Questions to Ask on Your Bridal Shop Search

When I was first thrown into the world of weddings, like every bride to be, things were chaotic for me. The venue, the banquet, the décor… there were so many things to think about! However, the one thing that was always on my minds was the wedding dress.

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In my experience, I’ve learned that picking the right dress is best started by asking some key questions to my chosen bridal shop. So ask these following questions before you head on to hunt for the gown of your dreams!

1. Do I need to make an appointment?

Many bridal studios in Singapore have a strict appointment policy to ensure that each and every customer gets the amount of attention she needs while she is there. Check with the studio if they go by appointment basis only, or whether they also entertain walk-ins. If it’s the latter, ask what time they’re open. Every bride wants exclusive attention when she shops for her gown, so setting an appointment is not only a courtesy, it will also make the shopping a more pleasurable experience for everyone.

2. What’s the price range of your dresses?

Before browsing for dresses in a bridal shop, know first the price range of their dresses. You would want to know if you can afford the dresses they have before you fall head-over-heels in love to one of them.

3. Who will be designing my dress?

Especially if you are getting a custom-made dress, this is an essential question to ask. If there is a gown that has caught your fancy – something you’ve seen at the bridal shop’s website, for example – and you want a similar concept for your perfect wedding gown, make sure that it is the same designer who will be designing your dress. Take note that top designers are usually booked well in advance, so shop for your wedding gown as early as you can to have a better chance of getting the designer that you want.

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4. Do they offer other in-house services?

If you are looking for an all-in-one Singapore bridal studio that can provide the whole works, remember to ask what your prospective bridal studio has to offer, and whether everything is done in-house. Some studios work exclusively in-house while some work with other Singapore wedding partners to provide their services. Thus, it is better to be clear on your expectations before jumping in.

5. How long it takes for my dress to arrive?

The delivery time depends on the designer. However, as a general rule, it takes anywhere between 12 and 20 weeks for a dress to be completed and shipped to the buyer. While they can be rushed through express delivery, it incurs additional charges, and ideally you would want to avoid them.

6. Are alterations included in the package?

Usually, alterations are charged separately, purely because every bride has different fitting needs. However, alteration charges are kept as low as possible. If the gown fits you just right, nobody will know whether your dress’ worth is $50 or $500; you’ll feel and look like a million dollars.

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7. How many fitting will I have?

Most of the time, made-to-order wedding gowns will require three rounds of alterations, so it is important to know how many fittings you’re allowed to have and if a bridal shop offers an in-house alteration. If you’re planning to lose a few more pounds, start the alterations later, so adjustments can accommodate your body changes. If for some reason your chosen shop doesn’t offer alterations, ask them if they have a trustworthy tailor to recommend. If possible, schedule your last fitting a week before the big day for most accurate fit.

8. What happens if I change my mind?

Whether the gown you purchased is ready-made or custom order, most bridal stores don’t give refund, but it’s always good to ask. In case you change your mind about the dress after placing your order, it’s helpful to know the store’s return policies—it could even help you to feel more confident of your first choice.

9. How will my dress be steamed?

This can be easy to forget, but you don’t want to sport a wrinkled look on your big day. Make sure to know if your gown will be steamed before picking it up from the salon. If not, you must bring a steamer to your wedding venue or ask if they can provide you one. The last thing you want to worry on your wedding day is to pressing your gown at the last minute.

Photo by La Belle Couture

10. When to pay the remaining balance?

Singapore bridal salons have different payment policies, so you have to be clear on when you are going to pay for your remaining balance. Some stores require full payment before making the dress, while others require certain percentage of the full price to be paid and the remaining balance on the schedule of the pickup. Make sure to know the details to avoid confusion.

11. Ask yourself, does this store look like going out of business?

Find clues to have an idea whether a store is closing down anytime soon. Some of the clues are very limited options, almost empty racks, and extremely cheap price. While some brides have found great deals from soon-to-close salons, others have horror stories—providing a poorly made dress or taking a portion of their money. A good idea to be protect your hard-earned money is to pay via credit card instead of cash, so you can easily file a dispute claim in case of unforeseen circumstances.

Most brides visit multiple different bridal shops before deciding on the dress to buy. Remember, just because you have set foot in a bridal store and bombard them with so many questions doesn’t mean you have to give them your deal. If you’re unsure of a dress, you always have the choice to check out other stores and go back if you decide that the dress you found there is ‘the one’ for you. We will have more on how to select your bridal studio, wishing all brides a beautiful and blissful wedding!

Photo by Yvonne Creative

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