FAQ's - Wedding Dress Fitting, Service & More
Do I have to make an appointment to come and see you?
From Monday to Friday - yes please, even if it's just to come and take a look at the style of dresses we have or to look at a particular pair of shoes or piece of jewellery. No matter how small the request, we will be happy to be there for you! It is always advisable to book an appointment on Saturdays but 'pop-ins' and browsers are most welcome and we will accommodate impromptu trying-on of dresses if at all possible. If not we will gladly arrange a further appointment with you.
Please allow a minimum of 24 hours' notice when booking an appointment, although we will do our absolute best to accommodate appointments at shorter notice.
How long will an appointment take?
We normally book out two hours for each bride so that there is plenty of time to try a wide selection of dresses.
Do you charge for appointments?
We are hearing more and more feedback from brides about them being asked to give a credit card number or a deposit in advance of their bridal appointment in some stores. We do not, and have no plans to, charge any form of fee or deposit for brides who would like to come and visit us. The only charges incurred would be when borrowing a sample dress from one of our designers, or for a designer day when the designer is making a personal appearance and these charges would be discussed with the bride in advance.
Do I need to bring anything with me or wear anything special?
We have shoes from our Rachel Simpson collection in various sizes and heel heights for you to try, but if you have a particular pair of shoes you wish to bring (eg flat or high platform) that's absolutely fine.
You will get the best look from the dresses if you wear skin-tone undies, as smooth as you have, although white will be fine too. If you have a pair of Spanx-style undies, please bring them, particularly if you are trying on our less structured dresses - the smoother and leaner the line under the dress the better and VPL can be very distracting. It always surprises us that brides come to try ivory gowns on and are wearing black underwear!
How many people can I bring?
Up to 4 people can be seated comfortably in our fitting room. Young children are welcome under full adult supervision.
When can I make the appointment for?
We appreciate that it is not always easy or practical to restrict our clients to midweek or daytime appointments. Therefore, we will do our utmost to accommodate early or late appointments, midweek or Saturday.
Why don't you open on Sundays?
Like many other bridal boutiques, Bridal Path is a small independent store striving to give the best personal service and attention it can; the owner Jo deals with every bride personally from order through to waving the bride off with her dress and Sunday is her only day off. In larger shops you can visit on a Sunday but you may later find yourself dealing with different assistants at every visit, rather than one individual who knows your story from the start.
How much do alterations cost?
Bridal Path operates a transparent pricing policy – the price you see on our bridal gowns includes up to 4 fittings and the alterations to bust, waist, hips and length, usually commencing approximately 4-6 weeks before the wedding. We feel that this policy makes budgeting easier, especially when there are so many other things to be paid for! Please note that if any further last-minute fittings and adjustments are required once alterations have been completed (e.g. for sudden weight gain/loss) these will be charged as taken.
Where do the fittings and alterations take place?
Although we offer fittings here at the shop, during busier wedding months we may ask the bride to attend fittings at our couturier Adrienne's studio in Ware, Herts, to maximise the time spent working on the dress. At Bridal Path we have a policy of attending all fittings in Ware wherever possible. Some shops will sell the dress to the bride and then give them the phone number of a seamstress and expect them to arrange everything themselves; we prefer to build a relationship with the bride from her first appointment with us through to the dress being fitted, altered and ready to wear on the day.
How far in advance do I need to order my dress?
This varies tremendously from designer to designer, but to be on the safe side allow 6-7 months to accommodate fittings and alterations, especially when ordering for a summer wedding. Delivery times do vary according to season and so it is often possible to order dresses in much sooner than the times quoted above – please contact us for specific order times on each designer.
What if I don’t like, say, the beading on the dress or the colour of the trimmings?
Our dresses are made individually to order so there is some flexibility within our collections. We can also offer a dress restyling service, for those dresses which cannot be changed at the point of order, through our in-house couturiers (additional charges will apply).
How much will I need to pay when I place a dress order?
We ask for a deposit of 50% of the purchase price and will also ask you to sign a copy of our Terms and Conditions, a practice standard in most bridalwear retailers.
How do I pay the remaining balance?
It’s entirely up to you – either as a lump sum when the alterations are completed or in stage payments before you collect it. We accept all major debit and credit cards, including American Express, cheques (to clear before goods are released) or payment by bank transfer.
Do you do bridesmaids’/prom dresses?
Bridal Path is delighted to stock twobirds Bridesmaids dresses (please see their page within our website for more details). In addition we stock a small collection of bridesmaid/prom dresses by Betsey Couture; all our bridesmaid dresses are made to order in the UK in a wide selection of colours and they compete very favourably on price with Far Eastern-made dresses. Flower girl dresses are also available and we hope that brides will support the UK manufacturing industry by choosing from these collections. Alterations, if necessary, are charged separately and can be arranged with our couturier, or the dresses can be taken to a more local seamstress to the bridesmaid – we fully appreciate that bridesmaids can be located in various parts of the country, if not the world!
Do you do groomswear/formal hire?
As we prefer to concentrate on the bride and her party, we are not involved with men’s formal hire.
Why do your dresses seem more expensive than some other shops?
There are several factors determining this: firstly, our dresses are individually made to order in the finest fabrics, which is naturally more expensive than production lines of garments where the dress is taken from stock. Many of our dresses are also made in the UK, where labour costs are higher than in the Far East.
Secondly, we offer a transparent pricing policy, whereby the fittings and alterations are included in the price of the dress. We have heard several anecdotes of brides finding their dream dress at the top of their price range and then being pressured into spending up to half as much again on ‘bespoke’ packages and alterations, completely blowing their budget.
Finally, we firmly believe that ‘you get what you pay for’ in terms of quality, exclusivity and service; we aim to offer all three at the highest standards.
How do I transport my dress overseas for the wedding?
We are now able to order overhead locker travel boxes to fit all airlines, including budget airlines, handmade by the Empty Box Company in the UK. in a range of pretty and stylish designs, acid-free and breathable, they are the perfect way to store your dress after the big day too. Prices range from £39-£55.