Wedding Dress Shopping Tips From The Pros!

Putting The Pieces Together In Your Search For The Perfect Bridal Gown!

Would you like some wedding dress shopping tips from the pros? Are you searching for the perfect plus size wedding dress? Then look no further! Christine’s Bridal is dedicated to bringing affordable, high quality, formal dresses and plus size wedding dresses to our customers. Headquartered in New England, in the rural Green Mountains of Vermont, we pride ourselves on the ability to make a dollar stretch far, and to provide value and beauty in our product collections. Make Christine’s Bridal the first stop for your formal dress needs, and experience the best customer service and selection of wedding dresses and prom dresses that New England has to offer!

Christine’s Bridal specializes in plus size bridal gown and plus size wedding dresses. We offer wedding dresses in sizes 14W and larger.

The prom shop at Christine’s Bridal offers prom dresses in sizes 00 -46W.

Shopping for a wedding dress can be an intimidating thought. We’ve put together some wedding dress shopping tips and some FAQ’s that should help you understand the process. We encourage you to read them thru – we hope that this will make the experience of shopping for your wedding dress that much more enjoyable!

 Wedding Dress Shopping Tips & FAQ’s

1. How much do your wedding dresses cost?

Wedding Dress Shopping Tips #1. -We carry plus size bridal gowns that range in price from $1000.00 to $2000.00. Sale gowns are not re -orderable, and change on a regular basis. At Christine’s Bridal & Prom, the majority of our wedding gowns are priced between $1300 and $1600.00. Our large inventory allows us to have a good selection at almost every price point in between. Looking to spend less? Please follow us on social media, and be the first to learn about our sales and special events! At Christine’s Bridal & Prom, we focus on amazing and unique styling that is made up of the highest quality materials. Our gowns have a superior inner fit construction. We often hear our customers exclaim that they can really feel the difference in our gowns by just touching the fabrics. We have also found that no matter how beautiful a style, if the gown does not have a superior inner fit construction, the gown will not look or hang perfectly when worn. When you come to Christine’s Bridal & Prom, advise your consultant as to your budget, and they will work not only to find you the most beautiful gown you’ve ever seen BUT they will also work to satisfy your financial needs.

AN IMPORTANT NOTE ABOUT YOUR WEDDING GOWN BUDGET. Your wedding gown is one of the most important parts of your wedding. Years from now no one will remember what your flowers looked like or what food you served. A stunning wedding gown IS remembered by all and more importantly YOU, and your husband and your children will be looking at pictures of you in that gown for decades. Once you visit us you will see for yourself that our gowns are better quality and styling and are comparable to gowns that normally sell for much more. Couple that with the fact that Christine’s Bridal has wedding gowns you will not see anywhere else in the area and you will understand why so many customers who visit our store say they are sorry they just didn’t come to us first.

2. Are all the wedding gowns at Christine’s Bridal in stock, and ready to take home on the day of purchase?

Wedding Dress Shopping Tips #2. Yes, with one exception. Christine’s Bridal will be happy to order a dress for a customer should they need it in a different size or color than what we have in stock. Special order charges may apply. It should be noted that our styles change on a regular basis so if you see a dress you love; we recommend you buy it right away. Our plus size wedding dresses are stocked in sizes 14W-46W.

3. Should I bring in pictures of gowns that I like from magazines to my appointment?

Wedding Dress Shopping Tips #3. Yes! That is very helpful -BUT, we strongly advise that you remember two things. First, the models used by the bridal designers average 6′ tall and wear a size 4, so unless you are this tall and wear a size 4 the gowns may not look the same on you. THIS IS WHY IT IS SO IMPORTANT TO SEE YOURSELF IN THE GOWN IN YOUR SIZE BEFORE YOU BUY IT. The second thing you should know is that many designers sell gowns that are not advertised in the magazines and are not available online. BRING AN OPEN MIND. You should also know that when a bride brings in a picture of a gown she likes, 70% of the time we either have that exact same dress or one that is very similar. Ours always seem to be for a lot less money too – after all – it costs a lot of money to advertise in that shiny publication!

4. Should I make an appointment in the bridal shop?

Wedding Dress Shopping Tips #4. Yes, at Christine’s Bridal, we do not permit self-service. Every future bride is assigned a personal consultant who will work EXCLUSIVELY with the bride, to ensure that she finds the dress best suited to her style, budget, and figure. We do accommodate walk-ins, but only for our clearance, or sale section of gowns.

5. What’s the difference between an “informal” and a “formal” wedding dress? Does it affect the price?

Wedding Dress Shopping Tips #5. Informal bridal gowns are dresses without trains, or that have a very short “sweep” train. Formal bridal gowns have trains that are chapel length or longer. Because there is more fabric used in the construction of a gown with a longer train, generally formal gowns are more expensive. A high quality formal gown begins at around $1000.00, and will increase in price depending on the details used in the gown.

6. What if my wedding is canceled? Are My Items Returnable?

Wedding Dress Shopping Tips #6. All sales are final. Items may not be returned or exchanged.

7. Are alterations included in the cost of my garment?

Wedding Dress Shopping Tips #7. Christine’s Bridal & Prom does not include the cost of alterations in any of their formal wear. This is the fairest way to our customers, as shops that offer a “one price for alterations” services are generally working on averages. In many instances, you will end up paying far more for a “flat” alteration fee, than if you were to pay only for the alterations you needed. We are happy to refer you to qualified independent seamstresses that are eager to work with you, should you need those services. Any questions pertaining to alterations should be directed to the person you choose to work with. Christine’s Bridal & Prom does not employ seamstresses on staff, and provides names of seamstresses as a courtesy only to our customers.

8. Why do bridal gowns take so long to arrive?

Wedding Dress Shopping Tips #8. Many bridal gowns are not made until they are ordered; this is why most stores will tell you to allow 6-12 months for ordering your gown and for alterations. If you will require any custom changes (extra length, neckline change, custom length, etc), you should allow additional time for those changes as well. Due to many changes in the fashion and manufacturing sector of our industry, many bridal lines may take 4-6 months just for the gown itself to arrive. What should you do if you don’t have 6-12 months? At Christine’s Bridal that is why we offer such a large selection of gowns ready to take home with you at the time of your appointment. Should you need to order something, this may be possible for additional rush fees.

9. Why can’t I see photos of all of your bridal gowns online?

Wedding Dress Shopping Tips #9. We carry several advertised lines and many more unadvertised or private label lines. Our unadvertised lines do not allow us (or any retailer) to post photos of their dresses online. This is for the protection of their styles & designs.

10. Do you allow photos or videos at the appointments?

Wedding Dress Shopping Tips #10. Due to copyright laws, we request that you refrain from photography or video of our styles. This includes skype, video chat, and cell phones as well. We respect the request of our private labels to protect their unique and exclusive designs by not allowing photos of gowns in our store. Of course you may take a photo of your gown, post purchase.

11. If I’m planning on losing weight, when should I shop for my wedding dress?

Wedding Dress Shopping Tips #11. Every experienced bridal seamstress will tell you that it is easy and inexpensive to take a wedding gown down in size. 95% of all future brides will need some alterations and when they open up side seams, taking out ¼ inch or 3” costs the same. So if you lose weight it is easy and inexpensive to make your gown still fit you perfectly if it was purchased in a bigger size. The opposite, altering a gown that is too small because you put on weight, can be far more expensive to do and often it will not look perfect. Planning a wedding can be a stressful time and it is a mistake to add more stress because you will not fit into a dress if you don’t reach your weight goal. Most brides buy their wedding gowns 6 to 12 months before their weddings so that they can facilitate all the other planning and purchases that revolve around the gown. You should do the same even if you are planning to lose weight. Buy the gown that fits your current weight and if you reach your weight goals it will be easy to alter to fit you beautifully. If you don’t, so what! You gown will still fit beautifully and remember he fell in love with you the way you are, not the way you hope to be.

12. Who should I bring with me when I come for my wedding gown shopping appointment at Christine’s Bridal?

Wedding Dress Shopping Tips #12. When shopping for a wedding gown all the experts advise not to bring too many people. Your mom and one or two other trusted individuals seem to be the perfect mix. Pick a few people who love you to come and your experience will be a lot more enjoyable and you will have a better chance of being successful in your quest. Its great to have one or two people who are close to you to give you honest opinions but bringing too many people to “poll the audience” is a recipe for disaster that may make you miss out on your perfect gown. In the end the only opinion that truly counts when picking a wedding gown is YOURS! You will be the center of attention at your wedding , and you want a wedding gown the will make you look awesome and feel amazing. You are the only one who will really know when you have found the gown that does this.

13. What if I find the gown of my dreams, but I am not ready to buy it yet?

Wedding Dress Shopping Tips #13. (I’m not ready financially or I want my mom to see it.) CAN YOU HOLD THE GOWN FOR ME? Sorry, we can’t. Christine’s Bridal usually has only one of each gown (sometimes there may be the same gown in a different size). If we held a gown we may be depriving someone from buying that gown who saw and loved that same gown a day before you. The advantage of our style of store is that if you don’t find a gown of your dreams on your visit you can return in two weeks and see many new and different gowns that have come in since your last visit. The disadvantage is that if you find the gown of your dreams and don’t purchase it that day there is a good chance it won’t be here when you come back. That is why we suggest that before you set an appointment you ask yourself, “ If I found the wedding gown of my dreams in my budget can I buy it today?” If the answer is no, just wait to schedule your appointment until you can purchase, so you won’t fall in love with any one gown. It’s best to be ready at Christine’s Bridal by bringing your mom or whoever you want with you so. If you’re that lucky to find the perfect dress you won’t have to leave it behind. We do offer a lay-a-way plan at the time of your first appointment, and special incentives are offered to customers who can pay in full for their dress at the time of their first appointment.

14. Are children allowed at my bridal appointment?

Wedding Dress Shopping Tips #14. We strongly advise you not bring children to a bridal store. Your wedding gown choice is one of the most important you will make for your wedding. For the rest of your married life you will be looking at pictures of yourself in that special gown. When shopping for that gown you need to be able to focus and concentrate without distractions. A bridal salon is not a fun place for kids and they will get bored very quickly and totally distract you from this important mission. A bridal salon is also NOT a safe place for children due to loose pins and other hazards. Crying babies also distract other future brides on this important day and we will ask that crying babies be taken outside. Children under 12 are not permitted in our wedding gown showroom. Please make sure to have childcare as well for your alteration appointments, as children are not permitted in the designated seamstress area.

15. Should I look for my wedding gown and my bridesmaid dresses on the same day?

Wedding Dress Shopping Tips #15. No – don’t try to do too much in one day. We suggest you not try to shop for bridesmaids and a wedding gown all in the same day. Finding that perfect gown can be harder, more time consuming, and more mentally exhausting than you think. We suggest you focus on your wedding gown first. Celebrate by having a late lunch with your gal pals after you find your dress at your bridal appointment, and then let the focus be on them when it’s their turn!

16. I have an out of town bridesmaid or groom. How can they be fitted?

Wedding Dress Shopping Tips #16. No problem! Almost all of our wedding parties are made up of people who are close to the bride or groom in their hearts, but are separated by the miles! Please ask for one of our out of town measurement forms for your bridesmaids or groomsmen, or other members of your bridal party. After they have been measured by a professional in their area, they may submit the form to us by mail, or email.