Frequently asked questions
Q: How far in advance before my wedding do I need to find my dress?
A: We suggest that you have a good look around before you come to see us, especially if you are not getting married for a year. This helps you make a decision more easily if you do see something you love in our store. Most of our dresses don’t hang around for long and once they are gone, they are gone! If you do require alterations to your dress, we do recommend that you allow 4 – 6 weeks before your wedding for your first fitting appointment with a seamstress after you have purchased your dress.
If we order a dress for you, the lead time is 4 months for the designer to make your dress. However, we do recommend you leave more time to allow for any unforeseen circumstances. For example, bad weather can mean a delay to the delivery of your dress. Therefore recommend you order your dress at least 5 months before your wedding date if you are having a dress made by the designers.
Q: Do I need an appointment?
A: Not always. However, as Saturdays are usually very busy it is unlikely there will be a dressing room available without booking an appointment. We assist all our customers in trying on dresses. If there is no Bridal Advisor available to assist you, you will need to come back at another time which is why we suggest booking an appointment. You cannot try a dress on if there is no Bridal Advisor to help you.
Q: How do I prepare for the appointment?
A: The appointment should be the fun bit of buying your bridal gown! You may have already browsed through magazines to see which styles you like. You’re very welcome to bring these with you for your appointment so that we can see if there is anything similar in our range.
We prefer that you don’t wear make up for your appointment. This avoids the risk of you marking any of the dresses, and keeps them in pristine condition. We take extra care of our dresses. It also helps to see the colouring of the dress against your natural skin tone: it’s amazing how the right colour of dress against your natural colour can make a difference to your overall final look.
Q: How do I get the best out of the appointment?
A: Come with an open mind, and be honest with us! Every dress looks different when it is tried on. Unless you already know what style suits you, be prepared to try different styles – that way you’ll know when you try on the perfect dress. Eliminating styles is just as important as finding the styles you like in the search for your perfect dress. Speak to us! – we will not pressure you in any way, tell us what you like and dont like, we can help you select dresses. We know the dresses and how they fit and will advise you on what will suit your shape. But we are not mind readers! do help us to help you, that is how you will get the best out of the appointment! If you have a budget in mind, please tell us. There is no need to be embarrassed. In most cases we will be able to suggest alternatives that will fit with your budget.
Q: Who should I bring with me to the appointment?
A: Someone whose opinion you really trust and who will be honest! We don’t recommend a large crowd as sometimes a range of opinions can be overwhelming for a bride to be. Everyone will have a different opinion of what you should wear for your wedding day and that more commonly that reflets their own tastes!
Q: What underwear should I wear?
A: It is best to wear a strapless bra on the day of the appointment because this won’t interfere with the shape of any of the dresses.
Q: Can I take photographs?
A: I am sorry, no. Because of the number of brides buying dresses on the internet and using bridal shops to do their “research” I have needed to stop this. It is a shame, as I was always happy for customers to take pictures. However, I have a responsibility to keep local bridal shops in business. For genuinue customers, I am happy for customers to take photographs of their dress when they have purchased or ordered their dress.
If you are seen taking photographs in the dressing rooms, you will be asked to stop. Please dont be offended as this is the policy of the store and is not personal to you.
Q: Do you have a catalogue of your dresses available for me to look at before I visit the store?
A: No. Because new designs arrive weekly a catalogue would become outdated very quickly. Look at the monthly Blog for the latest styles arriving in store. We upload photographs of some of these designs on the Blog page.
Q: I don’t want an ivory dress, do you have any other colours?
A: Yes, we have many colour choices, from the vibrancy of red and purple to the the subtle colours of oyster pink and champagne. Some of our dresses can be ordered in a choice of 69 colours! Please just ask us if you have a specific requirement and we can recommend dresses for you.
Q: What if the dress requires some alterations?
A: We have Bridal seamstresses who we work with regularly. They undertake the alterations in their own work studio, which is where you will have your fitting. They are great value and we continue to check that their rates are competitive on your behalf. When you purchase your bridal gown we will provide you with their details and you can arrange for an appointment with your chosen seamstress at your convenience. We recommend a first appointment with a seamstress should be at least 6 – 8 weeks prior to your wedding date. Alternatively, you are welcome to use any seamstress you may already know of. Therefore this is an extremely flexible service depending upon your preference.
We can guarantee that because the seamstresses we work with, are businesses in their own right, they work hard to deliver exceptional customer service. Our philosophy at The Bridal Lounge of York is built upon affordability and choice. Our seamstresses offer the best value for money and all specialise in Bridal dress alterations with up to 20 years of experience. We would not work with with businesses that compromise our reputation! Our customers get the best value for money because they are not paying the overheads of retail premises in the cost of their alterations. However, we give you the choice, we will aid you with your alteration requirements only if you require our support.
Q: I am getting married abroad, what should I consider?
A: Hot climates can make some dresses more uncomfortable than others. A light fabric can make all the difference to the comfort factor for your big day. We have a range of dresses in store particularly suitable for weddings abroad. Most of these are made from a light chiffon fabric which is also easier to transport and less prone to creasing. These dresses come with very small trains, or without. Any dress can have the train removed by a seamstress if you prefer.
Q: I don’t want a big traditional wedding gown, is there an alternative?
A: Certainly! Non traditional gowns are becoming more popular and we have a specific range in store for the more contemporary wedding settings. These gowns are simply elegant, suited to a beach, hotel ceremony or for a registary office celebration.
Q: Which designers do you stock in store?
A: We have a variety of Exclusive designers in addition to our off the peg purchases from a variety of designers. These price guides give you an average guide price of the majority of dresses in their range that we stock, whilst we accept that the designers do produce dresses both below and above our guide price. These prices are a guide of the dresses we hold in our collection. We are a official stockists of Essence of Australia (Price Range of £1,000 – £1,500) Marylise (Price Range (£1,000 – £1,200) Venus Bridal (Price Range £190 – £1,500), Charlotte Balbier( Price Range £1,000 – £1,500) Opulence (Price range £1,000 – £1,200) Charlotte Balbier (£1,000 – £1,500) and our own label collection (Price range £600 -£900) . You can see their full range of dresses on their websites.
Q: Can we pay a deposit for a dress?
A: We ask that payment is made in full for a dress that is bought straight from the store. We do not reserve these dresses for anyone, which is why we suggest you visit the store only when you are in a position to buy. For dresses that are made for you from our designers, we take a deposit of 50% at the time of the order, and then the balance is paid upon delivery and collection of the dress. We take Credit and Debit cards or we can take cheque for the deposit and when the cheque clears, we will order your dress.
Q: How often do you get new stock in store?
A: We get new stock at least every couple of months! So if you like our service, but dont quite find “the dress” we encourage you to either come back, or tell us specifically what you are looking for and we will contact you if something meeting your requirements comes into store. We try our best to help, and if you can give us information about what you like and dont like about particular dresses, we will try and match your requirements to the new stock that we receive.
Q: Can a dress be made for me in another size?
A: Yes, some dresses can be made to order and we can advise you on this at the time of your appointment. It will take up to 4 months for your dress to be made. A 50% deposit is taken for any dresses ordered to be made by our designers.
Q: Do you hire dresses, or can they be purchased on line?
A: Sorry, no, we only sell dresses direct from the store.
Q: Do you sell bridesmaid dresses?
A: No, we specialise in Wedding dresses only.
Q: What sizes of dresses do you stock?
A: We mainly stock sizes 8 – 20. Any dress can usually be altered by a seamstress, reducing the size by up to 2 sizes for dresses taken off the peg. Dresses can be made to order in sizes 4 – 32. When ordering a dress, we would take your measurements and make a recommendation on the most suitable size from that designer. Each size guide varies by designer, but we would show you our recommendation.
Q: How much do alterations cost?
A: It really depends on the extent of the work involved. Changes can range from a simple length adjustment, taking a dress in, to a complete re-style of a neckline or the addition or removal of sleeves. An alteration service usually costs between £10 – £20 per hour and most seamstresses will give you a guide price before they carry out the work for you. Each dress is very different and the amount of beading or fullness of a dress will usually cost you more than a more simple dress. For example, taking the length up of a dress will be more complicated if there are 4 different layers of fabric than 2 layers because the amount of work a seasmstress needs to do is twice as much.
Q: What is the price range of the dresses?
A: There are some dresses available from £190 but most of the dresses are between £500- £800. We do stock dresses up to £1,500. We mainly cater for brides that have a budget of up to £1,000.
Q: How are your prices so reasonable?
A: We have a wide collection of dresses in store, priced to sell on a “when they are gone they are gone”. Some of which we buy direct from the designer that they have stopped manufacturing now, and therefore we can sell at a really low price to you compared to the suggested retail price. These dresses are perfect for the bargain hunters amongst you!
Additionally, we keep are costs low. Our business model that is built on a platform of offering great value for money. Because we offer good prices, we sell a lot of dresses and that helps to keep our prices good. We work on the philosophy of the more we sell, the lower our prices will go. Therefore our whole business philosophy has you, the customer in mind with that approach.
Q: What about your own label range?
A: We have our own label range which is extremely affordable because there are no additional marketing costs built into the costs of the dress. We can in some cases, adapt the design of the dress to your specific requirements. We have 3 collections per year of these designs, so there is always something new coming into the store.
Q: What is your refund policy?
A: If you change your mind about the dress that is taken from the store (ie not a dress that has been specifically made for you) we offer a full refund within 14 days of purchase provided the dress is unworn and unaltered. Just bring the dress back in the dress cover, along with your receipt and method of payment and we will be happy to provide a refund. We do not offer a refund for special order dresses, if you change your mind about a dress that has been specially ordered for you, your deposit is transferrable to another dress, but is not returnable.
Q: I have considered buying a dress on the internet, how are they different?
A: It is difficult for me to answer this. All bridal shops provide a service and give you the “genuine article”. There are some websites that are offering some very good prices on dresses that appear to be the same dress. Well….. these websites are advertising dresses much less than we can physically buy them for. Think about it – how can that be possible! If I said that I see a bride every week, that has received her dress that is not what she ordered – it may give you the a different perspective. The dress hasnt been the same dress. However, in some cases, the dresses are similar but are of inferior quality. That is how they are different. Dresses sold in bridal shops are well structured, and have good ”boning” in the structure (so they stay up when fitted correctly!). Its your call, I dont see the point of compromising your big day when there are dresses available in bridal shops from £190. However, please consider that appointments with a bridal shop cost money for that business even if you are not charged for it. Cheap copies of bridal dresses, may serve a purpose for you if you are on a budget, but in the long run this will close down local bridal shops. If I can give you any advice – before you commit to placing an order with an online “shop” please first tell your bridal shop of your intention and they may be able to suggest a similar dress that fits your budget better. Any bridal shop will help where they can.