Shopping For A Wedding Dress? Read This Before You Book A Bridal Appointment.

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Hold your horses, brides we need to talk. We see you're planning a wedding and we realize you don't have much time for reading, however, you need to read this, and we promise it's not too long. We've been in the bridal shopping business for a while now, and we have realized, through many personal experiences, that shopping for a dress is a little bit of a rabbit hole. On the one hand, you have pristine showrooms where you feel like you can't even sit down, and on the other, you have a plethora of white staring at you when you walk into a sample sale. So, we have decided to help you navigate around a variety of bridal shopping destinations, to allow you to literally know what to expect.

Designer Ateliers

These are the showrooms that carry one exclusive designer, so, if you're a fan of the brand, its styles, and silhouettes, this will be the route for you. You'll discover their full collection and be in expert hands when it comes to tailoring, customization, and care. For those of you who want choice and various styles, this option will be a little limiting, so focus on multi-brand boutiques, instead.

Bridal Boutiques

Boutiques carry a variety of designers and styles, so they are a great option for brides who might not have a particular brand or style in mind. Here you will be exposed to a range of shapes and you'll be able to carry out a process of elimination, allowing you to find the style that suits you. However, (yes there is always a 'however',) the flip side is that you may fall in love with a designer but not a particular dress, as they won't carry an entire brand line. To ensure a successful trip, we advise calling ahead to ask about certain styles and designers quantities. Don't be afraid to ask a lot of questions, you're the bride!

Trunk Shows

Ahh, trunk shows are interesting, here's how they work. It can take months before a store receives their ordered sample dresses and often, they receive them right as the next season is coming down the runway. To help with this, brands send their newest runway samples to specific stores so brides can get an early preview and enjoy a small discount. Winning, right? But, one thing all brides need to note is that the actual production dresses may differ from the runway as brands may change details to make a style more commercial. For example, they might line a dress instead of leaving it sheer, or add sleeves etc. Our advice? Be sure to ask about any changes that might be made and the delivery time of your dress.

Sample Sales

Ever wondered just where all those dresses at sample sales actually come from? Here's the 411. Bridal boutiques often order over 100 sample dresses per season, which allows brides to try them on and potentially order. Brands, including Monique Lhuillier, Oscar de la Renta, and Vera Wang, will have many samples on hand as they are international labels. Both brands and boutiques use samples sales to clear out older inventory to free up space for next season’s samples. The pro's of going down the sample sale route is that you can often enjoy steep discounts and off-the-rack timing. The somewhat stressful bit of it is that you often have to compromise the pampered showroom experience and shop in a frenzy of a bargain-basement type environment, with racks of squashed dresses, (we're not kidding). One other point to note is the limited sizing of sample sizes, and weathered looking dresses due to try-ons. Take a deeeeep breath before entering and look for the exit sign.

Consignment Boutiques

Before you read this, it has to be said, we might know a thing or two about this category. Consignment boutiques carry a variety of designers, great discount, and off-the-rack dresses which are ideal for brides on a budget, on a tight timeline, or just looking for a great deal. (They can often be up to 60% off.) The only downside is that you can’t exactly predict what is on the rack the day you visit, (although there's some fun to be had with that too!). Here at Our Story Bridal, we take the risk out of buying samples and preowned styles, as we curate our showroom specifically to ensure it is of a more recent collection. What's more, we also restore and clean dresses to get them back to like-new condition! By providing an intimate environment and alteration services, we allow brides to sit back, relax and enjoy a well-rounded experience, without the weighty price tag. Oh, and by the way, our dress sizes range from 0 to 22, and we also carry veils and accessories.

To find your dream dress for less and without the stress, make an appointment today with Our Story Bridal.

Sabiha Datoo-Lalji