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Wedding Gown Shopping Tips
Article contributed by
Rebecca Rode

What the bride will wear the day of her wedding is usually the number one priority for most brides planning a wedding. Purchasing a wedding gown can be a very costly event if you do not do your homework. The following article will share a few tips and let you in on a few bridal shop secrets. You will be able to get your dream gown at an affordable price if you follow these steps.

A bride should allow herself at least 6-8 months for the purchase of her gown. Unless she is very tall & large busted her gown will require alterations from a seamstress. (that is how all bridal gowns are made) Alterations are done at a bridal shop or at a tailor. The price of alterations can be included in your gown price, yet is often much extra.

Before shopping in person, look at all the designer websites & bridal magazines. They have excellent photographs of all their current styles. Consider what style gown you would like for your wedding day.....A-line? Princess Tulle cut? Sheath? Do you desire sleeves, strapless, spaghetti straps?

Call ahead to the local bridal shops in your area. Many shops require that you schedule an appointment. ( Tip: if asked what your budget is when you schedule......just tell them "it would all depend on the gown" Many (not all) bridal shops will charge you what they feel you are willing to spend) If you do not give a specific budget it will increase the number of gowns you are shown.

When you arrive at the shop allow the sales people to show you as many gowns as possible. Ask them to take your measurements. (Tip: it is best if you can wear (bring with you) a bra & shoes like what you will wear on your wedding day) it. Allow them to show you as many gowns as possible. You may try on a style you had not considered & fall in love with it.

Once you find the perfect gown, (The following tip is the most important) : DO NOT TELL THE SHOP OWNERS HOW MUCH YOU LOVE THE GOWN!

Tell the sales person "I like this gown the best" & then gather information about the gown. Ask, "Who is the designer? What is the style number?" "What is the price & what does the price include?" "What is your price?" "Does the price include alterations" Ask them to write this down for you along with your measurements. Just let them know you want time to consider such a large purchase & that you will be in touch.

Warning: Many bridal shops will pull the tags out of their gowns. The do this to prevent you from comparison shopping. It is an illegal practice. They may not tell you the correct style number or designer. They may tell you that you can not write down the information. You may wish to consider avoiding dealings with any shop that uses these practice. A reputable business realizes a bride must comparison shop.

The next step will be very difficult, yet it is important. You must now leave the shop! Yes, you must walk away from the gown of your dreams & not fall victim to the pressure the sales people will put on you to purchase the gown immediately. Do not put down a deposit. Do not worry. It will be available the next week or even the next month.

You are almost there! You know the size/style/ designer/ price of your dream gown. Now you just need to get the best deal on that gown.  There are many ways to save hundreds on your new gown. First, you can call all the shops within a distance you would consider driving to pick up your gown. Provide them the style number/color/ size of the gown you will need. Ask for their best price. Ask what that price includes. Second, you can consider purchasing your gown online.

Many brides are horrified by the idea of purchasing a wedding gown online. Buying online just isn't for everyone. However, can often save the most by ordering in this fashion.

Most of the gossip about online bridal wear was actually started by the bridal shops themselves. They will warn you of "fake gowns"& "defective gowns" In actuality they are the same gowns from the same designers. Online sellers have lower pricing due to the high volume of sales they are able to achieve. You just need to use the same caution in choosing what online company to deal with as you would with choosing a brick & martyr bridal shop.

Consider the following information when choosing an online business. Only online sellers with physical bridal shops are authorized by the designers to sell the gowns online. You should not buy from a seller that does not have a shop. Completely read & understand their return policy. Ask questions to insure that they will take the gown back if it arrives with a flaw & replace it immediately at no cost to you. (they should also pay all postage associated with the return)

Bridal shops & online sellers will not accept exchanges. The gowns are ordered just for you. If you place a deposit at a shop it is usually non-refundable. It is best to be sure of your gown & price before placing a deposit.

That is it! You have found the best price & are now ready to order your gown. It is best to use a credit card for the purchase. Most credit card companies can deal with disputes associated with your purchases. You are often released from the payments you have made for the gown if a serious situation arises. Paying with cash does not provide options for assistance.

Your gown will arrive 2-4 months after your order. You will then need to have it altered to fit. Pressing should take place immediately before your wedding day.

All of us here at A Lovely Bride wish to congratulate you on your engagement.  We hope that this article will help you save money on the most important dress you will ever buy.

Rebecca Rode (owner) A Lovely Bride

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