When the rest of the fashion industry has been overtaken by mass-production, corporations, and e-commerce, why do small-business bridal boutiques continue to be the overwhelmingly preferred way to shop for a bridal gown?
Oh boy…Have we got a story for you. If you’re shopping for a wedding gown this year, you’re going to want to keep reading.
Why shop local bridal instead of chain stores and online shopping?
1. The Experience
Finding your wedding gown is a very precious process. Boutiques nurture this process by providing you with a carefully curated experience that you simply won’t find anywhere else. Our appointments begin with a stylist consultation where we get to know YOU, your vision, and your process. Your entire visit will be on your terms, at your pace, the way you feel most comfortable. So can keep your focus on what really matters, which is being in the moment and enjoying your special experience.
2. The Stylists
The thing you’ll remember most about shopping for your gown is your stylist. Stylists are not just salespeople. We’re a very passionate bunch who take a lot of pride in caring for our brides in whatever way she needs it. Your stylist can be your guide, your best friend, your therapist, your mediator, your photographer…or whatever you need her to be! You might be fearful that you’re being a burden to the stylist or that she’s some way faking her excitement for you, but we can tell you without a doubt, she’s as emotionally involved in your process as you are. We take so much pride in caring for our brides and your happiness is our PRIORITY. We don’t judge you based off your taste, timeline, budget, or dress size. We know that, whoever you are, this is a VERY big deal to you and it is our HONOR to be a part of your journey.
Stylists also know their stores’ gown selection like the back of their hands. Getting an idea of a gown when it’s hanging on the rack is tricky. It’s easy to overlook what might be the one. So with your stylist as your guide, you know you’ll be seeing the store’s most beautiful selections, curated for you and your unique vision!
3. More Flexibility
Unlike big-box bridal stores that have strict corporate policies and firm shipping dates, boutiques offer more flexibility and much better overall customer care. Weddings are unpredictable. Things happen. We make exceptions for brides all the time to make sure she is happy and cared for. It’s easy for small stores to get approval for things like exchanges, rush orders, and special exemptions because our management chain is small. You can rest easy knowing the store owner is never far out of reach.
We also have close and personal with our designers. This means when you fall in love with a gown but it seems it will not arrive on time, we can get on the phone with that designer and see what’s really possible. When we work closely with our brands, the word “impossible” is hardly ever in our vocabulary.
4. Your money goes back into the community
When you choose to buy at a small-business boutique it’s an opportunity for you to give back to your local economy and supporting a true dream. Owning a small bridal boutique is a true labor of love and these owners care DEEPLY about what they do. Supporting these local shops helps to showcase the beautiful and one-of-a-kind culture of your community.
You also make it possible for the caring and hard-working stylists in your community to provide for themselves and their families!
Brides are wonderfully unique. Boutiques celebrate that uniqueness by offering brides endless customization options based on her unique vision. This is only possible because the gowns we sell are not mass-produced. In boutiques, you’ll find plenty of options to choose the perfect fabric color, length, sleeves, and much more!
Each gown is carefully crafted with only ONE bride in mind! Some brides find their dream gown right off the rack, but most brides will find about 90% of what she’s looking for during a try-on, and work with her stylist on customizing that last 10% of her look to make it perfect!
6. Gown Quality
If the price of a gorgeous wedding gown online looks too good to be true, it probably is. Many online sellers will sell you on a photo, and they send you a “recreation” inspired by the photo. These dresses typically are made with poor quality fabric, clumsily attached appliqué, and usually a far cry from the dreamy photo you thought you bought. To keep the price low, these sellers have to make these gowns in BULK, which leaves no room for craftsmanship.
This is why you’ll find higher quality gowns in boutiques. Each gown is carefully crafted to be seen and felt in person. No tricks or false promises.
7. Better Designer Access
There’s a reason the best Bridal designers don’t sell directly to brides. They know that the best way for brides to experience their beautiful gowns is in a boutique setting. A place where the bride can have a caring stylist to help her into the gown, make sure she finds a great fit, point out all the details, and let her know all the ways she can customize her look. Designers take this experience so seriously that they’re incredibly selective in the ways the choose boutiques to represent their brand. Boutiques aren’t just a “middle man”. Our relationships with our designers is personal. We work CLOSELY to bring you the most gorgeous product along with an incredible experience.
8. Avoid Online Shopping Pitfalls
In recent years, online shopping has DOMINATED fashion commerce. We’re all accustomed to hopping on the internet when we need a new pair of shoes or a cozy winter sweater. Bridal gowns don’t work quite the same way. When choosing a wedding gown, an in-person try-on is HANDS DOWN the best way to shop. We’ve helped hundreds of brides who’ve fallen prey to the promise of a stunning bridal gown, only to be sent an ill-fitting dress at Halloween costume quality. Even if you do find a great online find, sizing inconsistencies could have you ordering 3 times over just to find your size, often wasting months of precious time on each order. Avoid running into these common headaches and shop your super fab local bridal boutique!
9. Relationships with other Vendors
While finding your dream gown is a HUGE milestone in your planning process, we understand you’ve got a lot more boxes to check off. Local wedding businesses are tight-knit. Your local bridal boutique can recommend you the BEST wedding pros in your area, and can even get you great deals!
We have great relationships with local makeup and hairstylists, florists, photographers, and more that offer exclusive discounts just for being a Bridal Novias bride!
When you purchase your gown with a local boutique, you become part of a family. From the moment you say yes to the dress of your dreams, until you take that long-awaited walk down the aisle, you’ve got a whole team of cheerleaders, assistants, and mentors, happy to guide you through every moment of the process. Even YEARS after your wedding, you’ll have an instant connection with brides that shared the same journey at your local boutique. At long-running boutiques like Bridal Novias, you can even share experiences across GENERATIONS. We love our brides that come in many years later when their own daughters are preparing for their weddings!