Bridal appointment. Chose your wedding dress at Camellia bridal Northampton

What to expect at your bridal appointment!

Firstly, congratulations!  You’ve set the date so now it’s time to choose your wedding dress!   What is it like trying on wedding dresses? Got questions about the ordering process? Prices? Here’s a list of frequently asked questions from our brides-to-be for you to have a look at.

How far in advance should I look for my dress?

what to expect at your bridal appointmentWe say start looking about a year before the wedding.  That said, we never turn away brides who are earlier, and we always try and help brides who leave it late too!  Often ideas for colours, flowers and bridesmaids can all begin with the dress, so it is good to start in good time!

How long will my appointment last?

We usually allow one and a half hours for a bridal appointment.  Please try and be on time so that we can make the most of your time with us!

What will happen at my appointment?

When you arrive, we will welcome you, sit down and have a chat about your wedding.  We’ll ask where you are in the journey to finding your dress and talk about what is important to you in a wedding dress.  Some brides say comfort, some want to look sexy, some want to be traditional…  it’s all about you, and your dream.  Some brides find it useful to bring photo’s of styles they like/Pinterest boards etc, which we love!  But don’t worry if you really don’t know what you want. We are here to help and guide you through the process of choosing!

Who will be there?

You’ll either be looked after by our manager Zoe (in the photo’s with our bride Lauren), or Sarah our part-timer.  We now give you exclusive use of the shop, so you won’t be sharing the space with any other brides or bridal parties – this is your moment!

How many dresses can I try on?

After the initial chat, we will recommend about 3 gowns for you to begin with.  Once you have tried those three, we will have listened carefully to what you do and don’t like, be more familiar with your body shape and be able to suggest others, until we get it exactly right!

What happens in the changing room?

what to expect at your bridal appointmentWedding dresses can be quite tricky to get into.  Your bridal consultant will be with you in the fitting room and help you in and out of the dresses. Please don’t feel self-conscious, we really are not looking! We are just there to help with buttons, zips and skirts and will clamp dresses that are not quite your size if necessary.  Wedding dresses come up small, so take no notice of the size – it is unlikely to be the same as high street sizes!  When we order we measure you and order the closest size to your own measurements according to the size chart of the particular designer.

What size and how much are your dresses?

what to expect at your bridal appointmentOur samples are mostly between a size 10 and 16, and we have about 6 or 7 styles up to a 26.   All of the dresses can be ordered in sizes 2 to 30.  Our wedding dresses are mostly between £1000 and £1800, with a few styles above and below this.  We do have a small permanent ‘sale rail’ of ex-samples which we will offer at a discounted price.  We also hold occasional sale events during the year, where samples are reduced.  Please don’t be shy about sharing your budget, it really helps us to help you.  You can read more about why our prices are not online in my blog Boutique Wedding Dress Prices: Why the Mystery?

How many people can I bring?

what to expectat your bridal appointmentOur showroom is quite cosy, so sadly we cannot sit more than 4 guests comfortably.  We can squeeze more in at a push!  Past experience has shown us that to many people’s opinions can sometimes be very confusing for a bride, so we strongly advise that you stick with just 2 or 3 people whose opinion you truly value and trust.  This ensures a calmer, more relaxed bridal appointment that is all about you.  If there is a key person that will need to be with you when you make your decision – try and bring them with you.  If you find ‘the one’ you will wish they were there!

Should I bring anything?

The right underwear can help.  A strapless bra is always good, and white or flesh coloured is a good idea too. Don’t worry if you haven’t got those though, it’s not essential! If you know you definitely want a certain heel height, it may be worth bringing some heels with you (they don’t need to be bridal shoes). This will help us determine the correct length of the dress should you find your dream dress and wish to order it. If you don’t know yet, don’t worry.

Can I take photographs?

We do ask you not to take photographs.  Photographs of the dresses in a small space, with shop lighting, and before they are correctly fitted will not always do you or the dresses justice – it is best to hold on to the memory of how you looked in the mirror, and how the dress made you feel!  There is more on this in my blog Unplugged Wedding Dress Shopping!

What happens when I find my dream dress?

what to expect at your bridal appointmentWhen you fall in love with a dress… congratulations!  When the excitement has calmed down, we will take your measurements and complete an order form, which we will ask you to sign.  We will need to take a 50% deposit, by cash, credit or debit card. The rest of the balance is due when your dress arrives, and you have been in to try it on

How long will my dress take to arrive?

Our bridal gowns take between 14 and 20 weeks delivery (depending on the dress).   You then need to allow around 6-8 weeks to have alterations and final fittings before the big day!  Express deliveries are often available on request, and some samples may be purchased ‘off the rail’ – so if you are on a tight timeframe then do tell us when you book your bridal appointment and we will try to help!  We give you a beautiful fabric gown bag to take your dress home in when it arrives!

What about alterations?

what to expect at your bridal appointmentAlthough we don’t have an in-house seamstress, we work closely with independent seamstresseses who have been altering our wedding dresses for many years. We can give you guideline prices when you place your order, and will be able to supply you with a list of professionals who you can contact for alteration services.

Where are you?

We are based in Northampton and our brides generally are from Northampton, Wellingborough, Daventry, Corby, Kettering, Towcester, Milton Keynes and many of the surrounding villages and towns!  As we have been in business for thirteen years, many brides find us through recommendations, which we love!  To see map and info on where we are in Northampton, click here.

We hope this answers any questions you may have about your bridal appointment, but if you think there is anything else we could add to it… please let us know!

Zoe x

The photograph for this post was taken by the wonderful Hannah Hall, see more of Hannah’s wedding photography by clicking here.