Bridal Shop Breakdown
Three types of bridal shops
By Natalie Tsang
September 21, 2011
The bridal salon
This is usually a locally owned shop. There are often limited styles, which means that if you were planning on trying trumpet wedding dresses and tea length wedding dresses in various styles, then this is not the place to go.
The big pro of small bridal shops is that they cater to local brides. Not only will you know what the brides in your area are wearing, but the type and cut of the fabric will also match your environment. For instance, a small bridal shop in rainy Seattle will not be stuffed with strapless short wedding dresses, while a similar store in Austin, Texas would.
The bridal salon has a wide price range, but will still be more expensive than mass retailers. Some offer VIP service where your bridesmaids can sip cocktails while you model the dress, while others offer less services but lower prices. Be sure to make an appointment at these small shops.
These stores offer choices, choices, choices in several sizes. Many have alteration departments so you can choose, alter, and buy your dress on the same day. Great if you need a last minute alternate!
However, this is not the place to go for a one of a kind gown. These dresses are machine made and mass produced, but for a dress that you can try on before buying, the prices are good.
The online store
Online bridal stores run the gamut from cheap wedding dresses that are mass produced to high quality custom made dresses. Caution and research are your best bets for buying a beautiful gown from an online store. Be sure to read the return policy carefully to see if there are any restocking fees.
The word "wedding" often comes with a price jump. Dresses marketed as bridesmaid dresses average around three hundred dollars while wedding gowns can cost thousands more. If you're set on looking like a dream of tulle and lace, then a traditional wedding dress is for you.
However, if you're not, you can check other clothing stores that sell formal or evening wear for white and ivory colored dresses. It will be easy to find sheath, slim line, and A-line styles, and a veil will erase any doubts who is the bride. And costume stores will often rent out gorgeous ball gowns.