Sometimes in the great search for that one perfect dress, you don't even know where to begin. The answer? With an appointment at a top-notch bridal salon. In our new August/September 2015 issue (on newsstands now!) we call out the best 50 bridal salons — big and small, luxury and budget-friendly, boho and traditional — across America. How did we go about creating such a list? We asked more than 1,100 real brides nationwide to weigh in on the best spots to find that dream wedding dress by rating and submitting their own gown-shopping experience. From precious, personalized boutiques in the South to giant wedding dress meccas in the Northeast to intimate indie shops in California, we found them all. So take note, brides-to-be! These are our readers' favorite bridal boutiques in the Northeast.
A Little Something White, Darien, Conn.
Floor-to-ceiling windows flood this space with natural light, making it a great spot to pose and twirl in Anna Maier Couture and Amsale styles. "I tried on 50 gowns before I came here, then I finally got my 'aha!' moment," says a fan.
The Plumed Serpent, Westport, Conn.
Armed with hair jewelry and sashes, consultants will style your Paloma Blanca ball gown or Elizabeth Fillmore sheath to the next level of fabulous. "I splurged, but the price was totally justified by the service," says a bride.
Hit this trendy loft for gowns by indie designers like Sarah Janks and Sarah Seven. Want a craftsy girls' night out? The salon also hosts calligraphy classes and flower workshops.
Reviewers were wowed by the Elie Saabs and Marchesas and the sales reps' freakish ability to match a girl to her dream dress. "My stylist pulled gowns based on our phone chat. I bought the third one I tried on!" says a bride.
Exquisite Bride, Westfield, N.J.
Manhattan brides make the hour drive for the Naeem Khan and Romona Keveza gowns and a staff that can handle anything — even, says one shopper, a 15-person entourage.
The Wedding Salon of Manhasset, Manhasset, N.Y.
Hit this Long Island salon to try on Reem Acra and Mira Zwillinger dresses without feeling rushed. "When I asked how much time I had, my consultant said, 'Until you find the One!'â€‰" says a bride.
Bridal Reflections, New York City
Fans say this Fifth Avenue shop is the place to come for a glam gown and a tiara to match. Sip champagne while a staffer plays matchmaker: "I told her what I liked, and she found the perfect dress for my figure," says a convert.
Kleinfeld, New York City
This bridal mecca — TLC's Say Yes to the Dress is filmed here — got props for its huge selection of gowns. (It carries 90-plus designers.) Says a reviewer, "They treat you like a princess!"
Mark Ingram Atelier, New York City
This chic salon just off Park Avenue has all the labels uptown brides love (Carolina Herrera, Oscar de la Renta). But the private rooms, skilled seamstress, and crazy-
attentive service won equal raves.
Wedding Atelier, New York City
Practice your processional while trying on Tara Keely and Jim Hjelm gowns: There's a wedding aisle set up right in the store.
Elizabeth Johns, Ardmore, PA.
High-end designers like Rosa Clará and Lela Rose rule, but staff put you above their commission. "It was between two gowns, and my consultant voted for the cheaper one!" says a bride.
Glitter & Grit, Pittsburgh
This hip shop is filled with indie and eco-friendly finds. "The owner had an artisan design a belt and comb that made my day-of look," says a client.
The Wedding Shoppe, Wayne, PA.
Brides came for the big names (Inbal Dror, Monique Lhuillier) and stayed for above-and-beyond service. Bonus: The second floor is devoted to accessories and alterations, so you can have your fittings in peace.