Monday, December 5, 2011

Interview Questions for your Bridal Boutique

Before embarking on an appointment to find your wedding dress at a bridal boutique, bridal shop, bridal store, or whatever, you should have an idea of your wedding date and a ballpark figure of how much you can afford for a wedding dress and accessories. You should also have an idea of your arrangement with your bridesmaids and groomsmen. Can you afford to cover everyone's wedding outfits, go 50/50, or if the wedding budget is tight ask everyone to help you out by going dutch, purchasing their own.

Also remember, everyone has their own body type and a dress that looks good on one person won't necessarily look good on another person with a different body type. As with bridesmaid dresses, often you want to look for dresses that are to a specific color scheme or wedding theme, but also to help your bridesmaids out, it would be nice if you could choose outfits for them so the dresses can be used for other special occasions such as family reunions, dinner dates, or to go out clubbing. You should target trying to find bridesmaid's outfits that can be used for other occasions than just your wedding.

Usually when you meet with a wedding coordinator at a bridal boutique, most places require you to register and most appointments take about one and a half hours. At your appointments it's a good idea to either bring along a notepad and a pen or some type of electronic diary. You should bring along one or two special people in your life to help you make a decision on what dress to choose, it may be your maid of honor, mother, sister, a good friend, or a bridesmaid. Some places and some do not allow photographs and videos of your dress trying on session. Also bring along pictures of wedding dresses that have captured your attention.

Before trying on dresses, an appointment session often includes taking size measurements to help identify what dresses would fit you best. Jot notes down on the business name and contact information of the bridal boutique, on each of your measurements, the body type of dresses recommended, the names of designers that have grabbed your attention, other pertinent information that goes with each dress such as bustle information, and what accessories would go well with each dress. Often as you are trying on dresses, you will have gathered much attention with sales people hovering around. Some dresses require a number of people to help you put on a dress and sales people often are needed to monitor that dresses are kept clean and nice and insures nobody runs off with their expensive merchandise. Some boutiques lock doors and check each person upon leaving.

Before your appointment, bring nice undies, you should be freshly bathed or body odors could end up in the nice dresses, don't wear much makeup or perfume, and absolutely don't bring any food. If you bring anything at all, bring along a bottle of water or flavored water. A wedding boutique is not a place for children as children see a bridal boutique as a good place for hide and seek and could knock down displays or get dirt on expensive items. Also wear comfortable shoes that are easy to get into and out of.

Traditional American wedding dresses are white, ivory, champagne, or egg cream, however many other cultured women that have settled in the United States will wear wedding dresses different than white, they will wear colored dresses prevalent to their native country or parent's native country.

Your questioning of your wedding coordinator should include the amount of experience they have and also you should ask about the experience of the bridal boutique's seamstress specialists. Just to note, when deciding whether to choose a bridal boutique's seamstress person to do alterations on your wedding dress or not and also deciding on buying accessories at that store or not, bridal boutiques tend to be more expensive than other businesses that offer bridal dress accessories. If budget is a concern, look for a seamstress not connected to the store and buy accessories elsewhere. If budget is not so much of a concern, use the boutique's seamstress person and shop around for accessories that you like that compliment your dress.

Really review the purchase contact when ordering your wedding dress. Make sure everything is spelled out and be sure everything agreed to is in the contract, have your companion(s) look over the contract too. The contract should include a guaranteed date of delivery of the wedding dress. The contract should specifically state the dress is brand new, not used before, shows the size, and that the dress has no stains or loose strings or you will be entitled to get 100% of your money back. You should always pay your dress by credit card, not cash or check. This protects you in the event the boutique does not meet it's commitment with what is specified, you are insured of getting reimbursed, that's important because wedding dresses are rather quite expensive.

Wedding dresses can take anywhere from 3 weeks to 6 months to get back from the manufacturer, in a few instances it may take 8 or 9 months to get back. As for alterations appointments, you should plan for two appointments and this may take a couple of weeks to set up appointments and make alterations. Wear shoes similar to what you plan to wear at your wedding and bring along undergarments that you plan to wear under your wedding dress. You should plan either by picking up or having the wedding dress delivered with the dress freshened up, ironed and protected 3 to 4 days before the wedding.

Interview Questions for your Bridal Boutique
1-Ask for a business card or what is the name of the bridal store? what is the address? what is the phone number? the website address if there is one?
2-What is the name of the wedding dress coordinator or floor sales person you are working with? is there a store manager, what is their name? what is wedding dress coordinator's phone number? what is store manager's phone number? what is a good contact number to reach the wedding dress coordinator such as email address?
3-You should be providing the bridal boutique with your targeted wedding date and a ballpark figure for your wedding dress, a figure for accessories, and if you are planning to cover bridal party outfits, what that figure is too. You should then ask can the bridal boutique handle the date of the wedding and able to handle the budget you are looking for? (if the boutique cannot handle your limitations, look somewhere else or try to find more funding to continue)
4-What are the hours of operation of the bridal boutique? (days of the week and times)
5-How many years has the wedding boutique been in business?
6-How many years has the wedding dress coordinator been working in the business?
7-How many dresses has the wedding dress coordinator think she has sold?
8-Is there a cost associated with an appointment with the wedding coordinator? if there is, what is it? does the cost get applied against the cost of purchasing a wedding dress?
9-What happened to make the wedding dress coordinator decide to get into this business? what is their background? what is their education?
10-For my knowledge, can you tell me what type of wedding dresses go with different body types?
11-After getting measured, what type of body type do I fit?
12-Can you show me your bridal boutique's dress size chart, inform me of my sizes and explain how you apply size in finding a dress for me?
13-What designer's do you carry in your bridal boutique? what designer's in my body type?
14-Can you explain to me what fabrics are used in each dress you show to me?
15-Can you explain to me neckline, bodice, bustle and particulars about each dress?
16-Does your bridal boutique also have seamstresses? how much experience does each have?
17-How much in general would I be charged for alterations? (remember to investigate charges of outside seamstresses before entering a contract, don't be swayed by in store sales practices until you know about other options)
18-Let the bridal boutique know if you are planning a weight loss or weight gain, and ask the question what do I and the boutique need to know should I gain or lose weight?
19-Are there brochures of pictures of wedding dresses of dresses you recommend for my body type?
20-Can we talk pictures of me trying on each wedding dress?
21-Can we take videos of me trying on each wedding dress?

Questions Regarding a Particular Wedding Dress
22-What style of dress did you bring out? (usually choices are; ball bridal gown, A-line princess wedding gown, trumpet(mermaid shaped), sheath bridal dress, empire waist, or other)
23-Who is the designer of the wedding dress?
24-Who is the manufacturer and model number of the wedding dress?
25-What year did the wedding dress first come out?
26-What is the size of this wedding dress?
27-What colors are available for this wedding dress?
28-What fabrics are used for this wedding dress?
29-Does the dress need a bodice? what type?
30-Does the dress need a bustle? what type?
31-What type of veils, if any, would go with this dress?
32-What type of neckline would go with this dress?
33-What type of waist would go with this dress?
34-What type of train would go with this dress?
35-What type of sleeves would go with this dress?
36-What alterations are needed for this dress?
37-What hair accessories would go good with this dress?
38-What earrings would go good with this dress?
39-What necklaces and jewelry would go good with this dress?
40-What gloves if any would go good with this dress?
41-What dress embellishments would go good with this dress?
42-What shoes would go good with this dress?
43-Does the bridal boutique offer a purse that go with this dress?
44-How much would the wedding dress cost with all costs included? (want specifics broken down including delivery charges, etc) (insist on no surprises)
45-Does the offer discount promotions, give-aways, places to find coupons, or offer other promotions?
46-Does the bridal boutique participate in any upcoming bridal shows or expos?
47-What would be a high level estimate of alterations done for this dress?
48-How much time in advance is needed to get an alteration appointment in?
49-How much time would it take to get the wedding dress from the designer or manufacturer?
50-Are we sure the wedding dress would be ready for our wedding?
51-Can the wedding dress be ready to be picked up, freshened up, ironed, and packaged 3 or 4 days before the wedding? can the wedding dress be delivered? any costs?

Repeat the questions for each dress presented and keep notes! After reviewing the wedding dress you may want to find what other options are available for other bridal party members. Remember bridesmaid dresses and tuxedos you probably can get a better deal at a prom store, department store, or tuxedo rental shop and accessories from a fashion jewelry store. You might also find white bridesmaid shoes and get the shoes dyed to the color scheme of your wedding. A bridal boutique will tend to have better quality of accessories though, your decisions should be based on your budget constraints.

Questions After Selecting the Wedding Dress
52-After providing your color scheme and/or wedding theme and maybe showing pictures of bridesmaids pictures that have caught your attention, what bridesmaids outfits does your bridal boutique sell?
53-What accessories that goes along with the bridesmaid dresses does the bridal boutique sell?
54-Does the bridal boutique offer alterations for bridesmaid dresses?
55-Does the bridal boutique sell matching shoes that go with the bridesmaids dresses?
56-Does the bridal boutique sell matching purses that go with the bridesmaid dresses?
57-What would the approximate costs be for specific bridesmaid dresses for the amount of bridesmaid dresses needed?
58-Does the bridal boutique offer tuxedo rental for the groom and groomsmen?
59-What accessories would be needed to go along with the tuxedos? (cuff linked shirts, suspenders, pocket squares, cuff links, etc.)
60-What would the tuxedo rental costs for the groom and amount groomsmen needed and all the accessories that belong with the tuxedo rentals?
61-Does the bridal boutique sell mother of the bride dresses? offer any accessories? what are the costs?
62-Does the bridal boutique offer flower girl dresses? offer any accessories? what are the costs?
63-Does the bridal boutique offer ring bearer tuxedos? offer any accessories? what are the costs?
64-Does the bridal boutique offer anything we might be interested in for the wedding such as flower girl baskets, ring bearer pillows, sign in guests books, or anything other? what are the costs?
65-Can we see a sample contract? can we take a contract with us home to review before signing?
66-Can we be sure that everything is written in the contract with no surprises, contract includes guaranteed delivery date is written in the contract, all dresses are brand new, not used before, all outfits have no stains or loose strings or we will be entitled to get 100% of our monies back?
67-What deposit is needed and when are subsequent payments due?
68-When would the dress have to be contracted for in order to meet the date of our wedding?
69-Have we covered everything that needs be talked about concerning the bridal boutique?
70-Are there any brides that have purchased dresses from your boutique we can talk to?
71-Is there a cancellation policy? is there an insurance policy should the dress be damaged by fire? water? catastrophe event? being stolen? refund 100%?

Questions to Ask Yourself Before Purchasing a Wedding Dress
72-Am I comfortable with the sales person or are they a little too pushy?
73-Does the sales person seem very knowledgeable when describing each of the dresses?
74-Does the wedding dress fall within my budget?
75-Do I feel pretty in the wedding dress?
76-Does the wedding dress accentuate my best features?
77-Do I feel comfortable in the wedding dress?
78-Does the wedding dress fit my personality or style?
79-Do my family and friends approve of the dress? (get their honest opinion)
80-Will I love my wedding day pictures, 30 years later?
81-Have I reviewed the contract thoroughly and understood everything in the contract? (have a second pair of eyes review the contract with you)

The experts state it is a good idea to have a 24 hour rule, think over your purchase and talk it over with the family before signing the contract for the wedding dress. Do you still love the dress as much the second day as the first? have you checked out other boutiques? you may find later, you like another dress better somewhere else. Some brides are not comfortable with all the attention when trying on wedding dresses, you are not use to all the attention, life does not have many special moments such as a moment when buying a wedding dress, enjoy the moment. Also, after your wedding fitting, try to maintain your weight, but if there is a change it is much easier to take a dress in than to let it out, the material used for dresses sometimes are delicate and if they are stretched they could rep. Some dresses may need maid of honor's or bridesmaid's help to get into and out of and may need materials buttoned, snapped or pinned.

Some other points, good deals of wedding dresses can be had buying dresses over the internet, but the down side is you don't get to get a close inspection of a dress and the dress can be off in size and have imperfections such as stains. It is better to buy a dress at a boutique and get the dress looking perfect. Only use the internet if you have to live with a very strict budget. Remember, not to invite too many bridesmaids or friends to your wedding dress appointment or you may find even nice girls offering differences of opinions resulting in a conflict. Only invite 1 or 2 and have bridesmaids appointments on a separate occasion.

Don't forget pictures and videos if they are allowed! Enjoy your special time!

See you on the other side!

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