less than your wedding dress budget is no fun for you. So make sure to ask that question and know the answer before you decide to book a visit.

At Dream, I have two different types of collections – “special order” bridal gowns and “off the rack” bridal gowns. With a special order bridal gown, you will try on an example of the gown in the boutique, and then I place an order for that gown from the designer in the size and color of your choice. With this type of order, you may also be able to make certain changes to the gown, or customizations, since the gown is being made for you only after I place the order. With an “off the rack” bridal gown, the gown you try on in the store is the exact gown you will be purchasing, and you will take it with you on the day of purchase. Gowns from our special order bridal gown collection may be priced anywhere from $2,000-$4,000, with the bulk of our gowns falling in the $2,500-$3,200 range and customizations ranging from fees of $200 to $1000. Gowns from our off-the-rack bridal gown collection may be priced anywhere from $1000-$3,500, sometimes less depending on the season.