PREPARING FOR YOUR APPOINTMENT
Do I need an appointment to try on dresses?
Yes. When you shop with us, we have a consultant and a fitting room set aside for you for a 90-minute appointment. If you walk in looking for an appointment, we can’t guarantee that we have either of those for you.
If you are running late to your appointment, it will cut into your allotted appointment time. If you are going to be more than 15 minutes late, we will need to reschedule you for a different time. You can always cancel/reschedule your appointment if your plans change.
How long are your appointments?
With over 1,000 dresses in our store, we find that 90 minutes is the best amount of time for an appointment. That is usually the ideal amount of time to try on several gowns, narrow down your selection, and choose your wedding dress without feeling rushed. Of course, if you feel you need more time, we're always happy to schedule a return visit! We will not schedule you for an appointment at a time when you do not have this amount of time to spare.
What size are your gowns?
Fantasy Bridal has a large selection of dresses that range from sizes 2-30! We strongly believe that every bride should feel comfortable and have many beautiful options to try on when she's shopping for her wedding dress. Sample gowns (i.e. what you try on in-store) will rarely be a perfect fit, but thankfully our bridal consultants are experts at giving you a great idea of how the gown will fit when it's made in your own size.
What is the price range of your dresses?
The price range of dresses in our store is roughly $600-$3,000, not including tax or alterations. There will be a handful of gowns that fall outside of that range (whether above or below).
What is a realistic budget for me to have?
The majority of gowns in our store are priced from $900-$2,000. Depending on what you are looking for will determine what kind of budget you will want to set for yourself.
It is important to discuss your budget in advance and to stick to it during your appointment. We find that it is unhelpful for you to try on dresses outside of the price range you are comfortable with. There is a reason dresses are priced the way they are. If you fall in love with something above your budget, it is highly unlikely that you will be able to recreate it at a lower price point. There is nothing more heartbreaking than falling in love with a dress, and not being able to purchase it. It is not worth ruining your special experience by trying on dresses you aren’t comfortable paying for.
Once you do try on dresses you might realize that what you are looking for cannot be found in the original budget you set for yourself. If that is the case, we typically suggest slowly tiptoeing your budget to find just what you are looking for.
Remember to also take accessories and alterations into account when setting your budget as well. The cost of accessories and alterations can easily add an additional $500-$1000+ to the cost of your dress, depending on what you want.
Can I make an appointment just to get ideas?
Our consultants are trained to help you find your dress. With each dress you try on, your consultant will ask you what you like and do not like in an attempt to narrow down and find the perfect dress for you. Our method is to find a dress you would love to wear on your special day. If you come just to get ideas, we find the appointment is not very productive and doesn’t get you any closer to finding your dress.
If you are getting ideas to make your own dress, we do charge $50 for these types of consultation appointments.
How early should I look for and purchase my dress?
7-10 months before your wedding is the ideal time frame to purchase your wedding dress. Dresses take about 3-5 months after the time they are ordered to arrive in our store. Almost all brides will need alterations done to the dress once it does arrive in store. Alterations can take 4-12 weeks depending on the time of year.
If you do not have 7-10 months prior to your wedding date to find your dress, we do have a large selection of dresses that you can purchase off the floor! If you don’t have time to order, keep in mind we won’t necessarily have the exact color and size you will need in store. Alterations will be key for you to have the perfect dress for your special day!
How can I prepare for my appointment?
One way to prepare for your appointment is by starting to develop an idea of what you are drawn to by looking through our website or starting a Pinterest board. This doesn’t mean you are deciding your style before trying on, but it does at least help us see what you are drawn to.
You might consider eating a light meal before you come. You will be on your feet for 90 minutes and looking for a wedding dress when you are hangry is not recommended.
Should I purchase my dress before I have lost weight?
We are often working with brides who are hoping to lose weight. We provide an alterations service for additional charge in our store so that we can guarantee you have a dress that fits you for your special day. We highly encourage you to purchase your dress as early as you can to ensure that you have a dress you love, and then we can adjust it later on according to your needs.
Many of our brides who hope to lose weight do not end up losing as much as they anticipated. That is why we order your dress based on the size you are now to guarantee you will have something that will work for you whether you change weight or not. It is always easier to take in a dress than it is to let it out.
What do I need to bring to my appointment?
We have all the under garments necessary available for you to use during your appointment. If you like them, you can also purchase them for your wedding day. The only thing you should consider bringing is shoes. Dresses are made for girls who are 5’9”. If you are significantly shorter than that, you may enjoy having a tall shoe to see how the dress might fit you once it is altered.
AT YOUR APPOINTMENT
How many guests should I bring to my appointment?
When choosing who you bring to your bridal appointment, carefully consider whose opinion matters most. It might be your first instinct to invite your whole bridal party, but keeping your entourage small will make your experience of trying on wedding gowns less stressful and more enjoyable. More people = more opinions. 1-3 guests is the perfect amount.
For those you do bring with you, it is important to share your vision of what you want with them in advance. Let them know that they are there to support you! If they aren't on the same page, it can make for a miserable appointment.
Keep in mind that you can always throw a dress viewing party later with as many people as you would like to make sure no one's feelings are hurt.
If you decide you cannot limit your entourage to 1-3 guests, we highly recommend that you schedule for a weekday appointment (Monday-Friday). Saturdays are very busy for us, and we only have enough seating for 1-3 guests per bride. We cannot comfortably accommodate a large entourage on a Saturday. You will have a much better experience on a weekday.
Is it okay to bring children to our appointment?
We highly recommend leaving children at home. We find that most children do not enjoy sitting still for the full 90-minute appointment. They can often cause the appointment to end earlier than the bride is ready to be done.
If you do not have the option of leaving your children behind, we ask that you be respectful of the other clientele in our store. Because we service multiple brides at a time, it can be disturbing to have children running around our salon as well as playing video games or listening to music at a high volume. It is not appropriate for children to play in the racks of dresses, try on jewelry or headpieces, nor jump and run around the salon. They should not be left unsupervised at any time during the appointment. Please consider whether your children will add to or detract from the experience you want to have.
Does my family help me in the dressing room?
The consultant set aside for you will help you in the fitting room. The area we have set aside for dressing rooms is not roomy enough to comfortably fit the bride, the consultant and a family member. We have professional consultants who will respect the privacy of each bride and whose goal is to make your experience comfortable and enjoyable.
Do I have to purchase on my first visit?
We do not expect everyone who enters our store to purchase a dress on their first visit, but we would hope that every bride who does come for an appointment comes prepared to purchase if they find the dress they love.
Is my consultant going to be pushy and try to convince me to buy something I don’t want?
Your consultant truly has your best interests at heart. She does not want you to purchase anything you don’t absolutely love. She will help you to narrow down your selection so that you end up with a favorite dress that closely matches what you are looking for. The more you talk to her and tell her how you feel throughout your appointment, the more helpful she will be to you. At the end of your appointment, she will not pressure you to make a purchase, but rather try to help you understand whether you feel ready to complete your search or not.
Why is my dress size different than my normal clothing size?
Wedding dresses are based off of different size charts than street clothing. Bridal gowns are also very structured and do not have the stretch and give that ready-to-wear clothing has. It is normal to be 1-3 sizes larger in a wedding dress than what you wear on a day to day basis.
PURCHASING YOUR GOWN
What discounts and sales do you offer?
The designers of the gowns set the MSRP (Manufacturer Suggested Retail Price). We are not allowed to discount below the price or we will lose our license to sell that designer. However, the designers do allow us to discount our sample gowns that have been used to try on, once we are wanting to move that dress out of our stock. Those dresses will be marked with special tags in our store.
We do however offer a package deal on your first-time visit. When you purchase your dress on your first visit, we will give you 20% off of any accessories you purchase with the dress.
We also offer a chance to earn a full refund on your dress. When you purchase your dress through us, you can then begin your referral program process. As you send brides to our store and they purchase their dress with us, we will send you refunds, ultimately ending in a 100% refund! Your consultant can explain in more detail.
Do you offer a layaway program?
We do offer a layaway program! Depending on how far in advance you purchase your dress will affect what layaway options we can offer to you. We do offer payments of fourths, thirds, half, and full. The options of fourths and thirds will include a one-time layaway fee.
Can I take a few days to think about this purchase?
Absolutely. We have no intentions of pressuring you to purchase a dress before you are ready. But we would like you to be aware that we do not do holds. There is a chance that the dress you fell in love with today, might not be here at a later time.
If you are feeling hesitant to purchase your dress on your first visit, your consultant will be able to help you know whether or not you have found the right dress for you!
If you measure me, why should I need alterations after my dress arrives?
While we do our best to order the closest size possible to your measurements, unless you are the exact measurements of the size chart, you will need some sort of alterations to tailor your gown to your figure. Typical alterations are a bodice, hem, bustle and a shoulder adjustment for a sleeved gown. Only 1 bride out of 50 may need no alterations but will still elect to have the train bustled on her gown for dancing or walking.
Are alterations included in the price of the dress?
Because each person is unique, there is no possible way to build the price of the alterations into the dress price. We would hate to penalize the brides that need very little work or the brides that choose to have their gowns altered elsewhere.
How far in advance do I need to schedule my fitting?
During the busy season from March through September, we ask that you allow 12-14+ weeks for alterations before you need the dress. If you are doing bridal photos, that is 12-14+ weeks before your portraits. Always error on the side of caution: some gowns may require more than one fitting, so pad the time accordingly especially if you are doing custom work. Also, allow enough time if you have a tight schedule and can only come in on certain days for fittings.
What is the cost of alterations?
The cost of alterations varies widely depending on the bride. Each bride will need something different to ensure their dress fits perfectly to them. It is normal for brides to spend several hundred dollars on alterations to have their dress fit perfectly to them.
Custom alterations can be even more expensive. These include adjustments made to the dress beyond what is needed to make it fit properly (adding sleeves, changing the neckline, modest fills, etc.). Each custom alteration is made to specifically fit the bride. This requires that patterns are cut for that bride and also includes any minor adjustments needed to ensure that the custom work fits perfectly before the bride takes the gown home. It may also include hand beading, which is the most labor intensive part of any custom work. It often requires several hours of work to get the dress just right for the bride. For this reason we cannot give a cost estimate until you meet with one of our professional seamstresses to determine what you would like.