When You Should Purchase Your Gown – Seriously

PC: Brushfire

One of the first things brides do after they pick a date is start planning their time line: when to book the photographer, when to buy the dress, when to send out invites and save the dates.  There are a lot of opinions on when to buy your wedding gown. Most say 9-12 months before your wedding or if your engagement is shorter, purchase it first thing.  That’s because gowns can take upward of 20 weeks to get to the shop after you order it.

PC: Brushfire

There are so many factors, including designer, customization, location of the designer factory, size, color, etc etc etc.  Then you have alterations and pictures, maybe you need to travel, maybe you gained/lost weight and now your alterations are more extensive or you have to reorder your gown. There are just so many moving parts that your best friend when ordering a gown is time. That’s why the standard is 9-12 months before your big day.

This is GREAT advice, but there’s a catch. Here in Utah it is quite common to have very short engagements; many are in the 12-20 week range from down-on-one-knee to down-the-aisle.  So, as a designer bridal shop in Utah, we tend to operate a little differently and are a bit more accustomed to working miracles. However, sometimes it’s just not possible. You cannot fit 20 weeks into 12.

This post is aimed at brides with shorter engagement times. I’m going to break down the variables in dress ordering so you can decide for yourself when the right time is to order your gown.

Types of Gowns

Reorder
PC: Brushfire

A reorder gown is a gown you have tried on in the boutique and are now ordering from the designer in your correct size and color.

It is YOUR gown. You will be the only one to have ever worn it and depending on the designer, it may be cut to order for you.

Sample

Sample gowns are the floor models at designer boutiques. They are what is tried on in store before ordering from the factory.

Once or more a year bridal shops will hold Sample Sales. Select floor model gowns will be sold straight from the rack at (usually) a significant discount.  You may be able to get a $3000 gown for under $1500. You would take these gowns home day-of and as-is.

Most shops only carry one of each gown so if you are looking into a sample gown be sure to ask what size their samples are.

Off-the-Rack

This is what you get at a store like David’s Bridal. Every gown in the store is technically a sample gown but they are all sold at full price.

Off the rack gowns are usually under the $1500 mark, with many options under $1000.

Order Times

KC Photography Utah

Often I have brides who get a little frustrated in the discrepancy in what they hear on order times. This is why.

** Note: order times are the time it takes from the day the order is made to the day it arrives at the designer’s facility. It still has to ship to your specific boutique.  Unless you are buying from an Off-the-Rack store where the store is their facility so shipping time is built in.

Standard Order

This gown will be made and shipped from the factory in their normal time. For most designers this sits between 12 and 16 weeks.

From Stock

Some designers have gowns that are ready and waiting to be ordered. We call that “stock”.  Expect it to be the most popular dresses in the most popular sizes.  In stock gowns can be requested to ship immediately so, depending on where the designer is based, you are looking at roughly a 10 day wait.  To secure these dresses and minimize your wait time, be prepared to pay a rush fee, just like with a rush cut gown.

Rush Cut

If you don’t have 16 weeks to wait for your dress to arrive, don’t worry because the vast majority of designers offer a rush cut service.

Price and availability will depend entirely on the designer and sometimes it varies between dresses. However the basic guidelines for rush cuts are below.

** This is referring to gowns unable to be ordered from stock

*** There are a few designers who will do rushes as quickly as 4 weeks for as little as $50. However this is not very common.

10 week rush – Widely available – cost: free – $250

8 week rush – widely available – Cost: $100- $400

6 week rush – offered by some designers – $200 – $400

4 week rush – offered by select designers – $250 – $500

 

Alterations

PC: Brushfire

Alterations can be a lengthy process. Our seamstress can be booked for what we call weekend alterations: where all the work is done in a matter of days because the seamstress works on your gown and only your gown. Usually you are looking at 4-8 weeks if you don’t want to pay the seamstress a rush fee.

The more complicated the alterations (i.e. modest build up) the longer and more expensive they will be. So build that time into your schedule.

Bottom Line

Rachel Laukat Photography

If you have a quick engagement then you are looking for a designer who can rush a gown in 4-8 weeks. Schedule your alterations for the week your dress arrives and look into the possibility of a quick alterations process by paying the seamstress a fee to only work on your gown for a weekend.

If you can’t afford the rush fee for a 4-8 week ship time or you have even less time than that, look at sample gowns. Sample gowns are sold directly from the floor of the showroom and are sold as-is, usually at a very steep discount.

Be very straightforward with your stylist when you go in for your consultation. She will know which designers can get dresses to you and how to guide you without getting either one of you in hot water.

PC: Brushfire

 

Short engagements can just compound the stress but don’t forget that you’re getting married and this should be a wonderful experience.  What ever you do, don’t get pressured into buying a dress you don’t want because of time constraints. There is always something for everyone.

Until next time,

Becca

Blush by Hayley Paige Has Arrived!!!

I am very excited to announce that Bitsy Bridal is now carrying Blush by Hayley Paige.

via misshayleypaige Instagram

We have been looking forward to this for weeks, pouring over dress pictures and painstakingly picking the gowns we think you will love the most.

The gowns will be coming in one at a time over the next weeks and months so we are introducing them as they arrive. First on the list is this little number: her name is West.

 

The Skinny:

Silhouette: Fit to Flare

Fabric/Finish: Cashmere lining and Marrakesh beading

Waist: Natural

Neckline: Elongated Sweetheart

Straps: Spaghetti

Back: Low scoop

via jlm_couture Instagram

Shine level:  4/5

Boho level: 3/5

How can you not love this? Seriously.

But for real, if you had an answer for that question, just go away… I’ll wait.

via jlm_couture Instagram

That’s right, it’s AMAZING. Say it with me now…. Marrakesh Beading……. from top to bottom!

With the stellar fit,  low back and the perfect amount of sparkle, I’m not sure how Miss Hayley Paige could have improved upon this design.

via misshayleypaige Instagram

West is a phenomenal design. Not just because she is drop-dead gorgeous but because she is such a universal design. She appeals to the “princess” brides who are looking for drama, sparkle, and a little more drama.  She also has such strong bohemian elements with the off white coloring and abstract beading that trendy brides are losing it!  West is perfect because she walks the line between classic and bold.

via misshayleypaige Instagram

As for me, my favorite part of the entire gown is the cut. I love the neckline, where it hits the legs to flare out into a perfectly rounded skirt, and most of all I love that back. I am a sucker for a low-back gown. But for real, who isn’t?

 

 

 

Want to see it yourself? Call and make your appointment. 801.699.2571

See you soon!

Becca

9 Things to Consider When Planning a Destination Wedding

Hello Gorgeous!

Destination weddings are becoming more and more popular.  They are appealing for may reasons including their ability to be less stressful.  However, planning the event from a distance can quickly turn into a nightmare if you start forgetting things. So, here are 9 keys to keep in mind when planning your destination wedding.

1- The Dress:

Photo: Stephanie Lorraine

More than the look of the dress needs to fit your wedding. If your setting is 100 degrees. You do not want to be in a satin mermaid gown.

Just the same, if you are getting married in a castle setting in England in the winter… you may want to pick a heavier gown, maybe with sleeves so you can take pictures outside without having to wear a coat.  If your perfect gown is sleeveless or sheer then find an awesome coat to wear outside.

2- Hair:

Photo: Mary Jessica

Finding a stylists from afar can be daunting so rely heavily on reviews and referrals.

If you are doing your own hair then be sure to think about how your hair responds to different climates (ie humidity) and prepare for that well in advance.

3- Travel:

Cheap plane tickets are not the place to try to save money. Your plane rides are the bookends of your trip- don’t make them awful.

Make travel plans idiot proof for your guests as well. Make sure everyone knows the right airport and how to get to and from all of the relevant locations at your destination.

4- Tourists

Remember that the best weather in popular destinations also coincides with a heavy flow of tourists which might throw a wrench in your plans and usually drives up prices.

5- Marriage Legality

Photo: Carla Boecklin

Marriage laws can be drastically different in different countries and states. You will need to check into requirements for a marriage license in your destination i.e. blood tests or minimum age.

Also take into account that marriages may not be recognized between countries and you may need to actually be married before you leave or get married again once you arrive back in your home country.

6- Warn Family and Friends

Photo: Carla Boecklin

Give your loved ones plenty of time to arrange their lives and finances.

Make it clear ahead of time, that you are having a destination affair, to anyone you are asking to be in your bridal party before you ask them. This way they can politely decline if they are unable to make the trip.

7- People will Complain

Whether they are going and don’t want to travel or aren’t going and wish they could; people are going to complain that you are having a destination wedding. To quote every pop and rap singer in the last 5 years “haters gonna hate” just ignore them. This is your wedding.

8- “No” RSVPs

Travel and accommodations can be costly so you will get a lot of people who cannot attend. Some will probably disappoint you or be unexpected but you need to be ready for that if you are traveling for your wedding.

9- Visit Your Destination or Make Peace with Surprises

Photo: Summer J Photography

Pictures and descriptions are great but have been posted by people in marketing. If your pictures are all you care about or you aren’t that worried about how things look then this may not be a huge deal. But, I HIGHLY recommend visiting your destination and seeing your venue before your wedding so you can plan accordingly and not be surprised on your wedding day.

Have you had a destination wedding or are you planning one now? Share any tips of your own below.

Until next time,

Becca

 

 

Stylist Picks: Urban Jungle

Hello Gorgeous,

Its time for one of my favorite types of posts: Stylist Picks! I’m taking a setting/venue that is common among brides this year and together with the other Bitsy Stylists will highlight our favorite gowns in every silhouette for the chosen setting!30

This round’s setting:  URBAN JUNGLE

Country-chic and feminine-floral are still going strong but the edgier, urban style is starting to come back and its coming back fast. So, for the brides getting married in lofts, industrial building, city center hotels, train stations turned reception venues, or anywhere with exposed brick, steel or concrete; these gowns are for you.

Ballgown

This ballgown from Ella Rosa is the perfect choice for an urban wedding. There is just enough sparkle paired with the clean lines and sheer nude illusion neckline. Together they make the ultimate centerpiece for a city-based wedding.

A-line

Christos does several things extremely well. One of them is a flowing, A-line silhouette. This gorgeously beaded gown, Paisley, is no exception.  The sheer back and side panels only adds to the romantic allure. Simple and comfortable with feminine and sparkling details, Paisley, is the perfect reflection of venues such as exposed lofts and industrial spaces.

Fit and Flare

Smooth crepe from head to toe, this Mikaella gown is elegant and classic.  Add the sparkling belt and suddenly its that much more romantic. Don’t let the beach-based pictures fool you, this gown is destined to be photographed under city lights and next to stunning architecture.

Column

The romantic lace and beaded applique on Idella from Kelly by Kelly Faetanini are such a perfect pair. Any ballroom or loft will be made all the more perfect with the addition of this beautiful gown.

Trumpet

Silk shantung and architectural seaming make Tamara from Tulle New York absolutely stunning. Its hard to pick the best part of this true trumpet gown. The v-back, perfectly placed seams and a crisp off the shoulder neckline are all downright perfect.

Non Traditional

 

 

 

 

 

Meet Kate, from Tara Keely. This gown is a column silhouette and covered in caviar beading. With the addition of the removable tulle over-skirt it becomes a flowing A-line gown with a glistening under-layer. If you are getting married in a chic ballroom or a museum this gown would be perfect.

 

 

 

See something you like? Make an appointment to find your perfect gown at Bitsy Bridal.

Until next time,

Becca

Claire La Faye Trunk Show

 

 

 

Hello Gorgeous!

This weekend (3/31 – 4/2) is a very special one at Bitsy Bridal! In additional to our curated collection, we will be showcasing dresses from Claire La Faye.

This unique bridal line brings the height of Hollywood glamour into the 21st century. Described as “luxury with an edge” Claire La Faye Bridal is full of whimsical and modern designs for the feminine and fashionable bride.


You will just as soon find a head-to-toe glitter gown from Claire La Faye as you would a delicately ruched Chantilly lace bodice paired with a flowing train.

These rare and impeccable designs out of Portland, OR are completely unique and the Bitsy team is incredibly excited to show them to as many brides as possible. Make your appointment for the trunk show here or call us at 801.699.2571.

   

All CLF dresses ordered during  the trunk show are discounted 10%. Claire La Faye dresses cannot be found in any other boutique in Utah. Don’t miss out on this amazing chance to see these exclusive designs.

Can’t wait to see you this weekend!

~Becca

 

 

Photo Credits:  via Claire La Faye

Donny Zavala,  Erich McVey,  Jose Villa,  Ashley Kelemen,  Kelsea Holder

Sample Sale Time!!

Hello Gorgeous!

Its that time of the season: Sample Sale Time!! Now for some of us this may bring up flashbacks of watching Monica, Phoebe, and Rachel from Friends battle other women with the help of “safety whistles” to find the perfect dress.

In reality, this is an amazing opportunity to find a designer gown at a killer price. There is no door rushing a-la Black Friday and you still get the personalized attention that the Bitsy team proudly provides.

If you have never experienced a sample sale, then you are definitely missing out. You get to take your dress home day-of and at an incredible price.

This March we are running an event with all sample gowns under $1400 and 80% of our samples will be under $900! Considering our gowns normally START at $990, that is pretty awesome!  I’m excited, are you excited?! If not, then keep reading because these are just a few of the gowns we are featuring this weekend.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Appointments for the sale (Saturday the 25th) will be an hour instead of the normal 90 minutes. This way we can help as many brides as possible during the one day sale. Appointments can be made online or over the phone. We hope to see you this weekend!


Make Your Appointment

Online

801.699.2571

or email info@bitsybridal.com

Until next time,

Becca!

How to Prepare for Dress Shopping

Bitsy Bridal
PC Smyer Image

Hello Gorgeous!

Shopping for your wedding gown is an amazing experience and most women have no idea what to expect when they get there. Just like the Bitsy Stylists, all  bridal consultants are there to give you the best experience possible. We will do all the heavy lifting. And like any successful interaction, it’s a two way street.

Keep these things in mind as you are preparing to hunt for your perfect gown.

1- Choose your underwear/bra carefully

Mischa by Nouvelle AMSALE (back)
A bright pink bra (or a bra at all) would completely throw off the look of this Nouvelle Amsale gown.
  • Most quality bridal shops don’t carry undergarments for you to wear under the dresses because the gowns are designed to not need a separate bra (usually)
  • If you are uncomfortable going bra-less or if your bust is on the bigger side, then try to wear a strapless bra in white or nude. So it doesn’t interfere with your view of the dress.
  • Spanx are always welcome too.
  • Remember that your stylist will be in the dressing room with you so whatever you wear will be seen

  ** Note: Your stylist has seen it all, so don’t wear something different just for our sake. Wear what’s best for you.

2- Know the gowns will not fit you perfectly

Stylists are trained to clip dresses so you have a perfect vision of what they will look like on you
  • Unless you are shopping at an off-the-rack store, the gowns you try on are samples. This means there is usually only one – often carried in a middle size.
  • If the dress is too big, we will clamp it (see picture). If the dress is too small, we will use elastic bands and extra fabric to make it worth showing to your friends & family.
  • Any consultant worth their salt will be able to show you how the gown will fit perfectly, regardless of size.

3- Only bring who you have to

A group of 2 or 3 guests is ideal. Gown: Alyne   PC Brushfire
  • Dress shopping gets overwhelming. Having a gazillion opinions flying around only makes it worse.
  • Just bring THE people whose opinions really matter to you. (The people you couldn’t imagine doing this without.) You really can’t please everybody… literally!
  • On the flip side, make sure to bring the people you need. Don’t get caught in your dream gown and your mother or you bff is not there and unreachable. 
  • Bitsy Bridal has a free wifi that you can skype or facetime!

    4- Please don’t expect your entourage to pull dresses

    At Bitsy, we will happily pull any dresses you want to try on. PC: Brushfire
  • Considering the traffic jam in a bridal store and the quality of the gowns; it is standard for the bridal stylists to be the only one to handle the gowns and put them on and off racks. 
  • It ensures the integrity of the gowns for all brides. 
  • This works in your favor. I can’t count the number of times that after finding the perfect gown for someone, she tells me she never would have picked that gown after seeing it on the hanger.
  • Don’t hesitate to point out what you like. Ask your stylist to walk you through the racks (Same goes for friends and family).
  • Each shop works a little differently but your stylist is all yours for the entire appointment: she will navigate the shop for you.

5- You will get tired: Bring on the Gatorade!

PC Brushfire
  • Wedding gowns are seldom light. Even if you are only trying on the airy ones
    made of chiffon, you will get tired from the in and out.
  • If you are making a day of it and hitting multiple shops, schedule breaks and meals so that you + your friends & family can rest and be energized for the next appointment.
  • You might consider packing some sugary snacks to eat between appointments (since no food or drink is allowed in most bridal shops)

    6- Come looking “your” best

    Gown Tara Keely PC Brushfire
  • You will likely not be able to see yourself as a “bride” when you feel like a slob or not feeling fresh or not feeling clean. So, no dresses will feel right.
  • You don’t need to be dolled up for the red carpet, just feel good for yourself: whatever means work for you.

    7- Your stylist doesn’t care what dress you choose

  • Don’t edit your praise or criticism of a dress based on a fear of insulting your stylist. She doesn’t have any unnatural attachment to a gown and her only goal is to find you your perfect dress. 

 

It is our job to make your dress hunt an unforgettable experience.  Let us do the heavy lifting.

Just take a few steps to ensure a good time and we’ll handle the rest. One final concept reaches through all these pieces of advice and is something every bride should remember:

This Is About You!

Don’t be afraid to voice your opinion and ask for what you want. 

At Bitsy Bridal, we are all about the bride!

 

-XO Becca

5 Things to Remember When Searching for Your Perfect Gown

Hello Gorgeous!

My name is Becca, I am part of the team here at Bitsy Bridal.  You’ll “meet” Morgan in her upcoming posts.

As bridal consultants we get asked all sorts of questions. One of the most common is “How Do I Know When I’ve Found My Dress?”

Truthfully, everyone reacts differently, there’s no formula or easy answer I can give you. I can, however,  tell you 5 things you should keep in the back of your mind while searching for your gown. 

1- Don’t wait for tears

PC Brushfire   Gown by Alyne

Like I said, everyone reacts differently. Don’t go in with the expectation that the gown which makes you cry is your gown. Not everyone cries, it’s actually more rare than you would think. Crying is great though – bring on the feels. 

 

2- You will react like you

PC Brushfire  Gown by Alyne

Your personality is not going to change. If you are analytical and fact based, your decision will likely be based on facts about the dress. If you are intuitive and emotional…. Well you get the picture.

 

3- It’s YOUR reaction that matters

PC Brushfire Gown by Alyne

Don’t get caught up in what everyone else thinks. It’s YOUR dress. You need to love it. I cannot tell you how many brides I have had come in and buy a second dress (either for the same wedding or another) and tell me they hated their first dress because they bought the one everyone else loved. Don’t be like these brides.

 

 

4- You WILL know, but it may not be instantaneous

PC Brushfire Gown by Tara Keely

Feel free to try on more dresses to compare. Get in and out of your favorite five times if you need to so you can be sure. But, you will know!

5- Feel free to mull it over

PC Brushfire Gown by Tara Keely

Sometimes, you need to take a breath, go to lunch, in rare cases even sleep on it. Feel free to do that. Look at the pictures, if your shop lets you take pictures (Bonus! At Bitsy we encourage photos!).  If you can’t stop thinking about it- if you still want it when you aren’t in it – then you know you’ve found your perfect dress.

 

 

 

 

 

I’ve watched these patterns emerge over appointments with hundreds of brides and I still love watching each woman find her perfect gown.  Finding your gown should be a great experience, which is why we at Bitsy we put so much effort in to focusing on the bride and her needs.

If you have questions or maybe you had a unique moment when you found your gown, sound off in the comments, we’d love to hear from you! 

-XO Becca