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Saying “Yes,” Then Finding it for Less: The “Real” Realities of Wedding Dress Shopping

  Written by Tracy Stewart 

Anya Bridal Gown ~ Laura

Looking for your bridal gown can be one of the most exciting times in your life. The following is a simple guide that will help make your shopping experience superb!   Before you start booking appointments, be sure you’ve done your homework. Learn about the culture of the stores you are interested in visiting. For example, how many guests can you bring? When is the best time to shop? Is there a return policy? How much should you expect to pay for your gown? Being armed with this information will streamline the possibility of any mishaps and start you out on a positive note! Here's what you need to know:

  • Most salons and boutiques will usually only accommodate 2-3 guests on the weekends. So if you plan to shop with a large party, you may want to visit the store during the week.
  • Have you determined your budget? If not, consider this: Studies have shown a bride will likely spend 6% of her entire wedding budget for her bridal gown.
  • The average special order bridal gown starts around $800.
  • Ninety-nine percent of bridal stores DO NOT have a return policy. Just like car dealerships, there is no cooling off period. Therefore, once you say “YES” don’t look to find it for less.
  • You don’t have to go to every store in town. Once you find “the one,” you stop looking. Remember, the goal is to buy a gown. Your friends and family are excited for you and there to provide support. In return, consider their time and energy involved in the process - keep it light. You never want them to feel (yourself included) that this is becoming a daunting chore.
  • If it sounds too good to be true, it usually is. The same rule applies in the bridal industry. Be careful of cheap knock offs. Top designers have ways of incorporating their logos into their gowns to authenticate their designs.

The most important thing to remember is that this is a very happy and very intimate time you are sharing with your loved ones. It looks like a big party on reality television. However, the true reality is that you are planning for one of the most important and memorable days of your life. Enjoy!   Tracy Stewart is a Master Bridal Specialist at Anya Bridal Warehouse in Midtown Atlanta. To schedule an appointment with Tracy, you can reach her at 404-699-4655 or online.

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