The first thing most women want to do when they become engaged is shop for their wedding dress. After all what woman doesn’t want to shop!!!

Looking for your wedding dress can be a very exciting and fun time for you as the bride. Wedding etiquette is associated with almost every aspect of your wedding, but what you may not be aware of is; “what is considered etiquette when it comes to shopping for your wedding gown?”


Wedding Salons are not like most retail stores, the dresses you see are samples that are delicate and expensive. You will choose your dress from these samples. Unlike a regular retail store, the gown you purchase will be new and never worn by someone else.

Some brides think it is acceptable to waltz into a bridal salon and start pulling wedding gowns off the rack to try on. The majority of wedding gown boutiques, do not accept walk-ins, so you will most likely have to make an appointment with the store.

What you may not realize is that having an appointment is better for you and your bridal consultant because it means you will have all of her attention while you’re in the store looking for and trying on gowns.

If you are in from out of town and plan to go wedding dress shopping, book an appointment ahead of time. Just because you say you are not from the area, does not guarantee you an appointment. Often it is the opposite since brides many times use this tactic to try and get in without a pre-arranged appointment. Here is a tip: If you politely ask if there are any cancellations for later in the day, you might be pleasantly surprised by the salons response.



Before you call to make an appointment with a salon, consider the styles, look and budget restrictions you have. When you are greeted by your consultant she may ask you questions about your wedding, such as date, where it will be held, what dresses you have tried on if any, and whether did you had any favorites. These questions from the consultant are not meant to be disrespectful or prying. You may not realize, consultants love weddings and everything about them. They are truly interested in your wedding day, so try to be open and honest with them. Take advantage of their wealth of knowledge. After all, it only benefits you in the long run.

The questions consultants ask will help them select dresses that fit your criteria. Withholding information and being secretive does not make your appointment productive. It is no secret to a seasoned consultant that you have likely tried on dresses at other stores. You may have found a dress that is a serious contender but is missing a little something. If you are up front with your consultant she may be able to find a dress that has everything you are looking for.

Most sales consultants spend a minimum of 3 hours of their time with you helping to select your dress, it is not like buying a pair of shoes in a local store. Be courteous and contact your consultant to tell them if you have found another dress elsewhere. Despite your thoughts you are not sparing their feelings. If you are uncomfortable to call directly, an email is perfectly acceptable.

If you make an appointment with a salon, be courteous to call and cancel if you can’t attend. Stores can only accommodate so many brides in a day. Many brides have to go on a waiting list if the store is booked. By not cancelling your appointment it is disrespectful and unfair to other brides who have had to be on a waiting list.

What to Bring to an Appointment

Some bridal boutiques have shoes on hand that you can use when trying on wedding dresses. Others do not keep these items on hand. Even if the shop has these items, it may not be the size or style you intend on wearing. Bring your own accessories to your dress appointment so you are prepared with everything you need to make a dress decision. These accessories do not have to be the ones you intend to wear for your wedding, but they do need to be similar.

Most salons will make notes on the styles, prices and any special options that can be done on the dresses you liked. If they don’t, you should take notes and ask for a card so you can reference a website. It is rare that you find and buy a dress on the same day, so you’ll want to have this information on hand and ready when you return to the shop to order the dress.



Some brides tend to think that their shopping excursion is their own personal photo shoot and time to spend quality time with their shopping buddies. One of the primary misconceptions brides have is that they can take a camera along to document their dress fashion show. Most bridal boutiques do not permit photos to be taken of the gowns in order to prohibit brides from copying styles and having their dress designs made elsewhere.

The majority of wedding gown boutiques are also small, which means that dressing room areas accommodate only one to three people at a time. Be prepared to have only one or two people with you as your entire bridal party will not fit in the dressing room with you (unless you only have one or two attendants).

When you make the appointment, ask if you are allowed to bring a camera and how many people may accompany you for the shopping trip.


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