Frequently Asked Questions
When should I start shopping for my gown?
Since COVID, dresses are taking longer to be delivered. Thus, we recommend ordering your dress as soon as you fall in love with it…to make sure it has plenty of time to arrive. Dresses generally should be ordered at least nine to twelve months before your wedding day.
How long does it take to make a gown?
Since COVID, the dresses are taking longer to come in; thus, they take about five to seven months to arrive from the designer’s atelier. However, a dress could show up six weeks after it is ordered if it happens to be in stock, as well as taking up to 8 months to arrive from certain companies because of the detailed nature of the dress. The ship dates we are given are TENTATIVE, and NOT in-store dates. In order to avoid a rush fee, plan to purchase your wedding gown at least nine months before your wedding day to allow for dress to arrive in the salon and for alterations. That being said, most designers offer a rush order for a fee. Rush arrangements can be discussed at the time of ordering your gown.
Bridesmaid’s gowns take about 4 months to ship to the salon. Again, we are given TENTATIVE ship dates for these dresses, so the ship date can vary up to about two weeks. It is important for you to allow enough time to try on and select your bridesmaids’ dresses, so you might want to begin your search about six months prior to the wedding date.
Bridal Couture of Birmingham also offers a wide selection of stock bridal gowns that are available for immediate purchase.
Do I need an appointment to try on gowns?
Yes. Since COVID we have been working by appointment. Why? Because we work so closely with our brides, some of which are getting married soon, we want to make sure the store is not overcrowded and is kept as safe as possible for our customers and staff. We also want to ensure you have a fun and enjoyable experience, so having an appointment and the attention of a Stylist that is working just with you gives you that personal attention. However, please feel free to stop in for a visit if you are in the area and we will try to accommodate you if we do not have other appointments scheduled.
What is a Trunk Show?
A ‘Trunk Show’ is an in-store event featuring a bridal designer’s current line. It gives brides the unique opportunity to see a larger selection of gowns from a specific season or of the best selling bridal styles. There are also special pricing promotions that are offered for bridal gowns ordered for the featured designer during the trunk show.
What other bridal items do you offer?
Bridal Couture not only carries bridal gowns and bridesmaid dresses but also flower girl dresses, headpieces, veils, and belts.
Why is my bridal size different from my regular clothing size?
Most of the bridal industry cuts their gowns on a European size chart, so it is normal that you may have to order a size or two larger than what you wear in normal clothes. In addition, each designer uses a different sizing chart, so your size may even vary from designer to designer.
Why should I order my bridesmaid gowns at the same store?
It is recommended that all gowns be ordered at the same time and store so that the gowns may be cut from the same dye lot. However, this does not mean that all the girls must come in at the same time. If any of your attendants live out of town/state and cannot come into the salon for measurement, they can be measured elsewhere, and call in for their sizing. We will place your order once all the girls have been measured and the dress deposits are paid.
What is your cancellation policy?
Due to the special-order nature of the bridal industry; we are unable to offer a cancellation policy. Therefore, all sales are final and non-refundable.
What is the alteration process?
Most importantly, your dress stays here in our store and our seamstresses work for our store. They are wonderful and have over 40 years of experience combined.
Since COVID we are beginning our alterations process earlier. Why? Because if you get sick or our seamstress it causes no stress. We like to watch out and protect our brides. Thus, bridal gown alterations must begin twelve weeks prior to the wedding to avoid alteration rush charges. Alterations beginning in fewer than ten weeks prior to the wedding may be subject to a rush fee. No bridal gown alterations will be accepted with less than six weeks until the wedding. Customers must have the shoes and undergarments they intend to wear to the wedding at the first fitting.
The alterations process has a number of stages, which are outlined below. Additional fittings may be necessary depending on the alterations you request. If during a fitting you decide to make a change to a bustle, length, or the fit of the dress (take in, let out) you will be required to try on the dress again.
- Pre-Fitting: Upon the arrival of your gown, you will work with one of our Bridal Consultants to begin thinking about what alterations you may want to make to the dress. This is a good time to finalize any decisions on foundation garments and accessories.
- First Fitting: This should take place twelve weeks prior to your wedding date. This is the most important fitting with the seamstress. Decisions will be made regarding the fit of the gown. The undergarments and shoes that you will wear on your wedding day must be present at this time.
- Second Fitting: This should take place about eight weeks before your wedding date. Any minor details will be finalized to perfect the fit of your gown.
- Final Fitting: You will try on your gown one final time to ensure all alterations have been completed successfully before pressing and/or steaming is done. This usually takes place four weeks before the event.
- Pick-up: You may pick up the dress of your dreams at least two weeks before the Big Day…unless other arrangements are required.
If you are from out of town or traveling a distance for your alteration appointments, you may choose to do your alterations in your home town. To ensure a quality job is done on your alterations for the best fit, we do not cut down the number of alterations or alteration requirements because of travel.
What should I do with my bridal gown after the wedding?
We recommend having your gown professionally cleaned and preserved. We recommend Janet Davis, in Royal Oak, for your gown cleaning. We do have coupons here at the store for our brides who take their gowns to Janet Davis Cleaners. Pricing varies depending on your wedding dress.