This past Sunday, I went through the doors of Belle Mariée at the front of the store rather than through our employee entrance. Instead of coming in for work, I was actually there for a bridal appointment to try on wedding dresses for myself and not to put other girls in them! Although I work around these dresses every day and I know how the process goes and what to expect, it was so fun to switch roles and actually be the bride for a day. I couldn’t have asked for a better experience during my appointment; when we arrived at the shop, Jessica had mimosas waiting for us and even though it was her day off, she spent her time helping me find the perfect dress. When you first come into our bridal boutique, we make sure to get all your information so we can make sure we find exactly what you’re looking for. The more information you have, such as wedding date, style, colors, budget, etc…help us to narrow down the search so it isn’t too overwhelming. As you fill out our forms, we provide refreshments for you and your guests and make sure you feel relaxed. After I filled out that same bridal form that I give my brides to fill out, we set off to pick out any possible contenders for my dream gown and I immediately dove into our dress selection.
After my own bridal appointment, if there is any advice I can give to my fellow brides on how to have the perfect appointment, I would say:
- Pick dress styles you know you lean more towards, but also add in a few you never considered before! I always envisioned myself in a flowy gown, but ended up choosing a very fitted dress instead. If you envision yourself in a fitted or mermaid silhouette, throw in a ball gown or A-Line style dress just to make sure you see all the possibilities!
- During one appointment, try to keep the dress count under 12; I pulled every single dress I’ve ever wanted to try on, which came out to be about 15 dresses… By the end I was so completely overwhelmed that I had to take a break just to breathe and look back on pictures because they were all starting to blur together.
- On that note, take LOTS of pictures in each dress! Although some stores may not allow photos to be taken, at Belle Mariée we strongly encourage you to take photos. By the end of my appointment, I was able to easily rule out dresses I didn’t want, while also reaffirming my love for the dress I chose. Plus, pictures show you aspects of the dress you may not have been able to see before.
- Come in with an open mind about dresses and if a dress even remotely strikes your fancy, try it on! My dream dress was the most unexpected surprise I’ve ever had… I never thought twice about this gown whenever I worked and I almost passed it up when I was choosing dresses to try on; but goodness am I happy that I thought “What the heck, I might as well try it while I’m here!” Don’t forget to ask about options and alterations! Some dresses can be ordered in different colors or have options like sleeves or straps that may not be on the sample dress.
- Have a budget in mind when you come to your appointment; our prices range from about $400 to $2000 and we have our racks organized by price so that we can show you dresses under your budget.
- If you try on a gown you think might be “the one,” try on our jewelry and other accessories to get the full effect! I put on shoes, Jessica did my hair and put a hairpiece and veil in, and she also handed me one of our fake bridal floral bouquets. Whenever I turned around in the mirror, I saw what I would look like when I walked down the aisle and I knew immediately that it was exactly what I wanted.
- Last but not least… Do not feel like you HAVE to say YES to the dress right then and there! As I said on tip #2, I felt incredibly overwhelmed by all the beautiful dresses I tried on and everyone else’s opinions, so I had to take time to think and look at pictures. It is not uncommon for a bride to have to “sleep on it” before making the big decision.
Choosing your dream dress is one of the most important decisions in your wedding planning process and it is also a pretty significant purchase, so we want you to be absolutely comfortable with your decision and not feel pressured in any way! We do not work on commission at Belle Mariée, nor do we care about making a sale; what we do care about is your happiness, the experience you have with us, and that you eventually find “the one.” I never would have dreamt of a better day with my family and bridesmaids; it wasn’t just the mimosas or the fun T-Shirts we made, it was the way I was made to feel like a beautiful bride and the atmosphere we create in the shop. I hope that these tips help you, and I also can’t wait to meet you and give you the fantastic experience that I personally had here at Belle Mariée!