A positive sign for any store is when the shop owner or a sales person is willing to tell you the types of policies they have concerning disasters like fires, weather mishaps, or bankruptcy that could shut down the store and force them not to deliver the dress on time. Many a wedding has been made less than 100 % perfect because of a bridal shop’s failure to deliver.
The location of the store matters. A bride, with everything she has to do, does not want to travel long distances for the fittings, and remember that a bridal gown may require several fittings, no matter how perfect the torso of the bride may be.
The average price of the bridal gowns sold in a shop should be the first question to ask, since that will give an idea up front if that store is for you. Then, the next question should be if the alterations or wedding dress preservation are included in the price. Some establishments offer reasonably priced package deals that include fittings, alterations, dry cleaning, and preservation.
Bridal shops come in many sizes. Besides a selection of ready-made or made-to-order bridal gowns, most of them offer other services as well.
The expanse of the inventory and the quality of the merchandise carry a weight in giving the bride several options in sizes and styles. Whether the shop has veils or not is of essence. There are some high-end bridal shops that only sell the gown but not the veil. A bride needs to have her veil match her dress.
The condition of the shop is another consideration. An efficient bridal shop has to be clean and well-organized; it needs to have good lighting, several professionally angled mirrors, and lots space to move around for the bride to see herself in a gown from all sides while standing still and while in motion.
It is also imperative that the sales staff are informed enough to know the answers to the bride’s questions. A pushy, rude, and patronizing sales person can turn the pleasant experience of choosing one’s bridal gown into a nightmare.
Sales people should respect the bride and her time. When you are on time for your appointment and they make you wait for more than ten minutes, then it is a good idea to search for another place.
When the sales people steer the bride toward a style that flatters her figure the most, that store will be recommended by many people to others. When my niece opted for a slim-line gown and her mother insisted on a full skirt, the sales people came to their rescue with a designer slim-line gown and a full-skirt train that looked like a full skirt with a flowing rich train from the back, while its straight lines up front favored the bride’s youthful shape. Since the train was removable for freer movement and dancing during the reception, the gown turned out to be practical as well as being elegant.