It can be a tricky decision, choosing where to shop for your wedding dress – especially if you are on a tight budget. With an abundance of options online, on the highstreets and in local independent bridal boutiques, it can become complicated deciding which option is best for you.
Alison parish, owner of Aurora Brides has been working in the bridal industry for over a decade, and with a wealth of knowledge, she explains why every bride should shop for their dream wedding dress at independent bridal boutiques.
No matter where you decide to shop for your wedding dress, the experience is an exciting one. Check out these 15 emotional stages of shopping for your wedding dress
Shopping for your wedding dress should be a fun and exciting experience and every bride should look at it this way. Alison Parish from Aurora Bride suggests that the unparalleled experience independent bridal boutiques offer should be the number choice for brides-to-be.
“One of the most important benefits of choosing an independent bridal boutique is the passion and drive the staff have. They love the bridal industry so much that they have decided to dedicate their lives to it. This level of passion should not be underestimated and cannot be reproduced on a mass called,” she adds.
Every consultant at Aurora Bride takes a personal interest in their brides’ journey so much so that they have been invited to a few weddings over the years.
Another amazing benefit of choosing an independent bridal boutique is the fact that all gowns in the store have been handpicked off the runways. The boutiques do not rely on high street fashion trends, what the celebrities are suggesting or what a computer has decided will be the next best thing.
Alison says, “We have our heads in the game 24/7 for our brides and we often intervene with designers to ask for something we feel our brides will love. At many times we act as that bridge of contact between bride and designer, feeding back information in hope to make our bride’s dreams come true.
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A common misconception many brides have of independent boutiques is that they are often overpriced and try to make as much money out of brides. However, this could not be further from the truth.
“At Aurora Bride, new order collections gowns are priced from £899 and off the peg dresses are £299. We cut costs on our overheads which means we don’t have to mark up to make the difference”, adds Alison.
Another thing to consider is that these extra prices also include an alternation service – something many brides tend to forget about. Most independent bridal boutiques will build this price into the overall cost of the dress thus many people thinking the gowns are overpriced.
If you chose not to shop at an independent bridal boutique sorting out your alternations is usually left down to you and can end up being more expensive in the long run. Alison adds, “Nearly 99% of brides will need to have alterations whether they are buying online or from a boutique. National stores don’t tend to offer this service and online has no option at all, so keep this in mind.”
“I cannot tell you how beneficial it is when your bridal boutique handles your alterations. Should you have an issue with the fit or any worries or wobbles then your stylist and store will be on hand every step of the way.”
Before you start shopping for your wedding dress you need to check out these 17 things that every bride-to-be must know.
So, if you decide to shop for your wedding dress at one of your local independent boutiques your next step should be picking the right shop for you. Some bridal boutiques specialize is a specific style i.e. boho, traditional and so on, while others are specific to plus-size brides.
There are two main ways to find a boutique that is right for you. First, you can jump online and check out several bridal boutique websites. This will allow you to see where they are located, the opening times and what sort of designers they stock.
Here at Wedding Style Collective, we’ve done all the work for you, just check out our top choices of the bridal boutiques in your area for more information. Once you’ve found your favourite store just simply book your appointment through us today.
The second way to find your perfect boutique is to ask around. Alison says, “Trust me, no past bride has ever been offended by someone saying, ‘you looked amazing I want to go to your boutique’. Ask around and don’t be shy – people love nothing more than reminiscing about their wedding!”
To see some of the best bridal boutiques in your area take a look here.
Before your appointment, some boutique may send you out a questionnaire. Don’t be put off by this as this is just a means of getting as much information so your appointment can be tailored to you. “Often we will ask a new bride some questions before she comes into our store so we can be as best prepared for you as possible,” adds Alison.
In conclusion, Alison points out that the unparallel experience independent bridal boutiques offer is one truly unique that cannot be replicated in a nationwide store and not online. “They will not have the passion or drive to make sure that everyone leaves happy the same way that a small independent will,” she adds.
“I am sure there are some great national stores with well-trained staff and lovely décor, but they can sometimes lack in that personal approach. These nationwide stores will have shops all over the country with the same designs in them.”
“From my experience, I know that brides in different locations all have different styles and that’s while independent boutiques will cater to the brides in their area. Trust that these boutiques know you and their area and that they will make you the most beautiful bride.”
If you’d like more information check out our guide on how to shop for your wedding dress.