When we order your gown, we will look at a designer's size chart with you and together decide the best fit according to your measurements. Often, brides fall between two sizes and industry standards recommend ordering up! This way, your gown can be perfected in alterations. Even if your gown arrives fitting perfectly, you'll need minor alterations. Hem, bustle, and strap adjustments are typically necessary.
Alterations are an important part of the process - and should never be overlooked!
We recommend beginning your search 10-12 months prior to your wedding date. Our gowns typically take anywhere from 5-7 months to arrive in the store, and you'll want a few months for alterations. We are able to place rush orders on most gowns, if need be, but to avoid extra fees and stress, 10-12 months is perfect timing. We want to ensure you have plenty of time to make up your mind without any stress!
If your wedding is more than a year away, we recommend waiting a bit. After all, styles and tastes can change, and dresses can be discontinued. At Weddings by Design, we want to make sure you start your search when you’re truly ready to say yes to the dress!
We may be biased, but gown shopping is certainly the most fun aspect of wedding planning. So it comes as no surprise you may be tempted to bring everyone along! In our experience, this is really never a good idea. The more people you bring, the more stressful and confusing your appointment can become. We find that no more than about four to five of your most trusted friends and family is the optimal number to give a bride the supportive feedback necessary to make that final decision on the perfect gown for her perfect day.
Saturdays we allow you to bring a max of 5 others. If you are hoping to bring more you'll need to visit us on a weekday or visit our section on private appointments!
No - like most bridal boutiques, our gowns are priced without alteration fees - they also do not include any other fees such as tax, custom or rush fees. We do not have a seamstress on staff but can offer recommendations. We typically tell our brides to budget about $600-$800 for their alterations. This amount can vary depending upon your specific gown, how it fits you, which seamstress you choose, and other factors.
Don’t worry! We’ll help you envision how the gown will look on you, even if it’s not an exact fit. Bridal sizing can be confusing, so your stylist will help you even if you don’t happen to be a perfect sample size. Some silhouettes, like ballgowns and A-line gowns, are easier to try on even if the size isn’t perfect. Talk to your stylist and they will do everything they can to help you feel comfortable and confident during your appointment! Our stylists are experts using clips and panels to secure the gown for you to see.
Many bridal boutiques, including Weddings by Design, ask your typical clothing size for a multitude of reasons. The main, and most important reason is so that we can provide you with the best experience possible. Bridal sizes run different from your streeet clothes and you typically have to size up. We believe all brides, from size 00 to size 30 and above deserve to feel special, celebrated, and beautiful. Knowing your typical size helps us prepare for your appointment as every gown in store is sampled in a different size. At Weddings by Design, we carry sample gowns in sizes from 8-30.
Our collections starts about $1,200 and goes up to $4,000. The vast majority of our gowns are priced between $1,500-$2,500. We have a sale rack full of gorgeous on trend styles all priced under $1000 and ready to purchase off the rack. They are perfect for a short engagemnet! For pricing of specific designers, see our Designers tab. All of our gowns and accessories are crafted by dedicated designers, and often incorporate hand-sewn beading and details. We take great pride in our designers’ work and are confident that you’ll see the difference in quality as soon as you try on your first dress.
During your appointment, you will work with your assigned expert stylist. Our stylists are dedicated to finding the dress that will make you look and feel your absolute best. If you already have some ideas about your dream dress, feel free to bring along pictures, Pinterest ideas, napkin doodles…we can work with anything! And if you’re coming in blind and have no idea what you want yet, we can work with that, too. Our experienced stylists will make the search as fun and easy as possible; we LOVE finding you exactly what you’re looking for, even if you don’t know what that is yet.
If you need more time to make your decision, or want to come back for a second appointment, we totally understand. This is an important decision, and one in which we want you to feel confident. We are a pressure free shopping environment! Your return appointment will be up to an hour long, and with the same consultant (if possible) as your initial visit. Questions about this? Just give us a call!
While we are a family-friendly store, we host multiple appointments at a time, and although you’ll have your individual appointment space, children can be a distraction. In our experience, children also get bored quickly. We also have very delicate decorations and accents in the store that can be easily broken if handled wrong. As such, we strongly encourage you to leave the kids at home and let yourself focus on your dress hunt. If you need to bring children to your appointment, we do ask they are given a separate form of entertainment and remain seated and quiet during the appointment.
At Weddings by Design, we have a vast array of gorgeous veils, jewelry, and headpieces to complete your look. Your consultant will recommend accessories during your appointment to help accentuate your gown. If you don’t choose your accessories on your first visit, we recommend you try them on with your gown at your pick-up appointment, so you can see the entire look together! We are also more than happy to schedule an accessories appointment for you during the weekdays.
Generally, our gowns take five to seven months to arrive, and you should plan for about 3-4 months for alterations. Like most bridal boutiques, we do not employ an in-house alterations person. We do recommend an independent seamstress who does fittings for our brides in our store for your convenience. While you’re waiting for your gown to arrive, we recommend you select your shoes, because you’ll need them when you start the alteration process.
For option one, you can always pay in full. With the second option, you may pay half of the cost of your gown at the time of purchase and the balance when it arrives in the store. The third option is our payment plan by which you can pay as much as you would like down (as long as it is no less than $300), and the remaining balance will be payed in 4 equal monthly payments. With this option, you will be charged an extra $25 for administrative fees.
At your gown try on appointment, you’ll be trying on your actual wedding gown to make sure it is the right gown, the right color and is a reasonable fit. You will also be deciding whether you would like to take the gown home with you or pay for our Full Service which is storing and steaming of your gown! If you chose to take your gown home, it will be packaged for its protection in a mesh, zipper garment bag ($30) or a free pink, opaque plastic bag. Please note, this is not an alterations appointment.
After the champagne, the toasts, and the dances, have your gown cleaned and preserved as soon as you can! The longer stains set in, the harder they are to get out, so have a plan to drop it at our location and we will do the rest. We use a company called Wedding Gown Preservation that has been in business for over 100 years. They will carefully examine and hand-wash your gown, protecting any beading, lace, and embroidery, then give it back to you looking as beautiful as the day you brought it home – regardless of what happened at the reception. Ask about their discount for our Weddings by Design Brides