Dress Buying etiquette?

Online Users: 1,231 guest(s), 2 user(s). Replies: 5

SarahKate88 Posts : 1 Registered: 3/4/12
Dress Buying etiquette?
Posted: Mar 4, 2012 9:27 PM

My best friend offered to make my wedding gown. She is a beginner seamstress, but she loves it and she's very good. I am thrilled & honored to have such a unique piece that will hold a special place in my heart for many reasons.

I have some ideas about what I like but I've never worn a wedding dress and she's never made one. I'm considering buying a short, simple dress, maybe even a bridesmaid's dress and having her alter it to add the colors and design features that I want and are hard to find.

I have to bring her with me to my appointment at the dress shop, which brings me to the question: Would it be offensive to the bridal boutique to bring my seamstress and discuss the alteration options while we are trying them?

I'm also afraid I'll fall in love with a dress and just buy it. Speaking of buying, Do i have to pay the full cost right away to keep the dress? What if I'm not sure, will they hold something for me?

Please help, I'm clueless!


Aunt Posts : 794 Registered: 12/31/10
Re: Dress Buying etiquette?
Posted: Mar 5, 2012 9:37 AM Go to message in response to: SarahKate88

Dear Sarah,

Here is my suggestion for you.

Most bridal stores request you to make an appointment to try on dresses, no matter what. That way they can have a selection ready for you when you arrive, within your price range, size and desired style. They can also dedicate a sales person to assist you without feeling rushed.

So, call a local bridal shop and ask them exactly what you said here. You would like your friend to take an existing dress, then alter it to make it uniquely yours. Would it be OK for you to bring her along and discuss alterations right there in the store?

Then, listen to what they have to say. If they enthusiastically say "Sure, great, not a problem!", then you're OK. If you hear stuff like "Um, well, we don't usually do that" or "We have our own alterations seamstress here", then that is your clue not to go to that particular store.

As for deposits, usually they ask for a deposit when the dress is ordered, then you pay in full upon delivery and your acceptance of the dress. If you see a dress you like, but want it to be held for you, then just ask.


Syringa Posts : 115 Registered: 1/18/12
Re: Dress Buying etiquette?
Posted: Mar 5, 2012 9:51 AM Go to message in response to: SarahKate88

I would be very careful about bringing your friend and discussing alterations at the store. In my area, most shops are locally owned and staffed and no appointment is needed to try on dresses. That is not true at chain stores, however. All the stores in my area have a "no photographs" policy because they don't want someone to love a dress then ask Grandma to copy it rather than purchasing it. All have an alterations person on staff. Therefore, to bring someone and discuss alterations, even if you plan to purchase a dress, could create problems. If you want to bring your friend, you might decide in advance what features you want on the basic dress then allow her to say only something like "that will work," or "that one is perfect."

Another option is to purchase a dress online, one that you can do anything with without creating an issue with a store. You may want to purchase future items, such as a veil or undergarments, at the bridal store, so you don't want to offend or possibly be asked to leave a store.

Edited by: Syringa on Mar 5, 2012 9:51 AM


Sydney99 Posts : 20 Registered: 6/1/12
Re: Dress Buying etiquette?
Posted: Aug 20, 2012 6:34 PM Go to message in response to: SarahKate88

Ditto to the other posters, but I might also add to be cautious and tread lightly when getting a friend involved in this process. I've seen these kinds of things get tricky because there were different expectations/expectations not understood or met. Just be really clear on what you want, how you might need to be flexible if you find the perfect dress, etc. and make sure she knows how much you appreciate her willingness to help.

Washington, D.C.


wad Posts : 44 Registered: 7/18/11
Re: Dress Buying etiquette?
Posted: Aug 21, 2012 7:29 AM Go to message in response to: SarahKate88

This is nice forum to buy the wedding bridal dress. Useful for the wedding collection. It's having beautiful information

Edited by: wad on Aug 21, 2012 7:29 AM

wedding planner |wedding transportation


beryl1 Posts : 18 Registered: 6/19/12
Re: Dress Buying etiquette?
Posted: Sep 4, 2012 9:17 AM Go to message in response to: wad

Well, a good consultant should be knowledgeable in the areas of fabric, design detail and more.

_________________ Great option for weddings nextstepphotobooths l Click here


Thank You
for Signing Up!

Check your e-mail inbox for the latest updates from brides.com

Give a Subscription to Brides Magazine as a Gift
Subscribe to Brides magazine