Trying on your wedding dress is undoubtedly one of the most exciting parts of your wedding process, so it’s easy to get lost in the excitement of finding that perfect gown. However, hammering down the important details during your bridal fitting appointment is critical to ensure nothing gets lost in the weeds before your big day.
Before your fitting appointment, you may want to write down a timeline of your wedding, including important dates and locations, so that your consultant can better understand when your dress will need to arrive. Other important details, such as a checklist of accessories you may need, potential tailors you’ve spoken to about alterations, or anything else you can think of, will be helpful during your appointment.
Below, we’ve compiled a list of some of the most essential questions to ask during your bridal appointment.
Will My Dress Be Ready by My Wedding Date?
Most wedding dresses aren’t ready to take home right off the rack. Instead, you’ll have to place an order for your dress, wait for it to be made, and pick it up in-store, which is typically four to six months after the time you order it from. You’ll also need enough time for alterations, which usually take two to three months to complete.
If you’re working on a short timeline, it’s critical to let your consultant know, as you’ll need to look at dresses available for a rush order or off-the-rack dresses.
Is the Dress I’m Interested In Available In-Store?
If there are specific dresses you want to try on at a boutique, always call ahead first to ensure they stock samples of that specific dress.
One fact you may not be aware of is that most boutiques don’t stock a designer’s entire collection in-store— instead, they order a sample gown of a few different dresses in that collection (which they choose at their discretion) for brides to try on during their fitting.
However, these dresses aren’t always available for purchase. Rather, they’re there to see if you want to purchase the same dress but made to fit your specific body measurements.
Therefore, if there’s a particular dress you’re absolutely dying to try on, realize that just because it’s listed on a boutique’s website doesn’t mean it will be available to try on. But, if you call ahead of time and ask the boutique to order a sample gown, they may be able to order a sample of it to have it in store for you.
Are There Any Local Trunk Shows Coming Up?
Unlike boutiques that only carry a few gowns out of a designer’s entire collection, trunk shows showcase a designer’s collection in its entirety, meaning that they provide the chance to find dresses that may be hard to find at your local boutique. Trunk shows also allow you to talk to a designer and discuss any individual changes you might be thinking of adding to a dress.
How and When Will I Need to Book a Fitting Appointment?
Some salons offer in-house alterations, while others don’t, so it’s important to talk with local tailors nearby to compare pricing options before your appointment.
Alterations often require 2-3 sessions total, the first two for adjusting your gown to your body and adding any custom detailing (for other potential alterations, check out our full alterations guide).
How Much Will I Pay for a Deposit?
According to The Knot, the average cost for a wedding dress in 2022 was $1900. If you find your dream gown during your bridal fitting, expect to pay a deposit before purchasing your dress. This amount may vary by store, but it’s vital to understand the exact amount before signing any paperwork.
Will My Dress Still Be Available to Buy in the Future?
If you aren’t 100% settled on a dress yet, you may still want to shop around a bit more before making the final decision. However, designers frequently discontinue dresses without notice, so it’s crucial not to wait too long to decide. Make sure to ask the boutique if they’re aware of any potential future complications in ordering that particular dress later on. Additionally, the boutique may encourage you to buy the dress by offering further discounts or incentives on the price, so it never hurts to negotiate covertly!
Is the Sample Available for Purchase?
Sample dresses experience a good amount of wear and tear from multiple brides trying them on, so oftentimes, retailers choose to offer them for purchase at a discounted price. It doesn’t hurt to inquire about purchasing a sample dress if you're on a strict budget. Keep in mind, though, that sample sizes usually require intense alterations to fit, so size depending, this may or may not be the right decision for you.
What Alterations Are Included in the Price of the Gown?
If you’re working with a tight budget, it’s essential to factor in the cost of alterations to the price of your gown. Most boutiques won’t include the price of modifications with your gown, but it’s worth asking anyways, just in case.
While most wedding dresses won’t need too many alterations, it depends on the number of customizations you wish to add to the dress. Because alterations can range from minimal for basic changes (around $300) to expensive for detailed customizations ($1000+), understanding their cost is incredibly valuable to adequately controlling your budget from quickly getting out of hand.
There are a few critical questions to ask during your bridal fitting to ensure everything goes according to plan on your big day. The devil is in the details, so don’t be afraid to ask the tougher questions to ensure everything stays within budget and arrives on time. Most importantly, though, have fun during your fitting session and enjoy the journey to finding your perfect wedding gown!