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Friday, November 4, 2011

Frequently Asked Questions...

An Interview with Owner, Erin Bouchard
Brides have many questions when they enter our store. Some are nervous, some are excited and most are curious to see how the appointment will go. We try our best to set them at ease and create a relaxed, enjoyable experience. Here are some answers to some of the typical questions we hear that might help prepare you for your appointment.

1. When should I order my gown?
Wedding gowns take about five to six months to arrive to the store. Brides magazine recommends that you purchase your gown a year in advance of your wedding to save yourself any stress. Most of our brides say that they feel like other things fell into place after they got their gown. They knew the formality of the wedding then and could choose complimentary bridesmaid gowns and wedding invitations. This time frame will also allow for plenty of time for alterations, so that you’re not stressed out before the big day!

2. Will this gown I love today be discontinued?
This is such a hard question to answer, and I always wish I had a better answer for brides. We purchase gowns from designers that sell their gowns all over North America (with the exception of course of our private lines). What may be a best seller for us, may not be selling anywhere else, or may not sell as well in other locations. Designers can and do discontinue gowns every season. We get a list when we purchase our next season of gowns with a list of gowns that are discontinued. They usually give us about two weeks notice. Which isn’t a lot of time to get those orders in. For instance, Mon Cheri just sent us their discontinued list and there are quite a few styles on there that I never anticipated would be continued that are honestly only a year old. Therefore our advice is honestly this, if you are standing in a gown that you love and think it’s the dress, why wait and risk losing the gown? If you truly love it, get it ordered right away. The other thing to factor in too is that if it’s not discontinued the price of the gown could go up. We see this a lot right now as we struggle to pull ourselves out of a recession, the rate of inflation seems to be quite high. So we’ve had brides who loved a gown come back four months later to see that same gown is now more money.

3. What if I can find it cheaper somewhere else?
Remember our post about the changing bridal industry. If you haven’t read that post, you need to. Bridal gowns sometimes discount their gowns in hopes of just making a sale. So if you can find a gown that is $200 cheaper than anywhere else, that’s not a good thing. It may be $100 less but the alterations costs are going to be triple. Factor all these things in when deciding on where to purchase your gown. It’s not just the price that should be the bottom line, but the relationship that you will build and the trust must be there. If you’re thinking you can find it online cheaper, you need to read our blog about purchasing a gown online.

4. What if I find something I like better somewhere else?
Let’s face it - wedding gowns are beautiful. You might find something else you like at other stores, but it becomes difficult to have an open mind when you have something you love pictured. Most girls do buy that first gown that they loved, so save yourself the hassle of driving all over to try more on and the confusion of liking some gowns here, some there! Then once, you’ve purchased stop looking. That sounds simple enough, but honestly just stop!

5. But I don’t have my mom, grandma, mother in law, etc here with me today!
First of all, if it’s important for them to be there, then bring them. Don’t make an appointment or come try stuff if the person you NEED to have there, isn’t. Wait and make an appointment with everyone. That being said, evaluate whether you really need to have them there. At Once Upon A Time Weddings we recommend that brides come with one, maybe two people to choose their wedding gowns. More people equals more opinions and you need to decide whose opinion is important to you. You can always schedule a follow up appointment and bring in those bridesmaids and other important people to show them THE GOWN after the decision has been made.

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