Buying a wedding gown is not easy. There are so many options out there for dresses, designers, salons, and even services. Each bridal salon operates differently and offers its brides different service options with their gowns. Some salons will offer the bare minimum. The dress will be shipped into the store and you will be called to pick it up. Other salons are known as “full service.” Here are just some of the services that can be provided for full service:
- Dress steaming/pressing. Bridal gowns are shipped in boxes to stores and definately need to be steamed to remove the wrinkles and make the gowns presentable. At this time a lot of salons will also provide an in house inspection of the gown to ensure there are no manufacturer’s flaws. This service is oftentimes included with full service salons. To purchase it seperately can cost upwards of $40-100 in some cases. Steaming can also be done on other gowns such as bridesmaids, mothers, and flower girls.
- Storage. Do you have a safe place at home that your gown wont be damaged by pets, roomates, family members, or be safe from the fiance’s view? If not, storage can be a very valuable ammenity for a bride. Some smaller stores may charge a flat or monthly fee to store a gown, and some do it for free. Please note that some stores will not allow you to re-store a gown once you have taken it out of the store. Storage can run anywhere from $10-$50 per month.
- Alterations. Almost every gown needs to have some type of alterations done to it to ensure a perfect fit for the bride. It could be taking it in the sideseams, a bustle, cups, hem, and more. Some stores have their employees that are seamstresses that do the work at their stores, some have outside contractors that do the work but will meet you at their store, and some have referrals only to outside vendors. Having your alterations completed by someone who is familiar with your designer, dress, and has altered many gowns before could save you time and money and will ensure your dress is ready for you to walk down the isle. Alterations typically run $30-$500 depending on your needs.
- Customer service. When you visit a full service bridal salon, a consultant is there to help you pick out your gown, choose options and size you to your closest size on the manufacturers chart. They will walk you through the entire process. When your dress comes in they inspect your merchandise and report any issues to the manufacturer and act as an intermediary to solve any issues.
These are just a few things to consider when buying your gown from a salon. Heartstrings Bridal has prided itself on offering brides a free initial steaming when your dress comes in, free storage for your bridal gown, and an on-site contracted seamstress that can help tailor your gown as well as provide excellent customer service. All of these services are value-added and are included with the intial purchase of your bridal gown, so while it may seem like you are saving money on the front end by purchasing your gown online or at a non full service salon, you will end up paying for those same services on the back end of your bridal gown purchase and will often have to spend more time and money on doing the research and visiting multiple locations to find those services.