The Biggest Mistake Brides Make When Choosing Their Wedding Dress


words by // Michelle McCaulla
Owner // Belle Amour Bridal

As women, we’ve grown up imagining our perfect wedding day. We’ve pictured our flowers and decorations to our color scheme and more, but let’s be real, before any of that we all have pictured the wedding gown of our dreams. Searching for your bridal gown is one of the most exciting and emotional shopping experiences of your life. Your bridal gown is the most self-expressive garment you will ever wear on one of the most important days of your life. Do you really want to miss out on this experience and receive your gown in a brown box? Heck no!

So here it is, you’ve found the man, the venue, the photographer, the whole nine yards, next up is the dress. You scroll through Pinterest, find some favorites and start to dig a little deeper. You see the dresses run for a few hundred dollars on a knock-off website… but wait, this means you can’t try it on first, this means you have no idea what the dress ACTUALLY looks like, or what it feels like. Then you see reviews from real brides, “Don’t order! Not what you think it is.” “Worst purchase of my life, don’t do it!” And then the real cherry on top, the photos of the “dresses” these girls ordered. Yikes! After a small panic attack, you decide to do the right thing, call the bridal shop ten minutes from your house and make an appointment to work with real people, real dresses, and even better, you get to bring your friends and family to share this magical experience too!

When you shop at a reputable locally owned bridal boutique you are working one on one with an expertly trained bridal stylist. These employees are familiar with every dress in the shop and even ones they might not have on hand but can still get in from your favorite designers! Your stylist will guide you through the process of finding the right gown, they’ll ask about your day-of vision, if you have any photos of gowns you like, a budget, and then start the hunt for a gown that makes you feel as special and beautiful as you really are. This isn’t a job for us, it is something we are passionate about and we do all we can to make sure everything is perfect for you. You will be able to share this once in a lifetime experience with the most important people in your life like your mom, grandmother, sisters, aunts and best friends. It should be one of the happiest most memorable shopping experiences of your life, and that is what we strive to make every appointment be.

At Belle Amour Bridal we only work with reputable designers who we trust, we hand pick each gown at market twice a year with our brides in mind. We are here to guide you from the minute you request an appointment through the preserving of your gown after your wedding. Our stylists are trained on each designer’s fit and construction, quality of fabric, color options and custom changes that can be made. Speaking of customizations we can add sleeves, change the back from a zipper to a corset, extend the train and so much more. We love to help our brides customize their gown to make it exactly what they envisioned.

Let’s say hypothetically you are one of those brides that take a bold chance and order what those pesky online retailers call a bridal gown. You get the notification it's delivered, you rush home, open the box and what do you see? An antique yellow dress that was sewn so crooked you aren’t sure if that’s the armhole or where your head is supposed to fit… you call customer service, lucky you if they answer, but all they tell you is it was made “custom for you, no refunds” and hang up. Great… back to square one. Don’t worry, your local bridal boutique is here to save the day! If anything would happen to be wrong with your special ordered gown we work directly with our designers to resolve the issue as quickly as possible so you don’t have to worry about any issues! This is something you won’t get when you order online. We have seen “custom” ordered gowns that can’t be altered due to poor construction or can’t have the train bustled in the evening because it wasn’t made properly. Some of the online sites that claim to make your dream gown end up asking local stores to save them by either fixing the gown or finding you a new gown at the last minute. This makes everything stressful, like wedding planning wasn’t already enough, and then you end up spending just as much if not more than if you would have purchased at an independent bridal boutique.

One of the best parts of shopping a locally owned bridal boutique is you are also supporting your community. Did you know for every $100 dollar spent at a local shop, an average $68 of it goes back into the community? At Belle Amour Bridal and other surrounding shops, we are women supporting women. The bridal stylist you’re working with could be a family member or friend who also loves to support other local women and shops. Shopping local does more than just give you a magical shopping experience, it goes deeper than that. We work closely with other reputable wedding vendors to do photoshoots, give brides vendor recommendations and even donate to community events.

If this wasn’t enough to convince you to shop local, make an appointment with us at Belle Amour Bridal and we can seal the deal. We promise to give you the time and attention every bride deserves when finding the dress of their dreams. From owner to stylist, we care about each bride and their bridesmaids too. We are more than a bridal shop, we are a family and would love for every bride to be a part of it.