Things to Know for Your First Bridal Appointment

Things to Know for Your First Bridal Appointment

At Claire’s Fashions, we take great pride and work very hard to give every woman who shops with us a seamless experience where she feels supported and beautiful. We want the experience of finding your dream dress to be a cherished memory that you will look back on happily. For the most part, this requires behind the scenes preparation on our end that you’ll never need to worry about, but we do recommend that brides know a few things before their appointment to make it that much easier once they arrive at the boutique. 

Start Shopping Early


While it may come as a surprise, we recommend you start shopping about 10 months to a year before your wedding. This sounds far out, but it’s because bridal gowns can take up to 6 months to manufacture, and you’ll want to factor in 1 to 2 months for alterations. Our recommendation? Once you’ve got a date and a venue, book an appointment to start the search for your dream dress. We think waiting until you’ve selected a venue is best, as you’ll be better able to picture yourself on your wedding day and have a general idea of what you want your wedding to look like. This will make shopping for your dress a much easier process. 

Have A Budget


Another key part of the process: have your dress budget set before your appointment. There’s nothing worse than putting a dress on, falling in love with it, and getting sticker shock from the price. By having a budget, your stylist knows not to pull gowns out of your price range, so you won’t risk falling in love with a dress you can’t afford. 


The wedding dresses at Claire’s range from $750 to $4,000, so we can happily work with any budget. The average price is typically around $1,500. Remember when budgeting that you’ll need to factor in alterations, so consider this when discussing your gown’s price range.The seamstresses we recommend typically start at $300 for a bridal gown alteration, but that price can be much higher depending on the work needed for the gown. 


Consider Which Guests to Bring


At the moment, we are currently limiting the number of guests each bride can bring to 3. This is so that we can accommodate everyone comfortably, and also keeps you from getting too overwhelmed—while we understand why you’ll want to bring all of your bridesmaids, your mom, your grandma, and your aunt, it’s easy for that many opinions to drown out your own. It’s much better to just bring a few trusted and valued opinions, and remember that at the end of the day, it’s your wedding dress, so how you feel in the dress is all that matters. 


If you’re planning to also shop for bridesmaid dresses or a Bridal mother’s dress, we ask that you schedule separate appointments for these so that each aspect of your wedding can have its own allotted time to find something truly special. We have separate areas in the store for bridesmaids and bridal mothers. We strongly recommend ordering your bridal gown first as bridesmaids and mother-of dresses take at most 3-4 months to arrive.

Know the Cancellation and Return Policies


Each bridal salon is different, so it’s important to be familiar with the unique cancellation and return policies of each. At Claire’s, all sales are final,and we are unable to accept any returns or exchanges including accessories.We require a minimum deposit of 75%, before any order can be placed.  While we do not charge for appointments, we do charge a small cancellation fee if you cancel your appointment less than 24 hours before your scheduled arrival—with exceptions made for those who have begun experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 and are rescheduling for safety. 

If you have any questions about our ability to accommodate your guests of limited mobility, bringing food to your appointment, or any other questions you’d like answered before your appointment, see our Frequently Asked Questions!

For brides who are ready to start searching for the perfect wedding dress, book your appointment online here for our trained stylists to help you find the wedding dress of your dreams.