A bride that enters the fray on Black Friday to find herself the dress of her dreams is the kind of emboldened woman you do not want to mess with. She is fierce, she is focused, and she will let nothing stand in between that her and that gorgeous gown being sold at a majorly discounted price. Sound like you? Then you've come to the right place. Here are some must-know tips from bridal retail experts to make sure your Black Friday bridal shopping experience goes swiftly.
Pre-Black Friday Preparation
A little research and preparation can take you a long way when it comes to Black Friday shopping, especially where bridal gowns are concerned. First things first: know what you want, or at least have your preferences narrowed down.
"I would suggest for any bride shopping on Black Friday to already know what they are looking for, and to have already tried things on, if possible," says Brooke Sheldon, a wedding planner based in Maine. "So often what a bride thinks she wants — and what she actually likes when she is wearing it – is often different than what she had thought. Most brides end up in a dress that is completely different than what they thought they wanted."
Another tip is to actually call the store you plan to visit to see what gowns will be a part of the sale, and ask as many questions as you can about pricing, fitting, alternations, and shipping times. An added bonus of doing this prep before is that that while you're visiting the store – or talking on the phone – you can build rapport with the sales rep.
"Associates are also super busy on this day, so the more you can build a relationship before Black Friday, the better your experience will be," notes Rebecca Lau Marsh, founder and general manager of White Runway. "Be friendly with your retail associate and ask them what times are best for shopping on Black Friday. Also ask them whether they're able to put your dress on hold if it's off the rack."
Finally, once you know where you want to shop on Black Friday, call as soon as you can to make an appointment. You certainly won't be the only fiscally savvy bride shopping that day, so the earlier you call, the more likely you'll be to work with your preferred associate.
Shopping on Black Friday
Don't bring a huge crew to your appointment. It's already going to be crowded as is, so the more people you bring, the more chaotic the environment may seem. In short: bring individuals whom you really want to have at your side, but don't walk in with a line of friends trailing behind you.
In general, you should be ready to hand over some money. "The bride should be prepared to pay for half, or a solid chunk, of the dress on the spot, and the rest after receiving the dress," says Ani Hovhannisyan, bridal stylist and founder of Through The Veil.
It's possible you may even be required to pay for the full amount of the dress. This is a question you can ask when doing your research or making an appointment. One that note, if you're also buying bridesmaids dresses that day, make sure your party knows that payment will be expected.
The topic of alterations will surely come up while you're trying on dresses. Ask your sales associate to be very clear with you about what is feasible, and approximately how much each alteration will cost.
"Some dresses can have small modifications, but be careful in purchasing a dress based on price only with the expectation of making major changes. That can be costly, and not beneficial to saving money," warns Sheldon. "Even seemingly simple changes can be difficult when it comes to the delicate construction of a wedding gown."
Make sure you give yourself enough time to have these alterations done. If you don't have much time between Black Friday and your wedding date, Sheldon says to buy a dress that's a near-perfect fit off the rack. Of course, if you have a good four to six months between, you should be good to go.
While we're on the subject, don't forget that Black Friday is a great time to shop for your honeymoon and other wedding accessories. Hit up the lingerie store, shoe shop, and cosmetic counter to find steals.